Pink, Sony Publishing's Jon Platt, Busbee to Be Honored at SONA Awards - Upsmag - Magazine News

Pink, Sony Publishing’s Jon Platt, Busbee to Be Honored at SONA Awards

Pink, Sony Music Publishing Chairman/CEO Jon Platt and the late songwriter/producer Busbee will be honored at the Songwriters of North America’s second annual SONA Warrior Awards, taking place as a hybrid celebration comprised of an in-person gala on July 23 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles and a virtual livestream via on July 24. SONA is one of the only advocacy organizations for songwriters, formed by professional songwriters to advocate for fair pay, safety, equality and a collective voice.

The announcement notes that each of the honorees is known for their accomplishments within the industry, the Warrior Awards provide an opportunity to amplify their advocacy. Songwriter and SONA Executive Director Michelle Lewis said: “The Warrior Awards are how we appreciate those champions who volunteer, show up and give back. Our warriors place themselves on the frontlines of a fight. Our industry gives plenty of awards for the work everyone knows about -for hits and successes in full public view. But what about the successes the world doesn’t know about? The help and advocacy, the championing and amplification of causes and voices that are less easily heard.”

Lewis continued of the honorees: “Many know Pink as a chart-topping super star but few are aware of how she’s made activism a priority, supporting PETA, UNICEF and Save the Children. She she’s marched for women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and has become an outspoken champion for mothers. And Jon pretty much single-handedly breathed new life into SONA when the pandemic threatened to shut us down. His support changed everything and set us on the path toward growth and expansion. ”

Yet she saved a special tribute for Michael Busbee (who went by just his last name), the top songwriter-producer who worked with Pink, Gwen Stefani, Kelly Clarkson, Maren Morris, Rascal Flatts and many others, and was nominated for a 2017 Grammy Award for his work on Morris’ debut single, “My Church.” He died of brain cancer in 2019 at the age of just 43.

“For me, this year is particularly personal: Busbee was one of my favorite, go-to co-writers for about a decade, and once we started SONA, he was one of the first to show up,” she said. “Everyone knew him as a gifted songwriter and producer. He was legendary for his drive and his mighty presence in the writing room. Great ideas flowed out of him. He was intense, and could get into some deep and challenging conversations.

“But another lesser-known aspect of Busbee was his activism and advocacy on behalf of his songwriting community,” she continued. “He was on the board of the NSAI, a Governor on the Los Angeles Chapter Board of the Recording Academy and was in our original group of show-er up-ers when we first formed SONA in 2015 and stayed an active member until he passed away in 2019. In 2017-18, when we were all-hands-on-deck to pass the Music Modernization Act, Busbee was part of an inner-circle of songwriters who were each personally tasked with strategizing, lobbying and nailing down co- sponsorships, first from House members and then from senators. He brought every bit of commitment and intensity that he had as a writer to his role as an advocate. His voice memos were legendary.

“Now, the loyalty with which Busbee used to show up for his friends and community is being reflected back in the way his friends and community are showing up for this tribute to him. I shouldn’t be surprised, but after these last two and a half years, filled with so much loss, I guessed it might be somewhat muted. It isn’t. Many of us kept the voice memos. And we remember his work with as much love and gratitude now as we had then. ”

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