At the 2023 ASCAP Women Behind The Music event in Atlanta, three women were honored for their contributions to the music industry. The awards were presented by Nicole George-Middleton, SVP of membership for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). The honorees included Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Summer Walker, Love Renaissance executive vice president and general manager Amber Grimes, and Atlantic Records senior director of A&R Sammye-Ruth Scott.
George-Middleton spoke to rolling out, emphasizing the importance of celebrating the hard work and talent of women in the industry, particularly those contributing to urban music and culture. She also called for more appreciation and support from men.
How did it feel to present awards to the three honorees at the ASCAP Women Behind The Music event?
It’s amazing. Women work so hard, and we do so much. There’s so much talent in this industry, and we at ASCAP want to shed light on that talent and celebrate these women when it matters. Summer [Walker] just received her first Grammy nomination; that’s a big deal. We want to celebrate that and let her know that she’s loved and supported. This event is about giving women their flowers when they can smell them.
How did that promote unity?
Black women lift each other up. We lift as we climb. This is why we’re doing this, to lift women up. Not only Black women but women in general. This event particularly is about women who contribute to urban music and women who help move our culture forward. There are many amazing women who are pushing our culture forward and contributing to the soundtracks of our lives right now. They need to be celebrated. They need to understand how appreciated they are. They get us through happy times, they get us through sad times, and they need to know that.
How can Black men better support Black women?
Just say thank you and let us know you see us. Let us know that you appreciate us. We are partners in this thing. We just want to know that you understand that we are working hard and doing what we can. That’s all, it’s simple. We don’t need much.