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Lifetime award for Heart sisters

Ann and Nancy Wilson performing with Fergie
Ann (left) and Nancy Wilson (right) performing on stage with singer Fergie

Ann and Nancy Wilson, founders of soft rock group Heart, are to receive a career achievement award from a US songwriters' organisation.

The pair will receive their award at Ascap's annual ceremony on 22 April, which is being held in Hollywood.

Singer Ann, 58, and guitarist Nancy, 54, rose to fame with the band in the 1970s, scoring hits over three decades including Crazy On You and Barracuda.

Past award recipients have included Stevie Wonder and Neil Young.

'Artistic energy'

Ascap president Marilyn Bergman said the Wilsons' "success and influence helped pave the way for other female artists".

"They continue to build their musical legacy with an artistic energy that remains as strong today as when they first started out over 35 years ago," she added.

Heart in 1980
Heart are best known for their 1980s rock ballads

Heart has gone through various line-up changes during its history, with the Wilsons being a constant presence in the band.

After a decline in the late 1970s, they made a major comeback in the mid-80s and beyond, scoring hits with a series of soft rock ballads.

These Dreams and Alone topped the US singles chart, with the latter song reaching number three in the UK chart in 1987.

Their self-titled 1985 album went to number one in the US.

Last September, the Wilsons took legal action against Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who they said used their song Barracuda without permission.

Ascap - the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers - collect royalties for songwriters and music publishers by monitoring airplay and collecting licence fees from music venue owners.

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