Last night, ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) hosted the 11th annual ASCAP Women Behind the Music event at Bardot in Los Angeles. Presented by the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul department, ASCAP Women Behind the Music was established to recognize and encourage women in the music community and honors not only songwriters and artists, but also female executives in all facets of the entertainment business including managers, attorneys, label executives and music publishers. D'ussé VSOP Cognac, MAC Cosmetics, Cre8tive Bond Event Décor, Tieks Designer Shoes and Mixed Chicks Hair Products partnered with ASCAP to sponsor the event.
Honored this year as major forces in the industry who continue to make an impact on entertainment culture were artist/songwriter Victoria Monét (Ariana Grande, Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown), Roc Nation Co-President Shari Bryant and Capitol Records Vice President of Artist Relations Britney Davis. Guests, media and influencers all joined the honorees to commemorate their various accomplishments.
Lauren Gaspard, ASCAP Associate Director, Rhythm & Soul and event co-host, welcomed the crowd and began the program with a powerful quote from the late actress and activist Diahann Carroll about the strong women that knocked down doors in the entertainment industry to take on influential roles previously held only by men. The honorees then joined Cristina Chavez, ASCAP Associate Director, Rhythm & Soul and event co-host, in a Q&A panel that discussed defining moments in their careers, cultural changes in music and society, and the future of women in entertainment. Each celebrant spoke intimately about their personal story and professional journey in the music industry.
After the discussion, the honorees were presented with personalized plaques from the co-hosts and Nicole George-Middleton, ASCAP Senior Vice President of Membership, Rhythm & Soul. The plaque presentations were followed by a lively reception, with entertainment provided by DJ Osh Kosh.
Previous ASCAP "Women Behind the Music" honorees have included: hip-hop legends Salt-N-Pepa, musician/singer Sheila E., Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Jazmine Sullivan, songwriter/artist Priscilla Renea, actress and Sister Circle co-host Rashan Ali, singer-songwriter Sevyn Streeter, prominent music executive and author Shanti Das, André "3000" Benjamin EVP New Business Development Eufaula Garrett, Roc Nation VP Publishing Dominique Dunn, singer/songwriter K. Michelle, Billboard Senior Editor Gail Mitchell, Motown Records' Vice President of Creative Relations Myisha Brooks, General Manager of Tree Sound Studios Mali Hunter and CEO of Mizay Entertainment Debra Atney.
Below are photos from the night's festivities.
(Photo Credit: Salvador Ochoa)