Last night Matthew West was awarded two of the top honors at the 36th annual ASCAP Christian Music Awards. West was named Songwriter of the Year after having an amazing 2013 with his hit song "Hello My Name Is," a record-breaking No. 1 song at Christian radio for 17 weeks. This song also earned West the ASCAP Song of the Year. He was also honored for his song "Already There" as recorded by Casting Crowns. The ASCAP Awards were held at the historic Franklin Theatre recognizing the songwriters and publishers of the year's most-performed Christian music songs. This year marks ASCAP's 100th Anniversary.
"Matthew has again proven that he is at the absolute top of his craft as a songwriter in all genres," shares Chris Farren, West's publisher at Combustion Music. "We couldn't be more proud to be his ongoing partner."
West gave a touching acceptance speech thanking everyone from his producer (Pete Kipely), to his label (Capitol CMG), manager (Method Management), road minister - who happens to be his dad, to his publishers, and wife and two daughters. He also dedicated his award to long-time industry veteran Cindy Wilt who is currently battling cancer.
"Hello" is a song about a young man who was a drug addict, but through rehabilitation and the Teen Challenge program has since recovered and gone on to accomplish great things in his life. Click here to read the complete story that inspired the award-winning song.
"The song is a three minute reminder that we are not our failures," shares West. "We are not even our successes. Of all the names that try to define us, the only title that truly matters is the one given to us by our Creator; children of God. We are children of the one true King!"
West told The Tennessean last night, "I got to give a No. 1 plaque to this young man who told me his story. The fact that he can see how many people that his story has touched, it comes with a really special sense of gratification. Tonight's really a celebration of the power of a true story, and how when we tell our story, we can impact somebody else's life."
West is also currently up for two Billboard Music Awards (Top Christian Artists and Top Christian Songs) as well as three K-LOVE Fan Awards (Male Artist of the Year, Artist of the Year and Song of the Year). These nominations come on the heels of his first nomination and win for an American Music Award in 2013. West's current radio single, "Do Something," is climbing up the radio charts currently in the Top 10 on the National Christian Audience (No. 9) and AC Indicator (No. 3) charts. This is the third single from his Grammy-nominated album Into The Light.