Holland-Dozier-Holland were honored as BMI ICONs when the performing rights organization staged its 51st Annual BMI Pop Awards tonight at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. BMI President & CEO Frances W. Preston led the tribute to songwriting legends Lamont Dozier and Brian & Eddie Holland and presented silver bowls inscribed "In recognition of your unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers."
The ICON salute featured performances by Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Freda Payne, Brenda Holloway, Kim Weston, and BeBe Winans, plus the legendary Motown "house band" the Funk Brothers. Among those in attendance at the awards ceremony were Vanessa Carlton, Irv Gotti, Berry Gordy, David Foster, Dallas Austin, Orlando Jones and Paula Abdul.
Among other special highlights were the proclamation by Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn of Tuesday, May 13 as "Holland-Dozier-Holland Day," and a Commendation from California Governor Gray Davis. In attendance for the ceremonies was United States Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), who last week honored the trio by reading an Extension of Remarks into the Congressional Record. The songwriters were inducted to the Guitar Center's RockWalk on Monday.
Holland-Dozier-Holland are revered as architects of the "Motown Sound," having created songs that turned a fledgling Detroit record company into a groundbreaking industry powerhouse. The trio's classics include "You Can't Hurry Love," "I Can't Help Myself," "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You," "You Keep Me Hanging On," "Stop! In The Name of Love," "Baby Love," "Reach Out, I'll Be There," and "Reflections," among the dozens of hits recorded by the likes of Diana Ross & The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Marvin Gaye and The Four Tops. Their catalog, represented for performing rights by BMI, boasts 76 BMI Pop and R&B Award-winning titles, with more than 100 million radio and television broadcast performances.
Holland-Dozier-Holland were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, received the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) Trustees Award in 1998, and joined the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1988.