ASCAP President Scolds Digital Music Industry at Pop Awards: 'The Bastards Aren't Paying Us Enough'

Paul Williams ASCAP Pop Awards - H 2013
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Paul Williams ASCAP Pop Awards - H 2013

As the performance rights organization honored 2012's top songwriters and producers, chairman and "We've Only Just Begun" co-writer Paul Williams jabbed, "We deserve to be compensated fairly. ... Give us our money!"

Songwriter/producer Max Martin, who topped The Hollywood Reporter's own Hitmakers list this year, fun.’s Andrew Dost and Nate Ruess and music publisher Sony/ATV, which acquired EMI Music Publishing in 2012, were among the many award recipients at the 30th annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards.

Held Wednesday night at the recently renamed Loews Hotel in Hollywood, the event honored the many songwriters, composers and music publishers of the most performed ASCAP songs on the 2012 pop charts. Martin won Songwriter of the Year for the third consecutive year and sixth time overall. Among his recent hits: Katy Perry's "Part of Me" and "Wide Awake" and Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."

“More music is being used … and the bastards aren’t paying us enough," jabbed ASCAP president and chairman Paul Williams during his opening remarks. "That’s not on the [cue] cards. There would be no music, no streaming without songwriters and composers who deserve to make a living from their art. We deserve to be compensated fairly. Damn it, we earned it. Give us our money!”

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On a lighter note, the iconic late songwriter Hal David, a former ASCAP president and board member, was paid a loving tribute by Williams, which was followed by a performance rendition of David’s classic, “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” by indie pop duo The Bird and The Bee.
Upon receiving the ASCAP Vanguard award, producer/DJ Diplo said: “Thank you to everyone here. Because 2013 is a great year -- there is so much great music coming out. And everyone who believed in me early on… Big shout out to everyone in here who is a great songwriter. Very proud to be here with you guys.”

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Due to a scheduling conflict with their Australian tour, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry were unable to appear last night, receiving the ASCAP Founders Award from Williams earlier in the month.
The 30th annual ASCAP Pop Awards is held the night before the organization’s eighth annual “I Create Music” Expo. The three-day conference starts today and runs through April 20.

Twitter: @THRMusic