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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rockers Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, pop singer Jesse McCartney and British songstress Natasha Bedingfield took to the stage at ASCAP's 26th annual pop awards, saluting the songwriters and publishers behind 2008's most popular music.
"Thanks to all in our early days who saw beyond our naivete. We've always been idealistic songbirds," said Ann Wilson of Heart in receiving the ASCAP Founders Award along with sister Nancy, whom she's performed with for 35 years.
The two performed "Sand" from an upcoming album and rock staple "Crazy on You," which along with other Heart hits is enjoying a resurgence of late with the help of "American Idol" and Guitar Hero.
More than 600 songwriters, recording artists and industry members gathered at the Hollywood event on Wednesday, hosted by ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
New ASCAP president and Oscar-winning songwriter Paul Williams and ASCAP chief executive officer John LoFrumento presented Norwegian songwriters/producers Mikkel Eriksen and Tor Hermansen with ASCAP's Songwriter of the Year award.
Eriksen and Hermansen collectively known as Stargate, have penned six of the most performed songs of the past year including Chris Brown's "With You," Ne-Yo's "Closer" and "Miss Independent," Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music" and "Take a Bow," and Jordin Sparks's "Tattoo."
Wyclef Jean received the Creative Voice Award, while song of the year went to songwriters Jesse McCartney and Ryan Tedder for "Bleeding Love." Tedder along with OneRepublic bandmates also performed and collected pop awards for "Apologize" and "Stop and Stare."
Bedingfield performed "Pocketful of Sunshine" which earned her co-writer John Shanks a pop award and McCartney sang his hit "Leavin'," which was penned by Corron Cole, Terius "The Dream" Nash and Christopher "Tricky" Stewart.
The 26th Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards is part of a week of events celebrating the voice of the music creator.