BMI will recognize the unparalleled career of groundbreaking songwriter Matraca Berg by presenting her with the BMI Icon Award during the 71st annual BMI Country Awards to be held at BMI’s Nashville office on November 7. BMI’s President and CEO, Mike O’ Neill will host the event with Nashville’s VP of Creative, Clay Bradley.
BMI will also reveal the Country Songwriter of the Year, Country Song of the Year and Country Publisher of the Year, while celebrating the top songwriters and music publishers behind this past year’s 50 most-performed songs in Country music during the annual invitation-only event.
“Matraca Berg’s exceptional songwriting talent has woven the threads of emotion and storytelling into musical tapestries that transcend generations,” Nashville’s VP of Creative, Clay Bradley said. “We are honored to present her with this year’s BMI Icon Award in recognition of her ability to capture the essence of life’s joys, trials and tribulations with lyrical depth and emotional resonance.”
The BMI Icon Award is given to exceptional songwriters in recognition of their unique and indelible influence on music makers over many generations. In receiving this award, Berg joins an impressive list of Country legends including Toby Keith, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Dean Dillon, and Hank Williams, Jr., as well as multi-genre creative/songwriting royalty Stevie Nicks, Little Richard, Carole King, Patti LaBelle, Brian Wilson, James Brown, Janet Jackson, Bo Diddley, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Peter Gabriel, Al Green, Van Morrison, Sting, Bryan Ferry, Carlos Santana, Los Lobos, and more.
With a career spanning nearly four decades, Matraca Berg continues to solidify her status as one of America’s preeminent songwriters with her enduring power of storytelling through song. The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee scored her first No. One hit at 18 with 1983’s “Faking Love,” her first Grammy nomination at 22 and became the first woman to have five No. One hits in a single calendar year. Having mined the human condition to deliver moments that struck powerful chords in the millions of people who’ve heard them, Berg’s songs speak to the state of being wholly open to life; she has accumulated 11 Millionaire Awards, with half a dozen multiple Millionaire designations, including a Sextuple for “XXX’s and OOO’s,” a pair of Quadruples for “Wild Angels” and “Strawberry Wine” and a Triple for “I’m That Kind of Girl.”
Her singular collection of chart-topping songs includes Deana Carter’s coming of age standard and 1997 Country Music Association Song of the Year “Strawberry Wine” and its follow-up “We Danced Anyway,” Martina McBride’s “Wild Angels,” Trisha Yearwood’s “Wrong Side of Memphis” and “XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl),” 2023 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Patty Loveless’ classics “I’m That Kind of Girl” and “You Can Feel Bad,” as well as Gretchen Wilson’s Grammy-nominated “I Don’t Feel Like Loving You Today,” Suzy Bogguss’ “Hey Cinderella,” Reba McEntire’s “The Last One To Know,” the Chicks’ “If I Fall You’re Going Down With Me,” and Kenny Chesney’s award-winning Grace Potter duet “You & Tequila.”
A special thank you to BMI’s longtime partners Crown Royal and George Dickel as well as its new partner WP Global Private Equity Partners for supporting the 71st annual BMI Country Awards.