Josh Kear was named ASCAP Country Music Songwriter of the Year during the 51st annual ASCAP Country Music Awards which took place November 4 in the Grand Ballroom at Nashville’s Music City Center. The writers of country’s most performed songs between April 2013 and March 2013 were honored during the event. Josh wrote or co-wrote five of the year’s most performed songs.
The night also included a special tribute to George Strait, who was presented with the ASCAP Founders Award. The segment included a musical homage from Garth Brooks, who performed a medley of George’s classic hits. Alan Jackson also sang “Let’s Fall To Pieces Together” and Lee Ann Womack performed a rendition of George’s “Troubadour.” Additionally, George received a special message from President George W. Bush.
“‘King’ George is a genuine musical pioneer and a living legend whose influence on country music is immeasurable,” ASCAP President and Chairman of the Board Paul Williams said. “We are honored to recognize his incredible career with the ASCAP Founders Award.”
Aside from picking up ASCAP Country Music Songwriter of the Year, Josh Kear and his co-writer Chris Tompkins were awarded ASCAP Country Music Song of the Year for “Drunk On You,” recorded by Luke Bryan. ASCAP Country Music Song of the Year also went to Neil Thrasher for “How Country Feels,” recorded by Randy Houser. Warner/Chappell Music Publishing was named ASCAP Country Music Publisher of the Year.
A total of 34 song honors were handed out, with special performances by the writers of the top five most performed songs of the year. Those performances included ”Drunk On You” by Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins; “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” by songwriter Eric Paslay; “How Country Feels” by Neil Thrasher with Wendell Mobley and Randy Houser; “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye” performed by Shane McAnally with Josh Osborne and Brent Anderson; and ”(Kissed You) Good Night” performed by Josh Kear and Gloriana’s Tom Gossin. The show kicked off with a performance by Brandy Clark.
As part of ASCAP’s 100th birthday celebration, kicking off on November 5th, 2013, a short film honoring the art and craft of the music creator was debuted at the event.