May 8, 2005
BMI Pop Awards Reward Top Hitmakers: Press Release
Songwriter/Artist Paul Simon Named BMI Icon
LOS ANGELES – MAY 17, 2005 – Performing rights organization BMI announced its 53rd Annual BMI Pop Awards tonight, with top honors given to 3 Doors Down’s “Here Without You” as Song of the Year, Lil Jon as Songwriter of the Year, and EMI Music Publishing as Publisher of the Year.
Del Bryant, President & CEO, and Barbara Cane, Vice President & General Manager, Writer/Publisher Relations, Los Angeles, hosted the dinner event. The writers and publishers of the 50 most performed songs of the past year were recognized, plus the overall song, songwriter and publisher winners. A highlight of the gala, staged at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, was a tribute to songwriter/artist Paul Simon, who was named a BMI Icon.
“Here Without You” won the title of BMI Pop Song of the Year, with songwriters Brad Arnold, Todd Harrell, Chris Henderson, and Matt Roberts of the group 3 Doors Down accepting; this distinction is given to the song tallying the most feature broadcast performances during the eligibility period. Published by Escatawpa Songs and Songs of Universal, Inc. and included on 3 Doors Down’s Republic/Universal CD Away From the Sun, “Here Without You” has already been certified as a BMI Million-Air (with two million broadcast performances) and was previously honored as BMI’s 2004 Most Performed Song on College Radio. Lead singer Brad Arnold was also named Pop Songwriter of the Year at the 2002 BMI Pop Awards.
Lil Jon wrote four songs on the Most Performed List of 50 to collect the BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year crown. The songs earning him the title were “Damn!” (YoungBloodZ featuring Lil Jon), “Freek-A-Leek” (Petey Pablo), “Get Low” (Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz featuring the Ying Yang Twins) and “Yeah!” (Usher featuring Ludacris and Lil Jon).
Of the 88 songwriters who received 2005 BMI Pop Awards, two were triple winners: Chad Kroeger (SOCAN) of Nickelback and Sham. Other writer/artists earning awards included Michelle Branch, Five for Fighting, Linkin Park, Sarah McLachlan, Pete Townshend (PRS), Shania Twain, Maroon 5, Los Lonely Boys, R. Kelly, Seal (PRS), Lil’ Kim, Evanescence, the White Stripes, Fountains of Wayne, Mario Winans and the Black Eyed Peas.
Paul Simon was saluted as a BMI Icon for his “unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.” In a career dating back to the 1950s, Paul Simon has established himself among the best and most popular songwriters of the rock era. His songs have bookmarked moments in the lives of millions, whether with words of love, longing, humor, politics or, above all, hope. He has incorporated the rhythms of his native New York with those from as far away as Brazil and South Africa.
For his efforts, he is a 12-time Grammy winner, a two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee (as Simon & Garfunkel and as a solo artist), the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors and the Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award, an Oscar nominee, an Emmy Award winner, and the much-honored co-founder of the Children’s Health Fund. His songwriting catalog has earned 39 BMI Awards—including multiple citations for “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Mrs. Robinson,” “Scarborough Fair” and “The Sound of Silence”—and amassed nearly 75 million broadcast airplays, according to BMI surveys.
After a video tribute, the musical salute to Simon featured performances by 2004 Icon recipient Brian Wilson (who sang “The Sound of Silence”); British sensation Joss Stone (“Mother and Child Reunion”); Adam Levine and James Valentine of the Grammy-winning band Maroon 5 (“Homeward Bound”); and soul gospel diva Yolanda Adams (“Bridge Over Troubled Water”).
Simon enters the elite company of previously praised BMI Icons, including Bill Anderson, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Bo Diddley, Isaac Hayes, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Little Richard, Loretta Lynn, Carlos Santana, Dolly Parton, Van Morrison, Al Green and Brian Wilson.
EMI Music Publishing (EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc./EMI-Stone Agate Music), with 11 award songs, claimed the BMI Pop Publisher of the Year prize, given to the publishing concern with the highest percentage of copyright ownership in award songs. EMI’s winning songs were “100 Years,” “Bright Lights,” “Damn!,” “Freek-A-Leek,” “Get Low,” “Heaven,” “I Don’t Wanna Know,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “Into You,” “Unwell” and “Where Is the Love.” EMI Chairman & CEO Martin Bandier accepted the crystal trophy.
Other publishers garnering three or more awards were Universal Music Publishing (Irving Music/Songs of Universal, Inc./Universal-Songs of PolyGram International, Inc.); Warner/Chappell Music Group (Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. and Rick’s Music, Inc.); Careers-BMG Music Publishing, Inc./Loco De Amor Music/Zomba Songs Inc.; and White Rhino Music.
In addition to Song of the Year “Here Without You,” BMI recognized the performance achievements of two other songs. “Someday” by Nickelback earned Most Performed Song on College Radio kudos for songwriters Chad Kroeger, Mike Kroeger, Ryan Peake and Ryan Vikedal of the group and publisher Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” the most performed composition in BMI’s repertoire of 6.5 million musical works, was certified as a 10 Million-Air, meaning it has been broadcast 10 million times. “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” was written by Barry Mann, Phil Spector and Cynthia Weil, and published by ABKCO Music, Inc., Mother Bertha Music, Inc., and Screen Gems-EMI Music, Inc.
Another special presentation was the announcement of the First Place winner of the 2005 John Lennon Scholarship Awards. Sydney Price, a 17-year-old junior at Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Dallas, Texas, earned a $10,000 scholarship for her song, “Moon Lullaby.” Established in 1997 by Yoko Ono in conjunction with the BMI Foundation and matched by generous donations from Gibson Musical Instruments, the John Lennon Scholarship program recognizes the talent of songwriters between the ages of 15 and 24.
Now marking its 65th year in business, BMI is an American performing rights organization that represents more than 300,000 songwriters, composers and publishers in all genres of music. With a repertoire of more than 6.5 million musical works from around the world, the non-profit-making corporation collects license fees from businesses that use music, which it then distributes as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents.
BMI’s Citation of Achievement performance certificates are given annually in recognition of popularity in the field of popular music, as measured by feature broadcast performances on American radio and television; this year’s Pop Awards eligibility period ran October 1, 2003 through September 30, 2004.
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Hanna Pantle Pat Baird