ASCAP Presents Christian Music Awards

(L-R): publisher Barry Coburn, ASCAP's Michael Martin, Christian Songwriter of the Year Ben Glover, Christian Songwriter/Artist of the Year Josh Wilson, and ASCAP VP/GM Nashville Marc Driskill

ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) saluted the songwriters and publishers of Christian music’s most performed songs at its 34th annual Christian Music Awards held last night (3/19) at Richland Country Club in Nashville.

The evening’s top honors went to:
ASCAP Christian Songwriter of the Year: Ben Glover
ASCAP Christian Songwriter/Artist of the Year: Josh Wilson (Sparrow Records)
ASCAP Christian Song of the Year: “Glorious Day,” written by Michael Bleecker; published by Word Music Publishing, performed by Casting Crowns
ASCAP Christian Publisher of the Year: EMI CMG Publishing

Twenty-four most performed song honors were handed out by ASCAP Nashville’s Michael Martin, LeAnn Phelan and Ryan Beuschel. Several award winners gave memorable performances, including Josh Wilson singing “Jesus Is Alive,” Dara Maclean offering “Home,” and Moriah Peters showcasing “Well Done.”

(L-R): Michael Martin, Barry Coburn, Michael W. Smith, Marc Driskill, Wayland Holyfield, and Greg Ham

ASCAP Vice President and General Manager, Nashville Marc Driskill presented Ben Glover with his second Songwriter of the Year award. Glover co-penned four of the Most Performed songs of the past year: “Stronger” and “Waiting For Tomorrow” (Mandisa), “Dear X” (Disciple), and “I Refuse” (Josh Wilson). Glover has had 11 No. 1 songs, with cuts by artists including Trace Adkins, Brandon Heath, Lee Brice, Steve Holy, Marc Broussard, and Gloriana. He currently has five singles on the Billboard chart.

ASCAP Song of the Year honors went to “Glorious Day.” Michael Bleecker at The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas reinvented the 1910 hymn “One Day,” originally written by John Wilbur Chapman. The song is published by Word Music Publishing and the recording by Casting Crowns has been extremely successful on Christian radio.

Sparrow Records artist Josh Wilson was honored with the ASCAP Songwriter/Artist of the Year award. His third studio album, See You, was met with critical praise and featured the hits “I Refuse,” “Fall Apart,” and “Jesus Is Alive,” all of which earned Most Performed honors. Wilson’s major label debut was released in 2008.

ASCAP Publisher of the Year honors went to EMI CMG Publishing for the ninth consecutive time and by coincidence, the company had nine of the Most Performed songs: “Dear X (You Don’t Own Me),” “I Lift My Hands,” “Jesus Is Alive,” “Stronger,” “The Way,” “I Refuse,” “Waiting For Tomorrow,” “Fall Apart,” and “The Redeemer.”

Songwriters and artists in attendance included Michael W. Smith (who offered the opening prayer), Matthew West, Brandon Heath, Jason Gray, Sanctus Real, Shawn McDonald, Chris August, April Geesbregh and Phillip LaRue.

(L-R): ASCAP's Marc Driskill, artist Dara Maclean, artist Mandisa and ASCAP's LeAnn Phelan

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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