GOOD WORK: Richie Stephens
REGGAE SINGER, writer and producer Richie Stephens will receive an award at the 34th annual American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Awards in Los Angeles next month.
The award will be the most high-profile honour of Stephens' career so far.
In a letter to the Jamaican crooner Paul Williams, President of ASCAP said:
"I am pleased to inform you that you will be honored at the 34th annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards on Thursday May 18 at The Wiltern in Los Angeles for Work (recorded by Rihanna), which was among the most performed ASCAP pop songs of 2016."
The exclusive, invitation-only gala celebrates the songwriters and publishers of ASCAP members' releases.
It was in January 2016 that Stephens was told his Sail Away riddim, which was released in 1998 on his Pot of Gold label was sampled by pop singer Rihanna on her hit single Work, which featured Drake, offering a cross-pollination of reggae, R&B, pop and Hip-Hop audiences. Stephens was credited as co-writer of the song.
LISTEN TO RICHIE STEPHENS SING TAKE ME AWAY OVER HIS SAIL AWAY RIDDIM, WHICH DRAWS INFLUENCE FROM ALEXANDER O'NEAL'S IF YOU WERE HERE TONIGHT:
Work peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and remained there for nine weeks, becoming Rihanna's fourteenth number one single. The song was also number one in Canada, Brazil, Denmark, France, Netherlands and reached the top five in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Germany.
An elated Stephens remarked:
"I have achieved a lot since I started singing over 40 years ago but this is the first time I am being recognised with a pop award. This is a major award and ranks among my biggest accomplishments to date.
"I would like to thank God for blessing me with this awesome talent. I thank ASCAP for this major international recognition. I must also thank Rihanna, Drake, Boi-1da and everyone who worked on the project; my fans; Jamaica - land we love and most importantly my family for their unconditional support over the years."
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