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Kenny Chesney honored at ASCAP awards

Nashville star says he considers himself a songwriter first
/ Source: The Associated Press

Kenny Chesney won the ASCAP Voice of Music Award at the performing-rights organization’s annual country music awards show.

Chesney performed his song “I Go Back” at the 43rd Annual ASCAP Country Music Awards at the Ryman Auditorium on Monday night.

“First and foremost, I consider myself a songwriter,” Chesney, 37, said in accepting the honor. His new album, “The Road and the Radio,” will be released next month.

Previous recipients of the award, given to songwriters whose music gives people’s lives a voice through song, are Garth Brooks, Amy Grant, George Strait and Diane Warren.

Craig Wiseman of group Rascal Flatts was named ASCAP’s songwriter of the year for singles that include “In a Real Love,” “Live Like You Were Dying,” “Rough and Ready” and “That’s What It’s All About.”

ASCAP named “Live Like You Were Dying,” a Tim McGraw hit on which Wiseman shares writing credit, its song of the year.

Wiseman has written or co-written 90 charted singles and 13 No. 1 country hits throughout his career. This was his second ASCAP songwriter of the year award.

ASCAP’s songwriter/artist of the year is John Rich of duo Big & Rich, who co-wrote “Here for the Party,” “Holy Water,” “Redneck Woman,” “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” and “When I Think About Cheatin.”’

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers is among three U.S. performing-rights organizations that represent songwriters in licensing music and collecting and distributing royalties from play on radio and in television, films, ads and other media.