ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards 2024 Honor Usher, Victoria Monét, Lil Baby, And More

ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) held its annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards during BET Awards week on Thursday (June 27).

This year, Lil Baby was named Songwriter of The Year for his hits “Forever,” “Freestyle,” and “Heyy,” while Usher was named Voice of the Culture and Victoria Monét took home the Vanguard Award and a win for “On My Mama.” The “Nice & Slow” crooner also scored wins for “GLU” and “Good Good.”

When speaking on his new title as the “Voice of The Culture,” Usher exclusively told VIBE, it “feels good,” noting, “I mean, I’m not certain if it’s what I’ve done right now or what I’ve done my entire career, but I’m happy that I could get this honor. I’m very happy, very humble. I’m very fortunate to be able to continue to have fans that have followed me for 30+ years. I’m happy that I’m able to share this moment with my family and just really happy to be able to be that voice of culture.”

Jermaine Dupri gave the opening remarks to Usher, saying he’s “constantly explored and redefined what it means to be a cutting edge music creator and artist.” Usher spoke on how it takes a supportive village who believes in and trusts your vision to get to where he is. “You know what it is to dream of things that become reality, whether you’re talking about your own experiences or talking for the culture,” said the crooner.

He also looked back on the time when he presented the same award to Dupri and called the moment “full circle.”

For the JAGUAR II singer, she reflected on the early days of her career where she created her ASCAP account to submit her demos. “You have really been apart of the journey the whole time. So, to receive this honor from you guys means everything […] The words associated with vanguard are trailblazer, innovator, pioneer, pathfinder— it means to be on the front line and lead and though I do view myself as a leader of the conglomerate of my creativity and vision and movement, my brilliant team stands right beside me, never behind me. We all have been on the very frontline together on this war on success. It truly takes a strong team to go from underdog to vanguard.”

Monét thanked ASCAP for “championing creativity, innovation and music and for literally being financial support for songwriters in times when things are unfavorable and tough.” She praised their dedication as it helps “fuel” songwriters’ and composers’ passion, adding, “And it is because of organizations like ASCAP where artists like myself can continue to dream boldly and create fearlessly.”

In addition to the winners, the event has featured guests including Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Alex Isley, The Isley Brothers, Leon Thomas, Smokey Norful, Erica Campbell, T.I., Golden Brooks, Camper, and Omarion.

Check out more highlights from the 2024 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards below.