Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds presented the music icon with the honor during the event that took place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
During the invitation only dinner, Babyface revealed that he wanted to be just like Jones, but realized quickly that that just wouldn’t be impossible with all that the legend’s accomplished.
Jones’ awards presentation also included a medley of some of his most popular scores including “The Wiz” and the theme song for “Sanford & Son.” Marsha Ambrosius and Tyrese also performed a version of Jones’ “The Secret Garden,” originally sang by James Ingram, Al B. Sure, El Debarge and Barry White. During Jones’ acceptance speech he revealed how moved he was by the presentation – expressing that it was Ambrosius and Tyrese’s performance that finally brought him to tears.
Jones also used his acceptance speech as an opportunity to speak soberly to the next generation of music makers about learning the art, which lead him into addressing the hubbub about how he reportedly dissed Diddy’s knowledge of music.
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Jones had been recently quoted as saying Diddy “wouldn’t know a B Flat if it hit him.” But during his speech he called the entire report “nonsense.” However, he never denied saying it. What he did say was:
“I knew P. Diddy since he was going out getting hamburgers for Russell Simmons and Andre Harrell. I’ve known him that long, ya know … I don’t need rag on him, I know who he is. He knows who I am too…”
Meanwhile Jones also revealed that he’s working on a collaborative album with Snoop Dogg.
The evening also featured performances by DJ Don Cannon and rapper Meek Mill, and was attended by some of the top names in the music and entertainment industry, including Sidney Poitier, Jermaine Durpri, Jordin Sparks, Mary Mary, Kane Beatz, Hit-Boy, NO ID, Clarence Avant, Wayne Brady, Warryn Campbell and Kirko Bangz, among many others.
Past ASCAP Songwriter of the Year recipients Kandi Burruss, Dave “Jam” Hall, Chad Hugo and Christopher “Tricky” Stewart were also in attendance to celebrate 25 years of Rhythm & Soul music.