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Chesney, Wiseman, Rich Win ASCAP Awards

Performer Kenny Chesney (search) won the ASCAP (search) Voice of Music Award at the agency's annual country music awards show. Chesney, the current Country Music Association entertainer of year, performed his song "I Go Back" for ASCAP's 43rd Annual Country Music Awards show Monday night at Ryman Auditorium.

"First and foremost, I consider myself a songwriter," Chesney said in accepting his award. Only four others have been given the Voice of Music Award — performers Garth Brooks, Amy Grant and George Strait and songwriter Diane Warren.

ASCAP's show is to be followed Tuesday night the BMI awards ceremony.

BMI and ASCAP are among three U.S. performing-rights organizations, which represent songwriters in licensing music and collecting and distributing royalties from play on radio and in television, films, ads and other media.

Craig Wiseman (search) of group Rascal Flatts was named ASCAP's songwriter of the year for singles that include "In A Real Love," "Live Like You Were Dying," "Rough And Ready" and "That's What It's All About." ASCAP named "Live Like You Were Dying," a Tim McGraw hit on which Wiseman shares writing credit, its song of the year.

Wiseman has written or co-written 90 charted singles and 13 No. 1 country hits throughout his career. This was his second ASCAP Songwriter of the Year Award.

ASCAP's Songwriter/Artist of the Year is John Rich of duo Big & Rich, who co-wrote "Here for the Party," "Holy Water," "Redneck Woman," "Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy)" and "When I Think About Cheatin.'"