Matthew West won songwriter of the year honors from the ASCAP Christian Music Awards, as he did last year — but unlike 2021, he was able to make it a double-play, also picking up song of the year for his composition “My Jesus.”
It represents the fifth time West has picked up songwriter of the year plaudits. “My Jesus,” which was recorded by Anne Wilson, was one of five numbers that West had showing up in ASCAP’s list of the 50 most played of the year, along with “Look What You’ve Done,” “Scars in Heaven,” “Weary Traveler” and “What If.”
In the past, West has also been given the songwriter-artist of the year award three times. (That award was not given this year.) But his accomplishments this year reflect his work for other recording artists.
West explained in a video acceptance speech: “I cut my teeth as a songwriter back before i got a record deal, and people told me that I would need to lay that down once I became a recording artist — that i couldn’t be an everyday writer and an artist. And that just didn’t sit right with me. I guess my entire career I’ve kind of liked it when people told me I can’t do something.
“So all these years later,” West continued, “I just feel so grateful to write songs and record songs that I’m passionate about, but then also be just as passionate about working with some of my favorite artists, being part of how they share their story with the world. So this award means so much to me and it represents those two different creative outlets that I get as an artist and as a writer.”
The double winner reflected on the circumstances under which his prevailing songs were conceived. “I feel so blessed, especially coming after a couple of hard years… Some of the songs that got awards this year were written in tumultuous times. Some of them were written on Zoom, like the song ‘Weary Traveler,’ written on a Zoom call. it’s pretty crazy. It just proves to me that God truly can work all things for the good.”
West’s awards year isn’t over yet — he has seven nominations for the upcoming Dove Awards.
The publisher of the year award was even less of a surprise, if that’s possible, as Capitol CMG Publishing won the award for the 20th consecutive year.
As in the past few years, the ASCAP Christian Music Awards are being celebrated virtually, with speeches, song performances, interviews and other video content being shared on ASCAP’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube channels.
Among the original videos being shared are an exclusive performance of “My Jesus” as a duet by West and the artist who had the hit with it, Wilson.
The full list of ASCAP’s 50 most played songs of the year in the genre can be found here.