Songwriter Don Black, OBE will be honored as a BMI Icon at the U.S. performing right organization’s annual London Awards. The ceremony is slated for Tuesday, October 5 at London’s Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane. Hosted by BMI President & CEO Del Bryant; BMI Senior Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations Phil Graham; and Executive Director, Writer/Publisher Relations, Europe & Asia Brandon Bakshi, the invitation-only gala recognizes the UK and European songwriters and music publishers of the past year’s most-performed songs on American radio and television represented by BMI in the United States.
The Icon designation is given to BMI songwriters who have bestowed “a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.” Don Black joins a list of past honorees that includes Donovan, Kris Kristofferson, Bryan Ferry, Peter Gabriel, Ray Davies, Van Morrison, the Bee Gees, Dolly Parton, James Brown, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, and more.
Don Black re-imagined the potential of music on stage, radio and in film. He wrote songs for motion pictures including The Italian Job, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, True Grit, Dances With Wolves, Out of Africa, and James Bond theme songs “Thunderball,” “Diamonds Are Forever,” “The Man with the Golden Gun,” “Surrender” from Tomorrow Never Dies and “The World is Not Enough.” His compositions “Ben” and “To Sir with Love” topped U.S. charts for Michael Jackson and Lulu, respectively, while his composition “Born Free” is an award-winning classic. The lyricist and sometime collaborator of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber also contributed Tony-winning words to Sunset Boulevard, as well as Song and Dance and Starlight Express. In addition to an Oscar for “Born Free,” two Tony Awards, six Ivor Novellos, a Golden Globe and many platinum, gold and silver records, he was awarded OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts by the City of London University. The Songwriters Hall of Fame inducted Don Black in 2007.
BMI collects royalties for Don Black in the U.S. He is a member of British performing right society PRS for Music.