BMI saluted the world’s premier r&b, rap and hip-hop songwriters, producers and publishers at its 2007 Urban Awards, held September 7 at the Zumanity Theatre at New York-New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Hosted by BMI President & CEO Del Bryant and Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Atlanta Catherine Brewton, the gala attracted an impressive gathering of music’s biggest stars and trendsetters.
T.I., Ne-Yo and Mr. ColliPark each earned Songwriter of the Year titles, “Check On It” secured Song of the Year honors for co-writers Slim Thug and Sean Garrett, and a special presentation officially recognized legendary MC Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons of Run DMC as the newest BMI Icon.
The night’s other big winners included Pharrell Williams, who earned the Producer of the Year title; EMI Music Publishing, named Urban Publisher of the Year; and T-Pain’s “I’m N Luv (Wit A Stripper),” which nabbed the BMI Urban Ringtone Award. Executives from music trade magazine Billboard were also on hand to give out No. 1 Awards to the BMI songs that reached the top spot on its urban music charts.
- Mr. ColliPark
T.I., Ne-Yo and Mr. ColliPark each composed four songs on BMI’s most-performed list, and all three of the hitmakers acquired their first BMI Songwriter of the Year crowns. T.I. co-wrote hits “My Love” and “What You Know,” along with Lil’ C’s “Shoulder Lean” and Nelly’s “Grillz”; Ne-Yo co-penned Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable” and his own “Sexy Love,” “So Sick” and “When You’re Mad”; and Mr. ColliPark co-wrote the Ying Yang Twins’ “Badd,” Diddy’s “Come to Me,” Bubba Sparxxx’s “Ms. New Booty” and David Banner’s “Play.”
- Slim Thug
- Sean Garrett
- Rev Run
Slim Thug and Sean Garrett’s “Check On It” earned Song of the Year. Published by Publisher of the Year EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc., “Check On It” was recorded by Beyoncé and featured the vocal stylings of co-writer Slim Thug.
- Pharrell Williams
- Mike Jones
As one third of Run-DMC, Rev Run helped change the sound of rap by simultaneously being more street and rock & roll than his contemporaries. From the boom-box classic single “Sucker MCs” (1983) to their standard-setting discs Run-DMC, King of Rock, Raising Hell and Tougher Than Leather, Run-DMC defined a new level of cool for the world. Dressed in their trademark black hats and outfits to match, Run-DMC stayed at the top of the pop charts for most of the ’80s and knocked open the doors to commercial freedom for the rap generation. A multi-media star — he stars in his own television show, Run’s House — Rev Run continues to create music, having just released his CD Distortion on the Russell Simmons Music Group (RSMG).
Pharrell Williams earned his third BMI Producer of the Year title for logging the most producer credits on charting songs. The BMI Top Urban Producers list also included Rodney Jerkins, Polow Da Don, Jazze Pha, Kanye West, will.i.am, Lil Jon, Sean Garrett and T-Pain.
EMI Music Publishing was named BMI Urban Publisher of the Year by scoring the highest percentage of copyright ownership in award songs. The publishing giant’s hits included chart toppers “Irreplaceable,” “Déjà Vu,” “Money Maker,” “Snap Yo Fingers” and more.
“I’m N Luv (Wit A Stripper),” co-written and performed by BMI Top Urban Producer T-Pain and Mike Jones and published by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. and Zomba Songs, received the BMI Urban Ringtone Award for tallying the most downloads during the award period.
In addition to the BMI performance awards, Billboard recognized the BMI-affiliated writers whose songs reached No. 1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Hot Rap Tracks, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and Hot 100 charts during the past year.