Timbaland, Fergie, Gwen Stefani Win Top Honors at ASCAP Awards

April 10, 2008 10:40 AM ET

The 25th Annual ASCAP Pop Awards were held last night at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre. Timbaland received the organization's top pop award, Songwriter of the Year, while Gwen Stefani's "The Sweet Escape" and Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" tied for Song of the Year. Despite all the tumult since their takeover, EMI Music Publishing managed to take home Publisher of the Year. Other artists winning assorted awards were Justin Timberlake, Akon, The-Dream, Ludacris and Nelly Furtado. Additionally, Steve Miller and Lionel Richie were given Golden Note Awards for lifetime achievement. Quincy Jones was on hand to honor Richie, while Les Paul honored Miller via video. Finally, Sara Bareilles took home the Vanguard Award for "helping shape the future of American music."

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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