Richie, Miller honored at ASCAP awards


Lionel Richie didn't dance on the ceiling, and Steve Miller didn't fly like an eagle, but both veterans seemed pretty thrilled to pick up lifetime achievement honors at a music industry awards show in Hollywood on Wednesday.

Richie and Miller received Golden Note Awards during the 25th annual Pop Music Awards organized by ASCAP, an organization that collects public-performance royalties for its member songwriters and copyright owners.

The black-tie event, which took place at the Kodak Theatre, honors the writers and publishers of ASCAP's most-performed compositions during the past year. R&B producer Timbaland was named songwriter of the year, while Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" and Gwen Stefani featuring Akon's "The Great Escape" shared the award for song of the year.

Miller took to the stage to perform six songs, including such '70s hits as "The Joker" and "Fly Like an Eagle," accompanied by his eponymous band.

In accepting his award, the rock guitarist said: "I never saw myself receiving any awards or doing anything."

Richie, who did not perform, paid tribute to his former bandmates in the Commodores, the Motown hitmaking machine from which he launched a hugely successful solo career in the 1980s. Pondering a video retrospective that preceded the presentation, Richie joked that the only thing he wished he could go back and change was his hairstyle.

Timbaland was unable to accept his award in person, sending a message that said he was busy mixing the new solo album by former Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell.

Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie recalled that she came up with "Boys Don't Cry" five years ago while she was living at her mother's place and collecting unemployment benefits.