NMPA Announces 2012 Award Honorees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / June 13, 2012

GRAMMY® Award Winner Steve Cropper, U.S. Rep. Mel Watt to Receive Awards at Annual Gathering in New York City

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) will honor two individuals for their respective contributions to the U.S. music publisher and songwriter industry during NMPA’s annual meeting today.

Steve Cropper, GRAMMY® Award Winner, Songwriters Hall of Fame member and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, is receiving the 2012 Songwriter Icon Award, which recognizes outstanding songwriters for personal achievement and who personify the vision of NMPA and the goals of its members.

U.S. Rep. Mel Watt, the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet, will be named the 2012 President’s Award winner. The President’s Award recognizes an individual who has been a leader on issues of importance to music publishers and songwriters, and who works diligently to strengthen intellectual property protection.

“The NMPA is pleased and privileged to recognize Steve Cropper and U.S. Rep. Mel Watt for their achievements in their respective professions,” said NMPA President and CEO David Israelite. “At first glance it may appear that these two individuals are very different. Steve’s illustrious music career has led him to the Hall of Fame while Mel’s distinguished public service career has most recently been spent in the halls of Congress. But these two do have one thing in common: unwavering dedication to the creative spirit and to those who generate it. And it’s for that reason that we honor them today.”

Cropper made his musical debut on American Bandstand in 1961, and, together with Booker T & the MGs, wrote the number one hit, “Green Onions.” In the years to follow he co-wrote some of music’s biggest classics such as “Knock On Wood,” “Midnight Hour,” and in 1967 the legendary “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” with friend Otis Redding. This established Cropper as a songwriting legend.

Beyond writing, Cropper’s unparalleled guitar work can be heard on the albums of stars such as Rod Stewart, Peter Frampton, Art Garfunkel and Ringo Starr, among others. He also has toured with such greats as Neil Young and Jimmy Buffett. In the late 70s, Cropper began his now famous work as an original of the Blues Brothers Band, appearing in both major motion pictures and numerous TV shows.

In a recent issue of MOJO Magazine, Cropper was listed the number two guitarist of all time. Only Jimi Hendrix ranked higher. Among many accolades, Cropper has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame.

Watt has represented North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District since 1992. He became one of only two African American members elected to Congress from North Carolina in the 20th century. Watt is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, on which he is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet and  serves on the Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law.

Watt signed on to co-sponsor the Stop Online Piracy Act late last year and remained a strong supporter of the legislation and the philosophies behind it including enforcement tools for online piracy which would enable the U.S. justice system to go after criminal operatives.

Watt is also on the House Financial Services Committee, on which he serves on the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit and the Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity. Watt was unanimously elected and served as the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (2005-2006).

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About the NMPA

Founded in 1917, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) is the trade association representing American music publishers and their songwriting partners. The NMPA’s mandate is to protect and advance the interests of music publishers and songwriters in matters relating to the domestic and global protection of music copyrights.

About the Songwriter Icon Award

The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) established the Songwriter Icon Award in 2006 to recognize outstanding songwriters for personal achievement and who personify the vision of NMPA and the goals of its members. Past recipients include Richard Marx, Diane Warren, Kara DioGuardi, Amy Lee, Neil Sedaka and Jimmy Webb.

About the President’s Award

The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) established the President’s Award in 2005 to recognize an individual who has been a leader on issues of importance to music publishers and songwriters, and who works diligently to strengthen intellectual property protection. Past recipients include Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Senator Lamar Alexander (R- TN), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT , Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT).