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April 20, 2008

BMI Christian Awards Honor the Genre’s Most Played Songs

Ed Cash Receives Song and Songwriter of the Year Honors

NASHVILLE, April 19, 2008 - U.S. performing right organization BMI saluted the writers and publishers of the past year’s most performed songs on Christian radio and television during the annual Christian Music Awards tonight at the company’s Music Row offices in Nashville. BMI named versatile hit-maker Ed Cash the 2008 Christian Songwriter of the Year, while his composition “Made to Worship” garnered Song of the Year honors. BMI Vice President Jody Williams, along with Senior Director Thomas Cain and Associate Director Beth Mason, of BMI’s Writer/Publisher Relations department in Nashville, presented awards spanning five categories: Christian Rock, Contemporary Christian, Inspirational, Urban Gospel and Southern Gospel. 

Prior to the presentation of awards, perennial Christian music titans Jars of Clay, rising star Aaron Shust and fiery gospel artist Isaiah Thomas set the evening’s warm tone with soulful renditions of their award-winning songs.

Prolific producer and songwriter Ed Cash earned the BMI Songwriter of the Year crown thanks to his profound compositions “Made to Worship,” “Holding onto You,” and “How Can I Keep from Singing.” The stirring “Made to Worship” also garnered the BMI Song of the Year crystal for Cash; recorded by contemporary Christian favorite Chris Tomlin, the song was published by Alletrop Music.

The ceremony also feted Publisher of the Year Universal Music Publishing Group. The award is determined by the highest percentage of copyright ownership in award songs. The company’s eight award-winning songs include “The Blessing of Abraham,” written by esteemed producer and chorale director Donald Lawrence, “Dead Man (Carry Me),” co-written and recorded by Jars of Clay, “My Savior, My God,” written and recorded by Aaron Shust, and “Imagine Me,” co-penned and recorded by contemporary gospel trendsetter Kirk Franklin.

Gospel luminary Donald Lawrence and ceremony performer Aaron Shust garnered two awards each.  The night’s other big winners included genre-bender tobyMac; Christian rock outfit Red’s Jasen Rauch and Anthony Armstong; urban gospel star Kirk Franklin; Red producer Robert Graves; Jars of Clay members Dan Haseltine, Charlie Lowell, Steve Mason and Matt Odmark; 2007 BMI Christian Songwriter of the Year Mark Hall; Sanctus Real producer Chris Stevens and Sanctus Real member Dan Gartley; premier producer, arranger and musician Jay Joyce; Kingdom Heirs member Dennis Murphy; producer, songwriter and music minister Isaiah D. Thomas; gospel heavyweight Rodney Griffin; Needtobreathe’s Bo Rinehart; singer/songwriter Aaron Sprinkle; songwriter/producer Marc Byrd; gospel favorite Percy James Bady; songwriters Adam Kohout, Tery Wilkins, David Nasser, Jules “Juda” Bartholomew, Twila LaBar, Joel Lindsey, Belinda Lee Smith, Lisa Stewart Seals; and the McClurkin Project’s Andrea McClurkin-Mellini and Nate McNair.

In addition to Universal Music Publishing Group, publishers winning multiple awards were Alletrop Music, EMI Christian Music Group (Meaux Mercy Publishing, River Oaks Music Company), Lilly Mack Music, Asheville Music Publishing, Chris White Music, Q W Publishing, Sony/ATV Songs LLC and White Spot Publishing.

A complete list of the 2008 BMI Christian Awards is available at http://www.bmi.com. Downloadable, high resolution photos and press materials will be available Monday, April 21 at 10 a.m. on http://www.bmi.com/press. To request access, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI) is an American performing right organization that represents more than 375,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music and more than 6.5 million works. BMI’s most recent financial results, $839 million in performing right collections for its fiscal year ending June 30, 2007, were the highest for any copyright organization in the world. BMI has represented the most popular and beloved music from around the world for over 65 years. The non-profit-making U.S. corporation collects license fees from businesses that use music, which it then distributes as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents.

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Contacts:

Kay Clary / BMI Nashville
615.401.2728; .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Jerry Bailey / BMI Nashville
615.401.2825; .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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The BMI Christian Awards' big winners huddled together for a photo. Pictured are (l to r): BMI's Phil Graham, Publisher of the Year Universal Music Publishing's Dale Matthews, Songwriter of the Year Ed Cash and BMI's Jody Williams.

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Perennial favorites Jars of Clay perform at the 2008 BMI Christian Awards.

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Big winner Ed Cash salutes his inspiration.

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Isaiah D. Thomas brings the house down.

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Aaron Shust delivers a charged performance.

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