Songs Of Hope XI Honors Bacharach, Natalie Cole, Charlie XCX, Aloe Blacc, Christophe Beck
June 12, 2015 at 11:59 AM (PT)
The music publishing industry turned out in force for last night's SONGS OF HOPE XI, a fund-raiser for the CITY OF HOPE's research to fight cancer, for the second consecutive year at RON FAIR's magnificent BRENTWOOD home (NET NEWS 5/20).
Preceded by a silent auction, the evening is structured as a night to honor songwriters, with various awards configured around a set of performances. With MC JIMMY JAM holding forth after a brief word from co-chairs UMPG's EVAN LAMBERG, SPIRIT MUSIC GROUP's DAVID RENZER, ELECTRONIC ARTISTS' STEVE SCHNUR and DOUG DAVIS, ALOE BLACC took the stage to perform his two hits, "Wake Me Up," his collaboration with AVICII, and the ELTON JOHN-sampled BEATS BY DRE theme, "The Man," before accepting the CONTEMPORARY SONGWRITER AWARD. BLACC gave a nod to a beaming LL COOL J in the audience, recalling how the rapper's "Bigger And Deffer" album was an early inspiration when he was in the fourth grade.
Singer/songwriter PRISCILLA RENEA was introduced by RON FAIR, and she proceeded to pay tribute to honoree BURT BACHARACH with a stunning, sultry, jazz-inflected take on "Alfie," before CLIVE DAVIS hit the stage to present him with the LEGEND IN SONGWRITING AWARD, citing his incredible catalog, from BOBBY VINTON's "Blue on Blue" to "That's What Friends Are For." BACHARACH joined hands with DAVIS onstage, calling them both survivors, and the two both seemed moist-eyed. At one point, BURT recalled CLIVE in the studio during a recording session pointing out the correct "cross-stick" move, claiming, "IRVING AZOFF would never do that," to laughs.
A very fragile-looking NATALIE COLE came onstage, short of breath, to sing the latter, reading the lyrics from a sheet of paper and enlisting an appreciative audience to fill in the lyrical gaps before receiving her own HITMAKER AWARD.
CLIVE then brought up his own protege, 19-year-old phenom AVERY WILSON – whom he first introduced last year and has continued to groom. The teenager proceeded to sing his ballad, “If I Have To," while CLIVE bemoaned the fact a slow song can’t get played on the radio anymore – after defending his own love of hip-hop by citing his experiences with “PUFFY, L.A., OUTKAST and BIGGIE,” the latter bringing an appreciate chuckle.
CHARLIE XCX made a cheeky, but charming acceptance speech after receiving the MARTIN BANDIER 'VANGUARD' AWARD from SONY/ATV Co-Pres. RICK KRIM, while "Frozen" composer CHRISTOPHE BECK was honored by ELECTRIC ARTISTS music exec STEVE SCHNUR with the EA COMPOSER AWARD.
Among those spotted dining on hors d'oeuvres and drinking at the several open bars were RECORDING ACADEMY boss NEIL PORTNOW, mega-lawyer DON PASSMAN, drummer MATT SORUM, ROB ZOMBIE manager ANDY GOULD, PRIMARY WAVE's TOM MAFFEI and MITCH DAVIS, among many others.