NASHVILLE, TN — The makers of some of today’s most inspiring music will gather in celebration when The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) honors six-time Grammy-winning artist Russ Taff and Grammy-nominated songwriter and author Tori Taff with its prestigious ASCAP Golden Note Award at the 41st annual ASCAP Christian Music Awards. The invitation-only evening of performance and praise takes place Monday, September 16, at The Franklin Theatre in downtown Franklin, TN.
Named the single most electrifying voice in Christian music by Billboard, Taff has amassed six Grammy Awards and 18 Dove Awards during his remarkable 40-year career. He was barely out of his teens when he was asked to join the legendary Imperials as their lead singer. A few years later he pursued a solo career, capturing the imagination of the industry by releasing a series of innovative albums that delved into his musical heritage while pushing the boundaries of Contemporary Christian Music. Taff’s lyrics, often co-written with his wife Tori, chronicled his personal spiritual path. To date, he has recorded 11 solo albums, including industry benchmarks Medals, Russ Taff and Under Their Influence. His classic singles include “We Will Stand,” “I’m Not Alone,” “Not Gonna Bow” and "Eagle Song.”
In the early 2000s, Taff joined the famed Gaither Vocal Band and although no longer a member, still occasionally appears in their music videos and on their Homecoming concerts. The Bell Buckle, TN resident has been inducted into the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame an unprecedented three times – as a soloist, a member of the Imperials and a member of the Gaither Vocal Band. He was also inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Walk of Fame. Taff’s current album, Believe, is a praise and worship collection that features guest appearances by Amy Grant and David Crowder.
Grammy-nominated songwriter and author Tori Taff co-wrote I Still Believe: A Memoir of Wreckage, Recovery, and Relentless Love, a book and documentary film that chronicles her husband’s life from childhood to stardom and from his hidden struggle with alcohol to his path to recovery. The book and film were released earlier this year.
Russ and Tori’s songwriting has included collaborations with Darrell Brown, Marcus Hummon, Ashley Cleveland and Bill and Gloria Gaither, among others. Primarily a wordsmith, Tori’s uncanny ability to craft lyrics perfectly matched to Russ’s emotion-drenched vocals can be heard in “We Will Stand,” “Farther On,” “I Cry” and “Not Gonna Bow.”
“His groundbreaking four-decade career has made Russ Taff one of the world’s most significant voices in Christian music,” said ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams. “His voice, pure and essential, elevated hits like ‘Praise the Lord’ and ‘I’m Forgiven’ to instant classics and he remains an influence to many of today’s top Christian stars. Partners in songwriting and in life, Russ and Tori are richly deserving of the Golden Note Award.”
The ASCAP Golden Note Award is presented to songwriters, composers and artists who have achieved extraordinary career milestones. Past recipients include Michael W. Smith, Bob McDill, Don Williams, Mary Mary, JD Souther and Reba McEntire.
The ASCAP Christian Music Awards recognizes the writers and publishers of the most-performed songs in Christian music and will feature special performances by today’s most popular artists and songwriters in the genre. Top awards go to ASCAP Christian Music Songwriter of the Year, Song of the Year and Publisher of the Year. Recent ASCAP Christian Music Awards honorees include Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Matthew West, David Garcia, Ben Glover, Brown Bannister and Chris Tomlin.