June 24, 2003
BMI Labels Jars of Clay’s ‘I Need You,’ Steven Curtis Chapman, Gerald Crabb & Kirk Franklin Tops
Nashville, June 23, 2003—Performing rights organization BMI saluted the writers and publishers of the past year’s most performed Christian songs during the BMI Christian Music Awards tonight, with highest honors reserved for Jars of Clay’s “I Need You” as Song of the Year; Steven Curtis Chapman, Gerald Crabb and Kirk Franklin as Songwriters of the Year; and Christian Taylor Music and Crabb’s Song Music as Publishers of the Year.
Paul Corbin, Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Nashville and Joyce Rice, Director, Writer/Publisher Relations, Nashville, awarded BMI Citations of Achievement to 27 songs in six categories: AC [Adult Contemporary], CHR [Christian Hit Radio], Rhythmic, Rock, Southern Gospel and Contemporary/Traditional Gospel. Staged at the company’s Music Row offices, the ceremonies featured special performances by Grits, he Talley Trio, Dottie Peoples, and the Crabb Family for the crowd of 200 writers, artists, and executives.
Jars of Clay members Dan Haseltine, Charlie Lowell, Stephen Mason and Matt Odmark accepted the BMI Crystal for Most Performed Christian Song of the Year as writers of “I Need You.” Published through Bridge Building Music, Inc. and Pogostick Music, “I Need You” is included in their The Eleventh Hour album on Essential Records.
Of the 33 writers honored, Steven Curtis Chapman, Gerald Crabb and Kirk Franklin each placed two solely-authored songs on the awards list to share the title of BMI Christian Songwriter of the Year.
Chapman, BMI’s 2001 Christian Songwriter of the Year [an honor he shared with Toby McKeehan], was cited for writing the AC hits “God Is God” and “Magnificent Obsession,” included on his Sparrow Records album Declaration.
Crabb was recognized for the Southern Gospel hits “The Healer,” recorded by The Talley Trio, and “Don’t You Wanna Go?,” recorded by The Crabb Family [also named Southern Gospel Song of the Year at the 2003 Dove Awards].
Franklin contributed songs to two categories: “He Reigns” (Rhythmic) and “Hosanna” (Contemporary/Traditional Gospel), both from his platinum GospoCentric album The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin.
Six songwriters were double award-winners for co-written works: Marc Byrd (“Sing Alleluia!” and “You Are The Way”), Toby McKeehan (“Irene” and “J Train”) and
Jars of Clay’s Haseltine, Lowell, Mason and Odmark (“Fly” plus “I Need You”).
Christian Taylor Music and Crabb’s Song Music shared the BMI Christian Publisher of the Year spotlight by accumulating the highest percentage of copyright ownership in award songs. Christian Taylor Music’s titles were “The Healer” and “Safe Thus Far”; Brian Copeland of parent company Daywind Music Group accepted on behalf of the publisher. As owner of Crabb’s Song Music, Gerald Crabb collected his second BMI Crystal of the evening via “Don’t You Wanna Go?” and “The Healer.”
Additional multiple award publishers were Achtober Songs, Blue Raft Music, Bridge Building Music, Inc., Kerrion Publishing, Lilly Mack Music, Meaux Mercy Publishing, Peach Hill Songs, Pogostick Music, River Oaks Music Company and Sparrow Song.
A highlight of the ceremonies was a special acknowledgment of Greg Nelson, a songwriter/composer/producer/publisher who was instrumental in the creation of Inspirational gospel music. An engraved silver bowl – in appreciation of his ‘many outstanding contributions to the world of Christian music” – was presented by BMI’s Rice and Steven Curtis Chapman, whom Nelson signed to his first publishing deal.
BMI’s Citations of Achievement are given in recognition of popularity in the field of Christian music, as measured by feature broadcast performances on American radio and television. The 2003 Christian Music Awards eligibility period ran January 1, 2002 through December 31, 2002.
Founded in 1940, BMI is an American performing rights organization that represents approximately 300,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music. Through its music performance and reciprocal agreements, it grants businesses and media access to its repertoire of approximately 4.5 million musical works from around the world.
Christian Award Winners
Photo by Steve Lowry for BMI