TORONTO -- There was a time a few months ago when Avril Lavigne's Complicated seemed to dominate the country's airwaves. So it should come as no surprise the song was among those heard most often on the radio in 2002. The singer, alongside Sam Roberts, Remy Shand and Carolyn Dawn Johnson, was honoured with a Socan Award yesterday.
Presented by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, the awards recognize the songwriters, composers, lyricists and publishers whose work got the most domestic radio, film and television airplay during the previous year.
Tom Cochrane received the National Achievement Award for his success over the course of his career, which included writing the hit songs Life Is a Highway and You're Driving Me Crazy.
"Without Socan collecting royalties we'd have to have other jobs," he said before the gala event at the Art Gallery of Ontario attended by members of the music industry.
"I'm just lucky to have made a living playing the kind of music I want to play and having enough hits to maintain that and be able to continue doing that."
Francophone pop star Robert Charlebois will receive the Wm. Harold Moon Award at a Socan ceremony tomorrow in Montreal honouring music creators from Quebec.
In the pop music category, Lavigne's Complicated was joined by Celine Dion's A New Day Has Come, written by Stephan Moccio, and Brother Down by Roberts.
"This is my first time playing in the international world where Socan's protecting my rights," said Moccio, a Toronto-based composer, producer and musician.
"I was living off television music prior to this, but all of a sudden when you pop the big one, Socan couldn't be playing a more important role to what you do as a songwriter. It's essential."
The most-played country songs included Johnson's You Are; Kenny Chesney's Young, written by Naoise Sheridan; and the Ennis Sisters' I'd Never Walk Away, written by Maureen Ennis.
Hero, the hit song by Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger, was named most-played rock song. Shand's Take a Message received the urban music title. Soul singer Glenn Lewis and pop star Nelly Furtado also won awards.
Lewis, honoured for writing Don't You Forget It, said without Socan he would never have been able to make his Juno-winning debut CD, World Outside My Window.
"I was living off those cheques from doing songs like Bought Your Love, Only Be in Love. That gave us the money to reinvest in ourselves and go back in the studio and cut more songs," he said.
Perhaps the most interesting of the night's presentations were the Socan Classics Awards.
Cochrane's Life Is a Highway reached the 100,000 airplay mark on Canadian radio in 2002 as did Lawrence Gowan's Moonlight Desires and Corey Hart's In Your Soul and Sunglasses at Night. Shirley Eikhard received the same award for penning Bonnie Raitt's hit Something to Talk About.
"Somebody had to keep count," joked Gowan, who hosted last night's ceremony.
In the film categories, Lawrence Shragge took the Domestic made-for-TV-film music award for his works on TV shows like Secrets, Maternal Instinct, Johnny's Girl and The Audrey Hepburn Story. Paul Zaza's domestic feature film music award recognized his scores for Prom Night, Catch a Falling Star, Blackheart, Baby Genuises and Christmas Story.
2003 SOCAN SONGWRITER AWARD WINNERS
Winners of the 2003 Socan songwriter awards, recognizing the greatest number of performances on domestic radio, TV or film in 2002:
Wm. Harold Moon Award: Robert Charlebois
National achievement award: Tom Cochrane
Special achievement award: Brian Chater
Pop music awards: Complicated (performed by Avril Lavigne), composers Avril Lavigne and The Matrix; A New Day Has Come (performed by Celine Dion), composers Stephan Moccio and Aldo Nova; Brother Down (performed by Sam Roberts), composer Sam Roberts.
Country music: You Are (performed by Carolyn Dawn Johnson), composers Carolyn Dawn Johnson and Troy Verges; Young (performed by Kenny Chesney), composers Naoise Sheridan, Steven McEwan and Craig Wiseman; I'd Never Walk Away (performed by The Ennis Sisters), composer Maureen Ennis.
Rock music: Hero (performed by Chad Kroeger and Josey Scott), composer Chad Kroeger.
Urban music: Take a Message (performed by Remy Shand), composer Remy Shand.
Dance music: Supersexworld (performed by One Ton), composers Byron Mikaloff and Cristobal Tapia De Veer.
Folk/roots music: Sea of No Cares (performed by Great Big Sea), composers Alan Doyle, Sean McCann and Chris Trapper.
Jazz/instrumental music: Donnell Leahy.
Concert music: Alexina Louie
Children's music award: Becker
Domestic non-animated television series music: Jack Lenz
International television series music award: Jack Lenz
News and sports television programming music: Jack Lenz
Domestic animated television series music: Milan Kymlicka
Domestic made-for-TV-film music: Lawrence Shragge
Domestic feature film music: Paul Zaza
International film music: Paul Zaza
Specialty television programming music: Danny Friedman