ASCAP taps Ballard songwriter of year

Record producer-songwriter Glen Ballard was named songwriter of the year by the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers during the performers’ rights org’s 14th annual Pop Music Awards.

Ballard, who co-produced and co-wrote Alanis Morissette’s Grammy-winning debut “Jagged Little Pill,” was given the honor during the dinner gala held Monday at the Beverly Hilton hotel.

He was feted for his contributions to the disc on such tracks as “You Oughta Know,” “Hand In My Pocket,” “Ironic” and “Learn.”

“Each of the writers and publishers we honored combine an uncommon creativity with a true innovative spirit, which has put them on the cutting edge of contemporary music,” said Marilyn Bergman, chairman and prexy of ASCAP. “We are proud that they are such a special part of the ASCAP family.”

Publisher-of-the-year honors went to both EMI Music Publishing and Warner/Chappell, which tied for the nod by having stakes in many of the industry’s most performed songs of the past year.

Legendary songwriter Bernie Taupin nabbed the org’s Golden Word Award in recognition of “his extraordinary contribution to the art and craft of lyric writing.”

Taupin, who co-penned many of Elton John’s most memorable tunes, such as “Daniel,” was presented the award by Bruce Hornsby and John Hiatt.

Producer/songwriter Walter Afanasieff picked up song-of-the-year honors for scribbling “One Sweet Day;” while Beck and the Presidents of the United States picked up the ASCAP college radio award for “their achievement in the college radio marketplace.”

Also picking up ASCAP performance nods were Diane Warren, who penned the Celine Dion-warbled track “Because You Loved Me” (featured in the film “Up Close & Personal”), the Gin Blossoms, Natalie Merchant, TLC and Hootie & the Blowfish, among others.

Songs with the greatest number of performance credits (from being played on radio or used on TV or in films) that were released during Oct. 1, 1995 through Sept. 30, 1996 were eligible for recognition.

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