Stevie Wonder to be Honored by ASCAP with Inaugural “Key of Life” Award at “I Create Music” Expo in Los Angeles

Stevie Wonder (photo via hookedoneverything.com)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, announced today that it will honor legendary musician Stevie Wonder with its inaugural “Key of Life” Award at this year’s ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO in Los Angeles, April 13 – 15, where Wonder will also appear in a keynote “I Create Music” session.

The “Key of Life” Award celebrates Wonder’s incomparable, peerless contributions to the world through his music. In the future, the honor will be presented to songwriters and composers who best exemplify his legacy through their commitment to the art form he elevated through his talent, dedication and unparalleled heart.

“Stevie has deservedly been given every award imaginable,” said ASCAP President Paul Williams. “Yet he continues to innovate and elevate the art of songwriting to the point where no honor can truly capture what he means to his creative kin at ASCAP, and to songwriters and music lovers worldwide. This award has been created as a way to honor his singularly inspirational songwriting career and to recognize his spirit in generations to come.”

The 25-time Grammy winner has been an ASCAP member for the better part of five decades, amassing more than 60 Billboard Hot 100 hits during his time with the performing rights organization, including eternal anthems like “Superstition,” “My Cherie Amour,” “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” Wonder received ASCAP’s highest individual prize, the Founders Award, in 1984, and was honored during the organization’s 100th birthday celebrations with a once-in-a-lifetime Centennial Award.

Now in its 12th year, ASCAP’s “I Create Music” EXPO is the United States’ largest conference for songwriters, composers, artists and producers in all music genres. Last year’s conference was the most well attended in EXPO history, attracting 3,000 participants from up-and-comers to GRAMMY winners.

For more information on the ASCAP EXPO and to register for this year’s conference, visit: https://www.ascap.com/expo.

Salt-N-Pepa Celebrates 30 years in Music With ASCAP Honor This Week

Members Cheryl James (Salt) and Sandra Denton (Pepa) and DJ Spinderella (Deidre Roper) paved the way for women in hip hop. (photo via dailynews.com)

It’s been 30 years and Salt-N-Pepa is still pushing it.  Cheryl James (Salt) and Sandra Denton (Pepa), who splashed onto the music scene in 1985, will be honored by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers on Wednesday night.”It feels amazing to be coming up on 30 years in the game and have our work still acknowledged and respected as pioneers in music,” James told the Daily News.

Fresh off of a sold-out show in Winnipeg, Canada, the rap stars said they are still blown away by fans who line up to greet them at the airport .

“I don’t know how they know what flight we’re on, but the fans are always there at baggage claim,” Denton said. “They keep old CDs and other things forever to have us autograph.”

They were once called Super Nature and an answer song to Doug E. Fresh’s “The Show” called “The Showstopper” transformed them from unknowns to nationally-known rap artists.

“The first time we heard that song on the radio we were driving down the boulevard in Queens,” James reflected. “Pep hopped out of the car in the middle of the street and I was screaming at her to get back in the car.”

From that point on the ball kept rolling with top-selling albums including “Hot Cool & Vicious,” “Black’s Magic,” and “Very Necessary.”

Additionally, before the Spice Girls, TLC or Destiny’s Child came along, they owned the girl power theme with songs including “Expression,” “Independent,” “None of Your Business” and “Ain’t Nuthin’ But a She Thing.”

They also inspired a generation of young women to take risks – and nothing says teetering on the edge like coming home with an extreme buzz cut.

“The asymmetrical hairstyle was a hit,” Denton says about her iconic look. “We still have fans coming up to us saying they shaved off their hair. We brought fashion, fun and femininity to hip hop.”

Along with crazy haircuts, came wild threads. A mix of masculine and feminine style elements via slouchy jackets and leotards dictated the trends.

Salt-N-Pepa marks 30 years in music biz with ASCAP "Women in Music" honor.

“Nowadays everyone has a stylist – we were raw; wearing 8 ball jackets with kente hats and spandex,” Denton says. “It’s a quintessential look that everyone loved.”

The duo plans to translate their style into an athletic wear line. “This is Pep’s brilliant baby that was inspired by our song ‘Push It,’” James said. “We are into being healthy and staying motivated.”

James says she’s even gone to a few fitness classes that were themed after the song. “It’s become more than a song; it’s a lifestyle. There are so many obstacles in life that you have to keep pushing through.”

Asked to describe the journey in one word, Denton says “experience,” James, “blessed.”

article by Candace Amos via nydailynews.com