ASCAP has announced it will be honoring Electric Light Orchestra frontman Jeff Lynne and founding Blondie members Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Clem Burke at the organizations 2019 Pop Music Awards in Beverly Hills, CA.
May 16th, will see Lynne receive the ASCAP Founders Award. This is the organization’s highest honor and is only given to songwriters who’ve made noteworthy contributions to the music industry by inspiring and influencing other artists to create music.
ASCAP President Paul Williams explained: “Jeff Lynne has led a singular career and we are all fortunate that his musical genius has been felt so widely,” adding: “His legendary stature is well-deserved and ASCAP is very proud to present him with our highest honor.”
As for the Blondie contingent, Harry, Stein, and Burke will all be honored with the ASCAP Golden Note award. This salutes the songwriters, composers, and artists who have achieved exceptional milestones during their career. Blondie more than covers that criteria.
Williams said the Blondie: “electrified an underground music scene and later, mainstream listeners, when they married punk and pop with Debbie’s enviably cool lyrics and voice. Their experimentation with nearly every genre — rock, punk, reggae, rap, disco — anchored by their roots in great songwriting, is what truly sets them apart.”
Lynne joins a long list of heavyweights that have previously won the Founders Award, including: Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, The Eagles’ Glenn Frey and Don Henley, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Smokey Robinson, Rod Stewart, Jackson Browne, Steely Dan, Neil Young, Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Tom Petty, Carly Simon, Patti Smith, John Mellencamp, Annie Lennox and KISS’ Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.
As for the Golden Note honor, Harry, Stein, and Burke join previous winnersLindsay Buckingham, George Michael, and Duran Duran.