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Songwriters fest fails to carry a tune

Everyone showed up late to the party

Perhaps it was because everyone knew who the winners were well before the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards were doled out Friday night. But everyone was late to the party. The wind whistled through the ballroom at the Beverly Hilton at the scheduled start time; finally, more than an hour later, the show began.

And what an odd show it was. The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers handed out a slew of awards, including for rap song and gospel song, but didn’t allow any of the winners to speak. Celebs just came to the stage, grabbed their plaque, posed for a photo and sat down. Only a special few, including Vanguard Award winner Janelle Monae and Founders Award honoree Dr. Dre, were actually allowed to speak.

And no one played any real music or instruments, either, despite the presence of Eminem, Prince, Big Boi, Keyshia Cole and a gaggle of other top tunesmiths. Instead, Dondria, Gucci Mane and Miguel each did a totally canned-music tune, mouthing out the words while the bored audience chattered loudly.

As Dr. Dre exclaimed while chomping on gum as he accepted his award, “This is the shit!”

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