The Icon designation is given to BMI songwriters and artists who have had "a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers." The LaFace Records co-founders, who will be saluted with an all-star musical tribute during the ceremony, join an elite group that includes James Brown, Isaac Hayes, Al Green, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, and last year's honorees, the Gap Band.
With more than a dozen Grammys between them, including the Producer of the Year crown they shared in 1993, seven-time BMI Songwriter of the Year Babyface and Island Def Jam Chairman L.A. Reid are responsible for launching the careers of such multi-platinum artists as Toni Braxton, TLC, Usher and Pink under their successful LaFace label. The list of stars that the hitmaking pair has worked with - both together and individually - is unparalleled and includes Mariah Carey, Madonna, Celine Dion, Eric Clapton, Mary J. Blige, Boyz II Men, Dido, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Outkast, Ciara, Jay-Z, and countless others.
Hosted by BMI President & CEO Del Bryant and Atlanta Writer/Publisher VP Catherine Brewton, the 6th Annual BMI Urban Awards will recognize the songwriters, publishers and producers of the top BMI urban songs played on American radio and television. An Urban Song of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Publisher of the Year and Producer of the Year will be named during the ceremony. In addition, the writers of the songs that reached the No. 1 spots on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop and Hot Rap Tracks charts will also be honored.