Some of the biggest names in music were on hand to salute legendary singing trio Crosby, Stills & Nash as they were crowned BMI Icons at the performing right organization's 54th Annual Pop Awards. Held May 16 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees were honored for their "unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers."
Singer/songwriter Gavin DeGraw led the CSN tribute with a jaw-dropping medley that included "Carry On," "Almost Cut My Hair" and "Teach Your Children." Twenty-time Grammy Award-winning bluegrass queen Alison Krauss and dobro master Jerry Douglas from her Union Station band brought down the house with "Long Time Gone"
Red-hot rockers Maroon 5, whose members were themselves feted with the BMI Pop Song of the Year trophy for "She Will Be Loved" and as BMI Songwriters of the Year (along with crunk rapper Lil Jon), belted out "Our House." Rounding out the all-star musical salute, which was led by music director Michael Thompson, was Allman Brothers Band frontman Gregg Allman, who was backed by Krauss and Douglas on "Southern Cross."
Hosted by BMI President/CEO Del Bryant and Los Angeles VP/GM Barbara Cane, the 54th annual BMI Pop Awards also recognized the writers and publishers of the 50 most performed songs on U.S. radio and television from the past year. In addition to the Icon tribute and the announcement of the Song and Songwriters of the Year, EMI Music earned its second consecutive BMI Pop Publisher of the Year Crystal, Weezer's "Beverly Hills" was named College Song of the Year and "1, 2 Step" received BMI's very first Internet Song of the Year award. The gala ceremony also included a special presentation to 21-year-old Catawba College student Dennis E. Reed, Jr., named first place winner of the BMI Foundation's 9th Annual John Lennon Scholarship Awards.