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Fun., Pat Benatar & Rob Thomas to Speak at ASCAP 'I Create Music' EXPO in Los Angeles

by Emma Gaedeke   Feb 24, 2016 12:35 PM EST

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David Gamson (L) and Greg Kurstin (R) receive an award on stage during the 30th Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards at Loews Hollywood Hotel on April 17, 2013 in Hollywood, California.  ( Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Getty Images )

The ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO, a music networking event for songwriters and musicians, will launch for its 11th year on April 28-30, 2016 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles. The EXPO will feature several top names in music as well as countless studio masterminds including Nate Ruess of the indie-pop band fun., hip-hop group Salt-N-Pepa, songwriter Greg Kurstin (Adele's "Hello,"), as well as the three-time ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year, Ashley Gorley. The most recent additions to the ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO lineup include Grammy Award winning artist Pat Benatar with Neil Giraldo, gospel writers Warryn & Erica Campbell and Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas.

Songwriter/artist Mike Posner, hit producers James Fauntleroy (Rihanna's ANTI), Ariel Rechtshaid (Adele), and Priscilla Renea (Demi Lovato Madonna) are all also in the line-up. Grammy award-winning artist Melissa Etheridge as well as Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley were announced last week.

VH1 You Oughta Know Concert 2015
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Through a variety of events like Q&A's, master classes, songwriting and composing workshops, publisher and business panels, one-on-one sessions and song feedback panels, participants of the EXPO will get a first-hand look at achieving success in the industry. If there's any question to the extent of which the success of these leaders have impacted the music business, a direct correlation can be seen with the continued demand for the artists (and the writers) at the top of the music market.

In most cases, the beginning of an artist's success begins with behind-the-scenes leaders and songwriters, and many of those names will be featured in April. Last year, the ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO saw its largest paid attendance with well over 2600 participants, marking a 19% increase from 2014, according to a report from Examiner.com. With continued popularity, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the 2016 expo reach new heights.

With huge credentials, the EXPO's featured artists and songwriters will be bringing a handful of accolades to the event. Nate Ruess is the vocalist for the pop-rock band .fun, and the band's single, "We Are Young," was named ASCAP's Pop Song of the Year in 2013, while Pat Benatar has 17 Billboard charting songs including "Hit Me with Your Best Shot," and "Love Is a Battlefield."

Ashley Gorley is a Nashville-based musician who has written 22 No. 1 singles for country artists like Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood and Tim McGraw, and songwriter Greg Kurstin wrote three songs, including "Hello," for Adele's record-breaking album, 25. Most recently, Nate Ruess had huge collaborations with rapper Eminem ("Headlights"), and P!nk ("Just Give Me a Reason"). Singer/songwriter Priscilla Renea has collaborated with countless artists including Demi Lovato and Madonna. She is best known for co-writing Pitbull's hit "Timber" which hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2014.

The ASCAP EXPO is completely open to the public, not just ASCAP members. Participants can register for the conference directly through the ASCAP.com/EXPO site with current prices starting at $340 for the three days of programming. Previous keynote speakers at The ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO include Justin Timberlake, Tom Petty, Sara Bareilles, Ludacris, Carly Simon and John Mayer.

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