Legendary hip-hop songwriter and artist Rev Run from groundbreaking group Run-DMC will be honored as a BMI Icon at the company’s 7th Annual Urban Awards. The invitation-only gala, which will also recognize the past year’s most-performed BMI urban songs, is set for Sept. 7 at The New York New York in Las Vegas, NV, coinciding with the MTV Video Music Awards being held Sept. 9.
The Icon designation is given to BMI songwriters and artists who have had “a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.” Rev Run will be saluted with an all-star musical tribute during the ceremony, and he joins an elite group that includes James Brown, Isaac Hayes, Al Green, Charlie Wilson and The Gap Band, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and last year’s honorees, Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds.
As one third of Run-DMC, Rev Run helped change the sound of rap by simultaneously being more street and rock ‘n’ roll than his contemporaries. From the boom-box classic single “Sucker MCs” (1983) to their standard-setting discs Run-DMC, King of Rock, Raising Hell and Tougher Than Leather, Run-DMC defined a new level of Black cool for the world. Dressed in their trademarked black hats, outfits to match and strangely laced Adidas sneakers, Run-DMC stayed at the top of the pop charts for most of the ’80s and knocked open the doors to commercial freedom for the rap generation. A multi-medium star — he stars in his own television show, Run’s House, as well working closely with brother Russell on the Phat Farm clothing line — Rev Run continues to create, having just released his CD Distortion on the Russell Simmons Music Group (RSMG).
Hosted by BMI President/CEO Del Bryant and Atlanta Writer/Publisher VP Catherine Brewton, the 7th 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.