Friday, June 30, 2006

an ascap golden note

The 19th annual ASCAP awards were held Monday night at the Beverly Hilton in LA, a star-studded affair hosted by Ciara. LL Cool J received a Golden Note Award, and Bill Withers, author of hits like "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Lean on Me," took home the Heritage Award.

Accepting his Golden Note, LL free-styled, calling on members of the "fraternity" of music to resist the siren song of celebrity meaninglessness. "Don’t forget to be an artist. Don’t forget to say what you want to say and not what they want you to say." He called on the industry to "create instead of compete" to "leave a legacy of music for the next generation" and a "new renaissance of people."

And what better venue for the message than a music award show-- a place where hierarchy is as tangible as hair extensions and makeup, where you're either one of the somebodies pressed by paparazzi or... well, you ain't.

Withers broke comical for his acceptance: "I would say something profound but LL already said it all." Thunderous laughter and applause.

The event was spectacular but also in parts informal. Some came in jeans. Others, like Destiny's Child singer Michelle Williams, came in full evening attire. Rapper/Producer Missy Elliot kept it unique with a bright orange and sky-blue silky headrap and shirt that matched. Other celeb attendees included: Jagged Edge, Jermaine Dupri, who won Songwriter of the Year, Mary Mary, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Webbie, David Banner, Tank, Chingy, Lil' Mo, New Edition, and Xcape.

Reported by staff whizkid Vanessa Mizell.

Images: (1) LL; (2) and (3) Destiny's Child's Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams; (4) Terry Lewis; (5) Jagged Edge.

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