SMA alumna Kirby Lauryen to receive prestigious ASCAP “Women Behind the Music” award

MEMPHIS, TN, September 2017 —

The Stax Music Academy (SMA) is proud to announce that one of its former students, Kirby Lauryen (Kirby Dockery), will be the recipient of a very special ASCAP award on October 5, 2017 in Los Angeles

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) hosts its ninth annual “Women Behind the Music” event on October 5th at 7:00 PM at Bardot in Los Angeles. This year’s honorees are singer/songwriter Kirby Lauryen and music executives Ashley Calhoun and Ericka Coulter.

Produced by the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul membership team, ASCAP’s “Women Behind the Music” is created to encourage and recognize women in the music community. It honors not only singers and songwriters but also female executives in all facets of the entertainment business, including managers, attorneys, label executives and music publishers.

Lauryen, now a Roc Nation performing artist and songwriter, is from Southaven, Mississippi. Also a former student of Boston’s  Berklee College of Music, Kirby sparked a career in songwriting by writing A Song A Day on YouTube for 275 days. She was signed to Roc Nation on Day 302.

Kirby is the pen behind hits like, “Die With You” by Beyoncé, “Only One” by Kanye West and Paul McCartney, “FourFiveSeconds” by Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney, “Break Your Heart Right Back” by Ariana Grande, and “Tell Me You Love Me,” the title track to Demi Lovato’s sixth studio album, being released September 29, 2017.

On September 27 and 28, Lauryen returned to the Stax Music Academy – for the first time since graduating in 2007 – to speak current studios about her experience and sharing her message of maintaining a positive self-image no matter the circumstances.

Stax Music Academy communications director Tim Sampson said, “We are all very proud of Kirby for her strength, spirit, determination, and for receiving his tremendous award from ASCAP. We also appreciate Kirby coming back to the Stax Music Academy and sharing her experiences with our current students. Relationships like this with our former students help us maintain the “Stax Music Academy” family feeling and we look forward to a lifetime friendship with her.”

About Kirby:

MORE ABOUT FourFiveSeconds

“FourFiveSeconds” is a song recorded by Barbadian singer Rihanna, American musician Kanye West and English musician/former Beatles member Paul McCartney. It was written and produced by West, McCartney, Mike Dean, Dave Longstreth and Noah Goldstein with an additional writing from Kirby Lauryen, Ty Dolla Sign, Dallas Austin and Elon Rutberg. Previewed by West at the iHeartMedia Music Summit on January 21, 2015, it was posted on Rihanna’s official website on January 24. The same day the song was made available for digital download. “FourFiveSeconds” is a folk-pop, pop and soul pop song with an instrumentation consisting of an acoustic guitar, organ and bass guitar.

Upon its release, it peaked at number four on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. In doing so it gave Rihanna her 26th top-ten song on the chart, while McCartney made a record by ending the longest break between top-ten singles on the chart. The song also peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Internationally, “FourFiveSeconds” reached number one in Australia, Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Sweden, as well as the top-three in Canada, France and the United Kingdom.

The song marked McCartney’s first top-ten on the Hot 100 chart after 29 years.