Matthew West, Joel Smallbone, and Colby Wedgeworth and Fair Trade Music were among the big winners at the 39th Annual ASCAP Christian Music Awards Tuesday night (Sept. 19) at the Franklin Theater in downtown Franklin, Tennessee.
Hosted by ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews, ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams, Executive Vice President of Membership John Titta and Vice President of Nashville Membership Michael Martin, the evening celebrated the songwriters and publishers of Christian music’s most performed songs of the past year.
Reba McEntire made a special appearance to present the Song of the Year award to writer Wedgeworth and publisher Fair Trade Music for “The River,” and West received his second ASCAP Christian Music Songwriter of the Year award, having previously claimed the title in 2014. He also earned three ASCAP most-performed song awards for his own chart-topping single, “Mended,” as well as “One Step Away,” recorded by Casting Crowns and “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again,” recorded by Danny Gokey.
Smallbone earned his first ASCAP Christian Music Songwriter-Artist of the Year award and two ASCAP most-performed song awards for hits “Priceless” and “It’s Not Over Yet,” recorded by For King & Country. Matthews presented the ASCAP Christian Music Publisher of the Year Award to Capitol CMG Publishing, which claimed the award for the 15th consecutive year with an impressive nine award-winning titles.
Performers on the show included Jordan Feliz with Wedgeworth on “The River,” as well as Hannah Kerr, Ryan Stevenson, Emily Weisband, and Matthew West with Randy Phillips.