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Theory of a Deadman, shown here playing at the 2009 Grey Cup, had one of Canada's most-played songs, with Not Meant to Be. ((Canadian Press))

Nickelback's Gotta Be Somebody has earned double honours at the SOCAN Music Awards, as the song with the highest international earnings and one of Canada's top pop songs.

The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada honoured pop, country, urban and folk songs that achieved the greatest number of performances on domestic radio at the awards gala Monday night.

Gotta Be Somebody and If Today Was Your Last Day by Nickelback, the rock band formed in Hanna, Alta., and now based in Vancouver, were among the top songs for radio play in Canada.

Theory of a Deadman's Not Meant to Be and Quebec newcomers The New Cities' Dead End Countdown also were at the top of radio play.

Country chart-toppers

Country songs that earned the honours:

  • Just Like You, by George Canyon.
  • One Last Sundown, by Doc Walker.
  • A Woman Like You, by Johnny Reid.
  • Homegrown, by the Road Hammers.

Theory of a Deadman, Doc Walker and the Road Hammers were in attendance at the Toronto gala to accept their awards.

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Galt MacDermott, shown at the 2009 Broadway revival of Hair, was honoured by SOCAN with a lifetime achievement award on Monday. ((Associated Press))

SOCAN also paid tribute to Galt MacDermot, the Montreal-born composer of the musicals Hair and Two Gentlemen of Verona.

MacDermot, 82, has also written chamber music, ballet scores, orchestral music, opera and funk in a career dating back to the 1940s. His jazz band, the New Pulse Band, has been playing together since 1979 and was on stage during the Broadway revival of Hair in 2009. SOCAN honoured him with a lifetime achievement award.

The industry organization also gave an international achievement award to Brian Howes, the rocker with the band Closure who has produced acts such as Puddle of Mudd, Daughtry, Hedley and Simple Plan.

Also recognized were:

  • Spirit of the West, with a national achievement award for outstanding success mainly in the Canadian music industry.
  • Tommy Banks, with a special achievement award for people who contribute to Canadian musical heritage.

SOCAN also marked classic songs that have achieved more than 100,000 airplays on Canadian radio, including old hits by the Guess Who and Chilliwack.

Guess Who, Chilliwack

The Guess Who's Burton Cummings accepted the recognition for Dancin' Fool, Rain Dance, Runnin' Back to Saskatoon, Star Baby and Sour Suite.

Cummings, who has 22 SOCAN songs to his name, says the best songs are often written in just a few minutes.

"[Randy Bachman] and I have written songs in 20 minutes, 25 minutes, that ended up being gold singles.... It seems to me the longer I have to spend [the more] it sounds belaboured later on, it sounds contrived," he said.

Chilliwack's Bill Henderson was honoured for songs such as Baby Blue, Don't Stop, Fly at Night, Lonesome Mary and Whatcha Gonna Do.

Singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan had nine songs, including I Will Remember You and Angel,  hit the 100,000 mark, while solo musician and Q107 host Kim Mitchell had three, including Easy to Tame.

With files from The Canadian Press