Singer/songwriter ASHLEY GORLEY walked away with the top prize at the ASCAP Country Music Awards on Monday night (19Oct09) when he was named Songwriter of the Year.
Gorley was hailed for his writing talents at the annual ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee after penning a slew of the genre's recent big hits, including Trace Adkins' You're Gonna Miss This and Brad Paisley and Keith Urban's Start A Band.
Adkins' song also claimed the Song of the Year accolade, and the singer admitted he was overcome with emotion when he first heard the track.
Adkins told the audience, "The first time I heard You're Gonna Miss This, we were getting ready for my daughter's wedding. I got choked up."
Alan Jackson was named ASCAP's top songwriter/artist and J.D. Souther was presented with the Golden Note Award, a prize handed to musicians who have achieved extraordinary career milestones.
Paying tribute to Souther, his longtime pal Jackson Browne said, "J.D. is one of the most literate, expressive songwriters I've ever heard. He's also one of the most influential writers in this whole genre of music."
The night saw performances from Alan Jackson, Clay Mills, Tommy Karlas and Don Sampson.