The prestigious Founders Award has been awarded to musician Tom Waits from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers songwriters group. Following in the footsteps of such notables as Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan and Bob Dylan, the award was handed out at the annual black-tie dinner organized by ASCAP, celebrating songwriters and publishers for 2000. To introduce the somewhat eccentric musician, an even odder message was given by the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards. In his video introduction, the guitar player came out of some bushes in a grubby coat and hat to give an indecipherable speech in praise of his onetime collaborator. Richards recalled buying 10,000 worms, on Waits' advice, to help his lawn. As reported by Reuters, Waits was greeted by a standing ovation and, in his acceptance speech, he claimed to love "the whole act of songwriting." Other winners included the Goo Goo Dolls and Holly Lamar, co-writer of the Faith Hill hit song, "Breathe."