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Kris Kristofferson, Taylor Swift, Bobby Pinson, and More Honored at 2009 BMI Country Awards

Posted in News on November 11, 2009
Photo: Mary Ellen Mark

The 57th Annual BMI Country Awards celebrated the genre’s top hit-makers tonight in Nashville. In addition to toasting the writers and publishers of the past year’s 50 most-performed country songs from the BMI repertoire, the ceremony honored Kris Kristofferson as a BMI Icon; named Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” Song of the Year, Bobby Pinson Songwriter of the Year, and Sony/ATV Music Publishing Publisher of the Year; and saluted Brooks & Dunn with the BMI President’s Award.

BMI President & CEO Del Bryant; BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Nashville Jody Williams; and BMI Assistant Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Nashville Clay Bradley hosted the black-tie event, which was staged at the music rights organization’s Music Row offices.

View exlusive videos from the red carpet

Taylor Swift’s sweeping “Love Story” was named Song of the Year. The song, composed by Swift alone, was the first single from her sophomore album Fearless. In addition to topping the Billboard country chart, “Love Story” topped the Billboard pop and AC charts and became the best-selling country song in the United States and the most-downloaded country single in U. S. history. Published by Sony/ATV Tree and Taylor Swift Music, “Love Story” is Swift’s second consecutive BMI Song of the Year; “Teardrops on My Guitar” earned the prestigious honor in 2008.

With four songs among the year’s most-performed, Bobby Pinson earned the Songwriter of the Year crown. In addition to co-writing Sugarland’s chart-toppers “All I Want to Do” and “Already Gone,” Pinson co-composed Toby Keith’s poignant “She Never Cried in Front of Me,” and Josh Gracin’s nostalgic “We Weren’t Crazy.” The win marks the first Songwriter of the Year crown for Pinson, who has unquestionably become one of Nashville’s most in-demand collaborators.

Publishing giant Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville earned its eighth consecutive BMI Country Publisher of the Year title. Through its subsidiary companies Sony/ATV Acuff Rose and Sony/ATV Tree, the powerhouse placed 14 songs among the year’s top 50, including Jimmy Wayne’s “Do You Believe Me Now,” Billy Currington’s “Don’t,” Keith Urban’s “You Look Good in My Shirt,” George Strait’s “Troubadour” and “River of Love,” Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder & Lead,” and Taylor Swift’s “Love Story,” “Picture to Burn,” and “Should’ve Said No.”

A highlight of the evening was the tribute to newly crowned BMI Icon Kris Kristofferson, featuring performances by Patty Griffin, Vince Gill, and Willie Nelson. With the penetration of a poet and the humbling grace of a troubadour, Kris Kristofferson built a legendary career most recognized for its versatility, authenticity, and sheer brilliance. He has received 48 BMI Country and Pop Awards for his compositions including “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down,” “Why Me,” “Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again),” “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” which garnered seven BMI Country and four BMI Pop Awards, and “For the Good Times,” which won a BMI Country Award each consecutive year between 1971 and 1979 as well as five BMI Pop Awards between 1970 and 1974. Eight of his compositions have generated substantially more than one million performances, and three Grammys line his shelves. While he wrote most of his masterpieces alone, his co-writers include giants Shel Silverstein, Marijohn Wilkin, and Fred Foster. He has starred in numerous films, including Lone Star, the Blade trilogy, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, A Star Is Born, for which he garnered the Golden Globe trophy for Best Motion Picture Actor, and Songwriter, for which he received an Oscar nomination for Original Song Score. Along with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash, Kristofferson also formed the Highwaymen. Still recording, now for New West Records, he released new album, entitled Closer to the Bone, in late September of this year. A Rhodes Scholar capable of choosing virtually any path, Kristofferson decided to write songs, and for that, purveyors and lovers of American music are eternally grateful.

BMI President & CEO Del Bryant saluted the prolific career of Brooks and Dunn with the BMI President’s Award. A prestigious honor presented only on unique occasions when an artist has distinctly and profoundly influenced the music industry, the award celebrates Brooks & Dunn’s two decades of genre-shaping excellence, which has made them the most-awarded artists in Academy of Country Music or Country Music Association history.

The 2009 BMI Country Awards also honored songwriters Jeffrey Steele and Lee Thomas Miller, who both added three songs to the top 50 most-performed list, as well as Toby Keith, Sugarland’s Kristian Bush, Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, Phil O’Donnell, Jim Beavers, Brett Beavers, James Otto, Clint Daniels, and Dallas Davidson, who each contributed two compositions to the year’s top 50.

Publishers EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc., Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp., Universal Music Publishing Group, Music of Stage Three, Bobby’s Song and Salvage, Bug Music/Songs of Windswept Pacific, Jeffrey Steele Music/My Life’s Work Music, Noah’s Little Boat Music, Songs of Sea Gayle/New Songs of Sea Gayle, and Taylor Swift Music each took home three or more awards.

Below is the complete list of 2009 BMI Country Music Award winners:

BMI Icon
Kris Kristofferson

Songwriter of the Year
BOBBY PINSON
“All I Want to Do”
“Already Gone”
“She Never Cried in Front of Me”
“We Weren’t Crazy”

Song of the Year
“LOVE STORY”
Taylor Swift
Sony/ATV Tree
Taylor Swift Music
Taylor Swift

Publisher of the Year
SONY/ATV MUSIC PUBLISHING NASHVILLE
(Sony/ATV Acuff Rose and Sony/ATV Tree)
“Cowgirls Don’t Cry”
“Do You Believe Me Now”
“Don’t”
“God Must Be Busy”
“Gunpowder & Lead”
“Let It Go”
“Love Story”
“Picture to Burn”
“River of Love”
“Roll with Me”
“Should’ve Said No”
“Troubadour”
“Trying to Stop Your Leaving”
“You Look Good in My Shirt”

2009 BMI Country Awards
Award-Winning Songs

ALL I WANT TO DO
Kristian Bush
Bobby Pinson
Bobby’s Song and Salvage
Dirkpit Music
EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc.
Music of Stage Three
Sugarland
Mercury

ALL SUMMER LONG
Kid Rock
Gary Rossington
Uncle Kracker
Ronnie VanZant
Warren Zevon
EMI-Longitude Music
Gaje Music, Inc.
Robert James Ritchie Music
Songs of Universal, Inc.
Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
Zevon Music
Kid Rock
Top Dog/Atlantic

ALREADY GONE
Kristian Bush
Bobby Pinson
Bobby’s Song and Salvage
Dirkpit Music
EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc.
Music of Stage Three
Sugarland
Mercury

BACK WHEN I KNEW IT ALL
Gary Hannan
Phil O’Donnell
Chobe Music
Daphil Music
Gary James Hannan Music
Immokalee Music
Little Biscuit Music
Montgomery Gentry
Columbia

BETTER AS A MEMORY
Lady Goodman
Midwest Midnight Music
Kenny Chesney
BNA

CHICKEN FRIED
Zac Brown
Wyatt Durrette
Angelika Music
Heart Above Your Head Music
Weimerhound Publishing
Zac Brown Band
Home Grown/Atlantic/Bigger Picture

COUNTRY MAN
Luke Bryan
Jason Matthews
Bug Music
Murrah Music Corporation
Planet Peanut Music
Luke Bryan
Capitol Nashville

COWGIRLS DON’T CRY
Ronnie Dunn
Terry McBride
Showbilly Music
Sony/ATV Tree
Still Working For The Man Music, Inc.
Turn Me On Music
Brooks & Dunn featuring Reba McEntire
Arista Nashville

DO YOU BELIEVE ME NOW
Dave Pahanish
Joe West
Songs For My Good Girl
Sony/ATV Tree
Totally Wrighteous Music
Jimmy Wayne
Valory

DON’T
Jim Beavers
Beavertime Tunes
Sony/ATV Tree
Billy Currington
Mercury

DON’T THINK I CAN’T LOVE YOU
Kendell Marvel
Jake Owen
Jimmy Ritchey
Jimbalaya Music
Marvel Man Music
Shiitake Maki Publishing
Songs of Windswept Pacific
Universal Music-Careers
Vibe Room Music
Jake Owen
RCA

EVERY DAY
Alissa Moreno
Jeffrey Steele
Jeffrey Steele Music
My Own Parade Publishing
Songs of Universal, Inc.
Rascal Flatts
Lyric Street

EVERYBODY WANTS TO GO TO HEAVEN
Jim Collins
Marty Dodson
Black to Black Songs
Hope-N-Cal Music
Sexy Tractor Music
Songs That Sell
Kenny Chesney with the Wailers
Blue Chair

FEEL THAT FIRE
Brett Beavers
Brad Warren
Brett Warren
Bucky and Clyde Music
State One Music America
StyleSonic Music
Dierks Bentley
Capitol Nashville

GOD LOVE HER
Toby Keith
Vicky McGehee
EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc.
Franklin Road Music
Reservoir 416
Toby Keith
Show Dog Nashville

GOD MUST BE BUSY
Clint Daniels
Michael Heeney
Sony/ATV Acuff Rose
Brooks & Dunn
Arista Nashville

GUNPOWDER & LEAD
Miranda Lambert
Heather Little
Nashville Star Music
Sony/ATV Tree
Tiltawhirl Music
Miranda Lambert
Columbia

HERE
Jeffrey Steele
Jeffrey Steele Music
Rascal Flatts
Lyric Street

HOLLER BACK
Tim James
Stokes Nielson
EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc.
Geoffrey Stokes Nielson Publishing
T-Bird’s Music
Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
Lost Trailers
BNA

HOME
Alan Chang
Amy Foster
Almost October Songs
Ihan Zhan Music
Songs of Universal, Inc.
Blake Shelton
Warner Bros. Nashville

I SAW GOD TODAY
Rodney Clawson
Monty Criswell
Wade Kirby
Big Red Toe Music
Blind Mule Music
Extremely Loud Music
Steel Wheels Music
George Strait
MCA Nashville

I STILL MISS YOU
Tim Nichols
Contentment Music
Made For This Music
Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
Keith Anderson
Columbia

I’M STILL A GUY
Lee Thomas Miller
New Songs of Sea Gayle
Noah’s Little Boat Music
Brad Paisley
Arista Nashville

IN COLOR
Jamey Johnson
Lee Thomas Miller
James Otto
Big Gassed Hitties
Eldorotto Music Publishing
EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc.
Lucky Thumb Music
New Songs of Sea Gayle
Noah’s Little Boat Music
Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
Jamey Johnson
Mercury

JOHNNY AND JUNE
Heidi Newfield
Stephony Smith
Big Hitmakers Music
Rainy Graham Publishing LLC
Souljet Music
Heidi Newfield
Asylum Curb

JUST A DREAM
Steve McEwan (PRS)
Birds With Ears Music
EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc.
Carrie Underwood
Arista Nashville

JUST GOT STARTED LOVIN’ YOU
James Otto
D. Vincent Williams
Eldorotto Music Publishing
Keith’s Wild Bunch Music
Moon Maker Music
Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
James Otto
Warner Bros. Nashville

LAST NAME
Luke Laird
Carrie Underwood
Carrie Okie Music
Carrie Underwood
Arista Nashville

LET IT GO
Tom Douglas
Bill Luther
Aimee Mayo
Evansville Music
Little Blue Typewriter Music
Sony/ATV Tree
TomDouglasMusic
Universal Music-Careers
Tim McGraw
Curb Records

LOOKIN’ FOR A GOOD TIME
Keith Follese
Dave Haywood
Charles Kelley
DWHaywood Music
Jamanarye Music
Magic Midas
RADIOBULLETSPUBLISHING
Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
Lady Antebellum
Capitol Nashville

LOVE DON’T LIVE HERE
Dave Haywood
Charles Kelley
DWHaywood Music
RADIOBULLETSPUBLISHING
Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
Lady Antebellum
Capitol Nashville

LOVE IS A BEAUTIFUL THING
Jeffrey Steele
My Life’s Work Music
Songs of Windswept Pacific
Phil Vassar
Universal South

LOVE REMEMBERS
Craig Morgan
Phil O’Donnell
Daphil Music
Immokalee Music
Magic Mustang Music, Inc.
Triple Shoes Music
Craig Morgan
BNA

LOVE STORY
Taylor Swift
Sony/ATV Tree
Taylor Swift Music
Taylor Swift
Big Machine

PICTURE TO BURN
Liz Rose
Taylor Swift
Cake Taker Music
Sony/ATV Tree
Taylor Swift Music
Taylor Swift
Big Machine

PUT A GIRL IN IT
Rhett Akins
Dallas Davidson
Big Borassa Music LLC
EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc.
Rhettneck Music
Brooks & Dunn
Arista Nashville

RIVER OF LOVE
Billy Burnette
Shawn Camp
Dennis Morgan
All Mighty Dog Music
Burnette A Billy Music
Little Shop of Morgansongs
Sony/ATV Tree
Still Working For The Man Music, Inc.
Travelin’ Arkansawyer Music
George Strait
MCA Nashville

ROLL WITH ME
Clint Daniels
Sony/ATV Acuff Rose
Montgomery Gentry
Columbia

SHE NEVER CRIED IN FRONT OF ME
Toby Keith
Bobby Pinson
Bobby’s Song and Salvage
Music of Stage Three
Tokeco Tunes
Toby Keith
Show Dog Nashville

SHE WOULDN’T BE GONE
Jennifer Adan
Cory Batten
I Want To Hold Your Songs
Tommy Jo Publishing
Blake Shelton
Warner Bros. Nashville

SHOULD’VE SAID NO
Taylor Swift
Sony/ATV Tree
Taylor Swift Music
Taylor Swift
Big Machine

START A BAND
Dallas Davidson
Big Borassa Music LLC
Brad Paisley duet with Keith Urban
Arista Nashville

SWEET THING
Keith Urban
Mary Rose Music
Songs of Universal, Inc.
Keith Urban
Capitol Nashville

TROUBADOUR
Leslie Satcher
Leslie Satcher Music
Sony/ATV Tree
George Strait
MCA Nashville

TRYING TO STOP YOUR LEAVING
Brett Beavers
Jim Beavers
Cake Taker Music
State One Music America
Sony/ATV Tree
Dierks Bentley
Capitol Nashville

WAITIN’ ON A WOMAN
Wynn Varble
Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
Brad Paisley
Arista Nashville

WE WEREN’T CRAZY
Josh Gracin
Tony Lopacinski
Bobby Pinson
Beautiful Monkey Publishing
Big Mouth Music
Bobby’s Song and Salvage
Music of Stage Three
Josh Gracin
Lyric Street

WHAT KINDA GONE (2nd Award)
Chip Davis
Fozzyboy Music
Chris Cagle
Capitol Nashville

YOU LOOK GOOD IN MY SHIRT
Tony Martin
Mark Nesler
Tom Shapiro
EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc.
Nashvistaville Songs
NEZ Music
Sony/ATV Tree
Keith Urban
Capitol Nashville

YOU’RE GONNA MISS THIS
Lee Thomas Miller
Noah’s Little Boat Music
Songs of Sea Gayle
Trace Adkins
Capitol Nashville

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