The late Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace was honored with the ASCAP Founders Award at performance rights organization’s Rhythm & Soul Music Awards in Los Angeles on Thursday (June 22). The year marks the 30th anniversary of the annual ceremony and the 20th anniversary of Notorious B.I.G.’s March 9, 1997 murder. Faith Evans, the rapper’s widow, accepted the award from Puff Daddy’s sons, Justin and Christian Combs, on Wallace’s behalf along with his children, and former managers and estate consultant, Wayne Barrow and Mark Pitts.
Songwriting and production duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis also received the ASCAP Voice of Music Award, presented by industry icon Clarence Avant and Jon Platt, Chairman and CEO of Warner/Chappell Music. They join previous recipients Mary J. Blige, Diane Warren, Jimmy Webb, and Garth Brooks, among others.
Biggie’s honor as “a musical innovator who possesses a unique style of creative genius which will enrich generations to come,” follows past recipients that include Quincy Jones, Dr. Dre, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Paul McCartney, Patti Smith, and Neil Young.
Of the night’s honors recognizing the songwriters and publishers of the most performed ASCAP songs on the 2016 R&B/hip-hop, rap and gospel charts, the winners included: Sony/ATV as Publisher of the Year, and a tie between Allen Ritter (“Controlla,” Drake; “Work,” Rihanna, more) and Paul “Nineteen85” Jefferies (“For Free,” DJ Khaled & Drake; “Hotline Bling,” Drake, more) for Songwriter of the Year.
‘The Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song of 2016 was “Needed Me,” written by Adam “Frank Dukes” Feeney, Brittany “Starrah” Hazzard, Prince Charlez and Derrus Rachel; The Top Rap Song went to “Controlla,” written by Dwayne “Supa Dups” Chin-quee, Moses Anthony Davis, Donald Anthony Dennis, Gary Lewis Jackson, Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, Allen Ritter, Patrick Leroy Roberts and Matthew “Boi-1da” Samuels; and Top Gospel Song was awarded to “Better,” written by Gabriel J Hatcher II.
Among the music business guests in attendance were: PartyNextDoor, 2 Chainz, Nicci Gilbert, Mike Will Made-It, Yo Gotti, Anthony Brown, Siedah Garrett, Mona Scott-Young, and Keyshia Cole, among others.
See the full list of Rhythm & Soul Awards at the ASCAP site.