October 7, 2008
Bryan Ferry Receives Top Honors At 2008 BMI London Awards
LONDON, Oct. 7, 2008 – American music rights organization Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) lauded U.K., Europe and Jamaica’s premier songwriters, composers and music publishers tonight at the 2008 installment of the BMI London Awards. The ceremony was hosted by BMI President & CEO Del Bryant, along with Executive Director, Writer/Publisher Relations Europe & Asia, Brandon Bakshi. Staged in the Grand Ballroom of London’s Dorchester Hotel, the event honored the past year’s most-played songs on U.S. radio and television, saluting numerous U.K. songwriters, composers and music publishers alongside music creators from Europe and other international markets. The gala dinner and awards ceremony also celebrated the unparalleled career of Bryan Ferry (PRS), naming him a BMI Icon.
From work in the early 1970s with progressive glam rock legends Roxy Music to his innovative solo work, Bryan Ferry redefined pop culture as a delicate balance of street savvy and refined luxury. An unparalleled ability to slip from svelte snarling to moody crooning to dramatic staccato and back again makes his vocals instantly recognizable. As a songwriter, his own wealth of work, including Roxy Music’s international hit “Love is the Drug,” ”Slave to Love,” “Kiss & Tell,” “Angel Eyes,” “More Than This,” “This Is Tomorrow” and “Don’t Stop the Dance,” often sifts through layered themes of romance, isolation and loneliness. In addition to his influential compositions, Ferry’s intelligent interpretations of songs penned by others are dizzyingly original and witty, evidenced most recently in his 2007 release Dylanesque. A synergist of genres and aesthetics, Ferry’s impact on music and neighboring realms of visual art and fashion remains splendidly incalculable. As provocative as he is discerning, Bryan Ferry is the quintessential critic and purveyor of sheer beauty.
Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable” garnered the prestigious Robert S. Musel Award for Song of the Year. Co-written by songwriters Amund Bjørklund and Espen Lind (both members of Norwegian performing right society TONO and represented in the U.S. by BMI) along with Ne-Yo, and published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd./Stellar Songs Ltd., the song also received the BMI Urban Song of the Year prize earlier this year. “Irreplaceable” literally topped charts all over the world and subsequently generated multi-platinum sales, becoming the United States’ best-selling single of 2007.
Modest Mouse’s “Dashboard” earned BMI’s College Song of the Year crown for tallying the most performances on American college radio. The infectious lead single off the band’s We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank album, “Dashboard” was co-written by Johnny Marr (PRS), Tom “King Sour” Peloso and Joe Plummer and published by Chrysalis Music.
The BMI Dance Award went to “Beautiful Liar,” recorded by genre-bending combo Beyoncé and Shakira. Ian Dench and Amanda Ghost (both PRS) co-penned the international club favorite which topped Billboard’s Hot Dance Music/Club Play and Hot Digital Songs charts. “Beautiful Liar” was published by Bucks Music Group Ltd. (PRS), EMI Music Publishing Ltd. (PRS) and Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd. (PRS).
Prestigious “Million-Air” certificates were also presented throughout the evening in recognition of those songs that have achieved more than three million U.S. radio and television performances — the equivalent of more than 17 years of continuous airplay. The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” co-penned by Sir Mick Jagger (PRS) and Keith Richards (PRS), and Eric Clapton’s (PRS) “Layla,” co-written by Clapton and Jim Gordon, both topped the list with seven million performances each, while John Lennon’s (PRS) self-penned “Imagine” was recognized for six million performances. Five-million performance honorees included “Higher Love” co-penned by Steve Winwood (PRS) and Will Jennings; Graham Lyle’s (PRS) “What’s Love Got To Do With It”; and “You Really Got Me,” composed by BMI Icon Ray Davies (PRS). BMI Icon Steve Winwood also composed two more songs in the list: “Gimme Some Loving” (4 million) co-written by Muff Winwood and Spencer Davies (both PRS), and “Valerie” (3 million) which was also co-written by Will Jennings.
Additional award-winners whose compositions soared past the three million performance mark included Shania Twain (PRS), Graham Gouldman (PRS), The Bee Gees’ Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb (all PRS), Sir Paul McCartney (PRS), Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie, Roxette’s Per Gessle (STIM), Mats Persson (STIM), Paul Herman (PRS), Mort Shuman (SACEM), Wally Badarou (SACEM), Stig Anderson (STIM), and ABBA’s Benny Andersson (STIM) and Björn Ulvaeus (BUMA).
In addition to winning Dance Song of the Year, “Beautiful Liar” garnered BMI Pop and Urban Awards for writers Ian Dench and Amanda Ghost (both PRS); Dench and Ghost also scored Pop Awards for Jordin Sparks’ “Tattoo,” and College Song of the Year “Dashboard” garnered Pop Awards for its creative hive. Kanye West’s “Stronger,” co-written by West, Thomas Bangalter (PRS), Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (PRS) and Michael Dean, earned awards in both Pop and Urban categories as well, as did Song of the Year “Irreplaceable.” Iconic rocker Pete Townsend (PRS) garnered three awards in the TV Music Awards field, while KT Tunstall (PRS) and Julieta Venegas (SGAE) each secured two awards in the Pop and Latin fields, respectively. Composers Rupert Gregson-Williams and George Fenton (both PRS), also earned two awards each: Gregson-Williams in the Film category and Fenton in Film and Emmy Award-winning divisions.
Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI) is an American performing right organization that represents more than 375,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music and more than 6.5 million works. BMI’s latest financial results, $901 million for its 2008 fiscal year, are the highest performing right collections for any copyright organization in the world. BMI has represented the most popular and beloved music from around the world for over 65 years. The U.S. corporation collects license fees from businesses that use music, which it then distributes as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents.
For a complete list of 2008 BMI London Award winners, please go to bmi.com/london. Downloadable, high-resolution photos from the event will be available to registered users only at bmi.com/press; please register through bmi.com/press.
USA - Hanna Pantle, BMI
UK – Kate Etteridge, LD Communications