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Don Williams was honored with the Golden Note Award and Brad Paisley was named Songwriter/Artist of the Year for the second time by performing rights society ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) at its 49th annual Country Music Awards Sunday night (Nov. 6) at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville.
A special musical tribute to Don included performances by Keith Urban, who, joined by Little Big Town, honored him with a rendition of “We’ve Got a Good Fire Goin’”; Lee Ann Womack, performing “Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good"; as well as the honoree himself, who delighted the audience by performing "I Believe in You" and “Tulsa Time.”
Past recipients of the Golden Note Award include Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, JD Souther, Stevie Wonder, André Previn and Tom Petty, among others.
Brad Paisley won his second ASCAP Country Songwriter/Artist of the Year award—he first won the award in 2004.
The writers of country music’s most performed songs of the period between April 2010 and March 2011 were honored before an audience of many of Nashville’s most distinguished songwriters, top country stars and music industry leaders.
The evening’s top honors were awarded to the following:
Songwriter of the Year: Ben Hayslip
Songwriter/Artist of the Year: Brad Paisley
Country Song of the Year: “The House That Built Me,”
written by Allen Shamblin; published by Built On Rock
A total of 36 song honors were handed out while interspersed with special performances by the writers of the year’s Top 5 most performed songs. Those performances included “All Over Me,” by Ben Hayslip and Josh Turner; “Gimmie That Girl,” by Ben Hayslip, Rhett Akins and Dallas Davidson (recorded by Joe Nichols); “The House That Built Me,” by Allen Shamblin (recorded by Miranda Lambert); “The Man I Want to Be,” performed by Brett James, Tim Nichols and Chris Young; and “Roll With It,” by Tony Lane and Johnny Park (recorded by Easton Corbin). The show kicked off with reigning ASCAP Country Songwriter/Artist of the Year, Dierks Bentley, performing his current single, “Home.”
The ASCAP Global Impact Award—a special award for a song that has had significant impact on multiple formats during the year—honored Josh Kear, Big Yellow Dog Publishing and Darth Buddha for “Need You Now” (Lady Antebellum).
Songwriters and artists in attendance at the star-studded event included Don Williams, Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban, Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, Kenny Loggins, Josh Turner, Chris Young, Little Big Town, Allen Shamblin, John Rich, Lee Ann Womack, Jerrod Niemann, Brett James, Radney Foster, David Nail, Love and Theft, Brent Anderson, Wade Bowen, Jason Jones, Mike Reid, Eric Paslay, Laura Bell Bundy, Kip Moore, Drake White, Ashley Gearing, Bucky Covington and Whitney Duncan.