Diane Warren Pays Tribute to Ronni Chasen at Palm Springs Festival

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"She helped make the festival what it was -- and I wouldn't be where I am without her," the songwriter says during acceptance speech at awards gala.

PALM SPRINGS -- Diane Warren paid tribute to her friend, the late publicist Ronni Chasen, during her acceptance speech at the Palm Springs International Film Festival's awards gala Saturday night.

The prolific songwriter, who received the Frederick Lowe Music Award, noted the work that Chasen had done for the festival over the years.

"I want to take a moment to honor my friend Ronni Chasen," Warren said in her acceptance speech. "She was amazing and very involved with this festival for the last 10 years. She helped make it what it was -- and I wouldn't be where I am without her."

After Chasen was shot and killed in November while driving her car in Beverly Hills, the festival offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of her murderer. In December, Beverly Hills police stated that they believed the murder was the result of a random, botched robbery by Harold Smith, whom they believe acted alone. Smith killed himself while being presented with a search warrant last month in the lobby of his apartment building.

Warren was among several honorees at the festival's awards gala.

Javier Bardem was presented with the International Star Award, which he dedicated to Michael Douglas, without explanation.

Douglas, who revealed last year that he was being treated for cancer, is set to receive the Palm Springs festival's Icon Award on Thursday. 

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