ASCAP to Honor Tom Petty With Founders Award at 31st Annual Pop Music Awards

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Mar 20, 2014) - The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) will honor Tom Petty with the prestigious ASCAP Founders Award during its 31st annual Pop Music Awards, it was announced today by ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams. The invitation-only gala will take place on April 23rd, 2014 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. The event will also celebrate the songwriters and publishers of ASCAP's most performed pop songs of 2013.

The ASCAP Founders Award honors pioneering songwriters who have made exceptional contributions to music, inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Past recipients include Ashford & Simpson, Burt Bacharach & Hal David, Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Billy Joel, Annie Lennox, Sir Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Smokey Robinson, Carly Simon, Patti Smith, Steely Dan, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Tom Waits, Ann & Nancy Wilson (Heart), Stevie Wonder and Neil Young.

"Tom is the very definition of an American music icon. Not only is he one of the most admired and beloved songwriters of our time, his music continues to be a major influence and inspiration to new generations of songwriters today," Williams commented. "He has earned music's highest honors -- Grammys, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the distinction of being one of the best-selling artists of all time. And now, we are proud to present him with our most prestigious award of all, the ASCAP Founders Award."

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers belong to a special class of artists. From the moment they emerged in the late '70s, they conquered the charts and the hearts of millions with such indelible songs as "Breakdown," "American Girl," "I Need to Know," "Free Fallin'," "Don't Do Me Like That," "Refugee," "The Waiting" and many, many more. As the times changed, Tom and his incredible circle of musicians produced hit after hit after hit, each one making its mark on American, and in turn, world culture. Then came the other projects: the solo albums, The Traveling Wilburys, music in films, various collaborations, more albums and numerous tours with The Heartbreakers. More than 60 million records have been sold along the way, and through it all, Tom's restless creative spirit has shone through each project with constantly renewed vigor and a firm belief in the power of music. He has always worn the sheer thrill he gets from making music with his friends on his sleeve.

The 31st annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards will also honor the songwriters and publishers of the most performed songs of 2013. Top awards will be given out for Songwriter of the Year, Song of the Year and Publisher of the Year. As was previously announced, Grammy Award-winning band fun. will receive the ASCAP Vanguard Award, which recognizes the impact of musical genres that help shape the future of American music.

Once again this year, ASCAP's Pop Music Awards will precede the annual ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO, a three-day conference dedicated to songwriting and composing. The 9th annual EXPO will take place April 24th-26th, 2014 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel, in Los Angeles, CA. A wide range of music creator and industry panelists have already been announced, including Dr. Luke, Amy Grant and Glen Ballard. For more details, please visit

Member of the press can request event credentials for the 31st annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards by visiting

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP's mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world's best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business -- from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With 500,000 members representing more than 9 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members.

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