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Hank Williams, Jr., Taylor Swift, Casey Beathard, Sony/ATV Earn Top BMI Country Honors

Posted in News on November 11, 2008

The 56th Annual BMI Country Awards celebrated the genre’s elite Tuesday, November 11 at BMI’s Music Row offices in Nashville. Hosted by BMI President & CEO Del Bryant and BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Nashville Jody Williams, the black-tie ceremony toasted the writers and publishers of the past year’s 50 most-performed country songs in the BMI repertoire.

Casey Beathard earned his second BMI Country Songwriter of the Year crown, while Taylor Swift’s smash “Teardrops on My Guitar” garnered Robert J. Burton Song of the Year honors. Publishing powerhouse Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville claimed its seventh consecutive Country Publisher of the Year title, and an all-star tribute recognized Hank Williams, Jr. as a BMI Icon.

  • Hank Williams, Jr.
  • Casey Beathard
  • Taylor Swift

First named BMI Country Songwriter of the Year in 2004, Casey Beathard co-wrote five of the songs in the most-performed list to claim his 2008 Songwriter of the Year title: Rodney Atkins’ “Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy),” Kenny Chesney’s “Don’t Blink,” George Strait’s “How ’Bout Them Cowgirls,” Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus’s “Ready, Set, Don’t Go” and Tracy Lawrence’s “Find Out Who Your Friends Are,” featuring Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw

Song of the Year “Teardrops on My Guitar” was co-written and recorded by Taylor Swift and published by Sony/ATV Tree. The song earned iTunes’ no. 1 country song of 2007 bragging rights as it achieved RIAA Digital Platinum certification in early 2008. The second single off her triple-platinum selling eponymous debut, “Teardrops on My Guitar” ushered in the year of Taylor Swift, during which the 18 year-old proceeded to shatter records, becoming the only female artist in Billboard country chart history to release five consecutive top ten singles from a debut album.

With 15 songs among this year’s top 50, Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville (through its companies Sony/ATV Acuff Rose, Sony/ATV Melody and Sony/ATV Tree) picked up its seventh consecutive BMI Country Publisher of the Year win. The publishing giant accumulated the highest percentage of copyright ownership thanks to award songs including “Never Wanted Nothing More,” “Famous In a Small Town,” “Watching Airplanes,” “Long Trip Alone” and “Love You.”

The capstone of the evening took the form of the tribute to newly crowned BMI Icon Hank Williams, Jr., featuring performances by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Gregg Allman, Robert Randolph and Kenny Chesney. Hank Williams, Jr.’s career has profiled the aspirations, trials and carousals of the everyman in an unabashedly proud and instantly recognizable voice. Nicknamed “Bocephus” by his legendary father Hank Williams, the younger Williams’s waggish songs and roguish persona have unified through their celebration of rebellion. A sly songwriter and robust vocalist capable of conveying startling emotion and making deceptively ordinary characters shine, he boasts a catalog that includes honky-tonk classics “All My Rowdy Friends,” “A Country Boy Can Survive,” “Born to Boogie,” “Dixie On My Mind,” “Family Tradition,” “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound” and “Texas Women.” Each composition represents a candid piece of Williams himself: He wrote every song on that list alone. In addition to 10 no. 1 singles, he found mainstream success on the pop charts and through penning and performing the multiple Emmy award-winning theme to Monday Night Football; six of Williams’s albums reached platinum status, while 20 were certified gold and 13 reached the number 1 spot on the charts.

The 2008 BMI Country Awards also honored hit songwriters Brett Beavers, Shane Minor, Rodney Clawson, Marv Green, Ed Hill and David Lee, along with recording artists/songwriters Luke Bryan, Sugarland’s Kristian Bush, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban, who each contributed two songs to the top 50 list.

Publishers Universal Music Publishing Group, EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc., Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp., Songs of Windswept Pacific and State One Music America each took home three or more awards.

Below is the complete list of 2008 BMI Country Music Award winners:

ALL AMERICAN GIRL
Carrie Underwood
Carrie Okie Music
Carrie Underwood
Arista Nashville

ALL MY FRIENDS SAY
Luke Bryan
Jeff Stevens
House of Full Circle Music
Murrah Music Corporation
Planet Peanut Music
Luke Bryan
Capitol Nashville

ANOTHER SIDE OF YOU
Carson Chamberlain
Jamey Johnson
Big Gassed Hitties
EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc.
State One Music America
WCCR Music
Joe Nichols
Universal South

AS IF
Sara Evans
Gingerdog Songs
Universal Music-Careers
Sara Evans
RCA

BECAUSE OF YOU
David Hodges
Ben Moody
12:06 Publishing
EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc.
Smellslikemetal Publishing
State One Music America
Reba McEntire duet with Kelly Clarkson
MCA Nashville

CLEANING THIS GUN (COME ON IN BOY)
Casey Beathard
Sony/ATV Acuff Rose
Rodney Atkins
Curb Records

A DIFFERENT WORLD
Jennifer Hanson
Tony Martin
Mark Nesler
Chaylynn Music
Gold Watch Music
Nashvistaville Songs
NEZ Music
Sony/ATV Acuff Rose
Sony/ATV Tree
Bucky Covington
Lyric Street

DON'T BLINK
Casey Beathard
Sony/ATV Acuff Rose
Kenny Chesney
BNA

EVERYBODY
Keith Urban
Babble On Songs
Keith Urban
Capitol Nashville

EVERYDAY AMERICA
Kristian Bush
Dirkpit Music
EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc.
Sugarland
Mercury

FALL
Sonny LeMaire
Shane Minor
API Country Music
E Ticket Music
EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc.
Shane Minor Music
State One Music America
Clay Walker
Asylum Curb

FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN
Miranda Lambert
Nashville Star Music
Sony/ATV Tree
Miranda Lambert
Columbia

A FEELIN' LIKE THAT
Ira Dean
Rainy Graham Publishing LLC
Gary Allan
MCA Nashville

FIND OUT WHO YOUR FRIENDS ARE
Casey Beathard
Ed Hill
Sagrabeaux Songs
Sony/ATV Acuff Rose
Universal Music-Careers
Tracy Lawrence w/Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney
Rocky Comfort/C05

FIRECRACKER
Shawn Camp
Pat McLaughlin
Josh Turner
Corn Country Music
International Dog Music
Scamporee Music
Josh Turner
MCA Nashville

FREE AND EASY (DOWN THE ROAD I GO)
Brett Beavers
Robbie Dale Harrington
Home with the Armadillo Music
Set The Hook Music
Dierks Bentley
Capitol Nashville

GOOD DIRECTIONS
Luke Bryan
Murrah Music Corporation
Billy Currington
Mercury

HIGH MAINTENANCE WOMAN
Toby Keith
Danny Simpson
Tim Wilson
Franklin Road Music
Toby Keith
Show Dog Nashville

HOW 'BOUT THEM COWGIRLS
Casey Beathard
Ed Hill
Sagrabeaux Songs
Sony/ATV Acuff Rose
Universal Music-Careers
George Strait
MCA Nashville

I NEED YOU
David Lee
Universal Music-Careers
Tim McGraw with Faith Hill
Curb Records

I TOLD YOU SO
Keith Urban
Babble On Songs
Keith Urban
Capitol Nashville

IF YOU'RE READING THIS
Tim McGraw
Brad Warren
Brett Warren
Bucky and Clyde Music
StyleSonic Music
Tim McGraw
Curb Records

INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER
Shane Minor
Danny Myrick
Jeffrey Steele
3 Ring Circus Music
EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc.
Jeffrey Steele Music
Shane Minor Music
Songs of Windswept Pacific
Craig Morgan
Broken Bow

JOHNNY CASH
Rodney Clawson
Vicky McGehee
Reservoir 416
Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
Writer's Extreme Music
Jason Aldean
Broken Bow

LAST DOLLAR (FLY AWAY)
Big Kenny
Reservoir 416
Tim McGraw
Curb Records

LIVIN' OUR LOVE SONG
Jason Michael Carroll
More Than Rhymes Music
Universal Music-Careers
Jason Michael Carroll
Arista Nashville

LONG TRIP ALONE
Brett Beavers
Steve Bogard
Home with the Armadillo Music
Rancho Papa Music
Sony/ATV Melody
Dierks Bentley
Capitol Nashville

LOST IN THIS MOMENT
Rodney Clawson
Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
Writer's Extreme Music
Big & Rich
Warner Bros. Nashville

LOVE YOU
Jay Knowles
Trent Summar
EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc.
Forrest Hills Music
Songs of Sea Gayle
Sony/ATV Acuff Rose
Jack Ingram
Big Machine

LUCKY MAN
David Lee
Universal Music-Careers
Montgomery Gentry
Columbia

MORE THAN A MEMORY
Lee Brice
Billy Montana
House of Montana Music
House of Moraine
Mike Curb Music
Sweet Hysteria Music
Garth Brooks
Pearl/Big Machine

NEVER WANTED NOTHING MORE
Ronnie Bowman
Sony/ATV Tree
Kenny Chesney
BNA

OUR SONG
Taylor Swift
Sony/ATV Tree
Taylor Swift Music
Taylor Swift
Big Machine

PROUD OF THE HOUSE WE BUILT
Ronnie Dunn
Marv Green
Terry McBride
Showbilly Music
Sony/ATV Tree
Still Working For The Man Music, Inc.
Sycamore Canyon Music
Turn Me On Music
Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
Brooks & Dunn
Arista Nashville

READY, SET, DON'T GO
Casey Beathard
Billy Ray Cyrus
Billy Ray Cyrus Music, Inc.
Sony/ATV Acuff Rose
Billy Ray Cyrus with Miley Cyrus
Walt Disney

SETTLIN'
Kristian Bush
Dirkpit Music
EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc.
Sugarland
Mercury

SHIFTWORK
Troy Jones
Crozier Music Enterprise LLC
Tiltawhirl Music
Kenny Chesney Duet with George Strait
BNA

SO SMALL
Luke Laird
Carrie Underwood
Carrie Okie Music
Carrie Underwood
Arista Nashville

STAND
Blair Daly
Music of Combustion
Songs of Windswept Pacific
Rascal Flatts
Lyric Street

STARTIN' WITH ME
Kendell Marvel
Jake Owen
Jimmy Ritchey
Fox Ridge Music
Shiitake Maki Publishing
Songs of Thortch
Songs of Windswept Pacific
Universal Music-Careers
Jake Owen
RCA

STEALING CINDERELLA
George Teren
House of Full Circle Music
Chuck Wicks
RCA

TAKE ME THERE
Wendell Mobley
Boatwright Baby
Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
Rascal Flatts
Lyric Street

TEARDROPS ON MY GUITAR
Taylor Swift
Sony/ATV Tree
Taylor Swift Music
Taylor Swift
Big Machine

TOUGH
Monty Criswell
Joe Leathers
Steel Wheels Music
Craig Morgan
Broken Bow

WASTED
Marv Green
Troy Verges
Songs From The Engine Room
Songs of Universal, Inc.
Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
Carrie Underwood
Arista Nashville

WATCHING AIRPLANES
Jim Beavers
Joseybixtunes
Sony/ATV Tree
Gary Allan
MCA Nashville

WHAT DO YA THINK ABOUT THAT
Anthony Smith
Inventor of the Wheel Music
Irving Music
Montgomery Gentry
Columbia

WHAT KINDA GONE
Chip Davis
Fozzyboy Music
Chris Cagle
Capitol Nashville

WINNER AT A LOSING GAME
Jay DeMarcus
Eileensong
Sony/ATV Tree
Rascal Flatts
Lyric Street

WRAPPED
Bruce Robison
Bruce Robison Music
Tiltawhirl Music
George Strait
MCA Nashville

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