Drake, Gordon Lightfoot, Carly Rae Jepsen Among Honourees at 25th Anniversary SOCAN Awards

TORONTO, June 10, 2014 /CNW/ - Hugely successful Canadian songwriters Drake, Gordon Lightfoot, Ian Thomas, Bill Henderson and Carly Rae Jepsen will be among the prestigious award-winners at the 25th anniversary SOCAN Awards on June 16th at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.

The SOCAN Awards recognize the accomplishments of Canadian songwriters in Pop/Rock, Dance, Urban, Country, Jazz, Folk/Roots, Classical, Film & Television, and International categories, celebrating Canada's highest achievers in music creation and publishing.

Drake has sold more than five-million albums worldwide, topping Billboard's Hot 100 Chart with each of his last three records. The Toronto-native will receive the inaugural "Global Inspiration Award" at the June 16th gala. As an unofficial ambassador and tireless promoter for Canada, and the Greater Toronto Area, Drake has created a vibrant and thriving hip-hop music industry in this country, with more than 60 collaborators who also will be honoured at The SOCANs.

Gordon Lightfoot is a recipient of 16 SOCAN Awards, 16 JUNO Awards, a Companion of the Order of Canada, and the writer of almost 300 published songs, including some of the world's most loved works such as "Early Morning Rain," "Sundown" and "Carefree Highway." Lightfoot will be presented with the SOCAN Lifetime Achievement Award for an extraordinary career that spans more than 50 years.

Carly Rae Jepsen has exploded on the music scene worldwide, and the video for her song "Call Me Maybe" has now been viewed more than half-a-billion times throughout the globe on YouTube. The song reached the Number One spot on both the Canadian Hot 100 and U.S. Billboard charts, while also topping lists in no fewer than 19 other countries. Jepsen, with her co-writers Tavish Crowe and Josh Ramsay, will be celebrated with SOCAN's International Achievement Award.

A consummate songwriter, Ian Thomas will be fêted at the gala with SOCAN's National Achievement Award. His best-known hit song, "Painted Ladies," reached the Top Five on the Canadian charts, and he attained four other Top 40 hits as a solo artist in the 1970s and '80s. Thomas's songs have been covered by Santana, Bette Midler and Chicago, while the group America had a Top 20 U.S. hit with "Right Before Your Eyes," and Daryl Braithwaite had a Top 10 hit in Australia with "As the Days Go By."

Bill Henderson is best known for his work with Chilliwack, and will be honoured with the SOCAN Special Achievement Award. As lead singer, guitarist, producer and songwriter with one of Canada's top recording groups of the 1970s and '80s, Henderson was a driving force in the success of Chilliwack. Songs such as "Fly At Night" and "Whatcha Gonna Do" earned their places in the Top 10 on the Canadian charts, while "My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone") went straight to Number One in Canada and the Top 20 in the U.S.

"We're thrilled to honour such a wide variety of exceptional songwriters with SOCAN Achievement Awards," said Eric Baptiste, CEO of SOCAN. "Each music creator exemplifies what is so fantastic about Canadian songwriting, and each has earned every accolade he or she is receiving on June 16th."

At the event, SOCAN will present for the first time its unique new trophy for achievement award recipients. "The SOCAN" is the world's first music industry trophy that is also a serious musical instrument, incorporating five custom bronze crotales in the key of C handcrafted by New Brunswick-based SABIAN, makers of the world's finest cymbals.

Canada outpaces many other countries for the number of high-achieving and popular songwriters and composers per capita, and music creation is the lifeblood of a multi-billion-dollar industry in Canada. The SOCAN Awards are a who's-who of the Canadian music industry, with performances by several prominent artists.

The full list of this year's SOCAN Award winners will be announced the morning of Tuesday, June 17th.

This year's sponsors are Gowlings, SiriusXM, Stingray Digital Group, KPMG, RBC and NOW.

SOCAN is a member-based organization that represents the Canadian performing rights of more than three-million Canadian and international music creators and publishers. SOCAN is proud to play a leading role in supporting the long-term success of its more than 120,000 Canadian members, and the Canadian music industry overall. SOCAN licenses more than 125,000 businesses in Canada, and distributes royalties to its members and music rights organizations around the world. SOCAN also distributes royalties to its members for the use of their music internationally in collaboration with its peer societies. www.socan.ca

Image with caption: "Achievement award recipients to receive "The SOCAN", the world's first music industry trophy that's an actual playable instrument. (CNW Group/SOCAN)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140610_C9231_PHOTO_EN_41216.jpg


For further information:

Media Contacts
SOCAN: Michael Critchley, 416.445.8700, ext. 3784, critchleym@socan.ca; Amal Yassir, 416.445.8700, ext. 3747, yassira@socan.ca

Touchwood Public Relations (for SOCAN): Jennifer Rashwan, 416-593-0777 ext. 205, jennifer@touchwoodpr.com


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