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November 10, 2010

Taylor Swift, Liz Rose, Billy Sherrill & More Honored at 2010 BMI Country Music Awards

Press Release

BMI saluted the songwriters and publishers behind country music’s most-performed songs of the past year tonight during the 58th annual BMI Country Awards. The ceremony was held in the company’s Music Row offices. BMI President & CEO Del Bryant hosted the gala with Jody Williams, Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Nashville.

At 20 years old, Taylor Swift became the youngest person ever to win the BMI Country Songwriter of the Year crown. She is followed by Bill Anderson, who won the honor in 1960 at 23, and Johnny Cash, who won in 1956 at 24. Swift earned the award thanks to her self-recorded compositions “Fifteen,” “White Horse” and “You Belong With Me,” as well as “Best Days of Your Life,” recorded by Kellie Pickler.

“You Belong With Me” also earned Swift her third consecutive BMI Country Song of the Year win, making her the only songwriter ever to win the award three years in a row. In 2008, she became the youngest songwriter ever to win the honor, while earlier this year she became the youngest individual ever to pen the BMI Pop Song of the Year. Co-written with frequent collaborator Liz Rose, the song is published by Sony/ATV Tree, Taylor Swift Music, Orbison Music LLC, and Wagnerville Music.

Another highlight included Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville earning its ninth consecutive BMI Country Publisher of the Year title.

Billy Sherrill, the father of the contemporary country sound, was named a BMI Icon. The Icon designation is given to BMI songwriters and artists who have had “a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.” Sherrill has received more BMI Country Awards than any other songwriter in history, and was named BMI Country Songwriter of the 20th Century in 1999. As a BMI Icon, he joins a list of past honorees that includes Kris Kristofferson, John Fogerty, Willie Nelson, Isaac Hayes, Merle Haggard, Brian Wilson, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, the Bee Gees, James Brown, and more.

An all-star tribute paid homage to Sherrill’s genre-shaping work as a producer and songwriter. Ronnie Dunn performed “The Most Beautiful Girl”; Martina McBride delivered “’Til I Can Make It on My Own”; Faith Hill contributed “Stand By Your Man”; and George Strait offered “My Elusive Dreams.”

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George Strait attends the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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Faith Hill performs at the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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Jody Williams, Carrie Underwood, and Clay Bradley at the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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Blake Shelton attends the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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Taylor Swift attends the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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Keith Urban attends the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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Faith Hill performs at the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert attend the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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The 2010 BMI Country Award for Publisher of the Year is presented to Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Pictured are (l-r): BMI’s Clay Bradley; Sony/ATV’s Kim Wiggins, Abbey Burkhalter, Martin Bandier, Jody Gerson, Troy Tomlinson, Danny Strick, Mike Whelan; and BMI’s Jody Williams.

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Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert attend the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 16, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for BMI

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Taylor Swift attends the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 16, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for BMI

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Journalist Bob Schieffer and Faith Hill attend the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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Ronnie Dunn performs at the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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Pictured at the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 are (l-r): BMI President & CEO Del Bryant; Martin Bandier, Chairman and CEO, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC; BMI Icon Billy Sherrill; Song and Songwriter of the Year winner Taylor Swift; Song of the Year winner Liz Rose; Jody Williams, BMI VP, Writer Publisher Relations, Nashville; Troy Tomlinson, President CEO, Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville; and Clay Bradley, BMI Asst. VP, Writer/Publisher Relations, Nashville.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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Tim McGraw and Faith Hill attend the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for BMI

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Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum attend the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 16, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for BMI

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BMI President & CEO Del Bryant; 2010 BMI Icon Billy Sherrill; Charlene Sherrill; and BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Jody Williams pause for a photo at the 2010 BMI Country Awards, staged November 9 at the organization’s Music Row offices.

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Martina McBride performs at the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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Keith Urban and Sheryl Crow attend the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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BMI President and CEO Del Bryant and BMI Icon Billy Sherrill with artist Ronnie Dunn, Martina McBride, George Strait and Faith Hill at the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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BMI Icon Billy Sherrill and Taylor Swift with her awards for BMI Songwriter of the Year and Co Writer of BMI Song of the Year at the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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Taylor Swift attends the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 16, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for BMI

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Martina McBride performs at the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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(L-R) Tim McGraw, Kix Brooks, Barbara Brooks and Faith Hill attend the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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BMI, Asst. VP, Writer/Publisher Relations, Nashville, Clay Bradley and BMI VP, Writer/Publisher Relations, Nashville, Jody Williams present a Martin Guitar to Taylor Swift, winner of awards for BMI Songwriter of the Year and Co Writer of BMI Song of the Year at the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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Zac Brown attends the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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Kristian Bush of Sugarland and BMI President and CEO, Del Bryant attend the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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Journalist Bob Schieffer and singer/songwriter Jamey Johnson attends the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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Pictured with their 2010 BMI Country Songwriter of the Year Awards are Taylor Swift and co-writer Liz Rose.

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NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 09: Ronnie Dunn performs as Martina McBride, George Strait and Faith Hill look on at the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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BMI Icon Billy Sherrill and Taylor Swift with her awards for BMI Songwriter of the Year and Co Writer of BMI Song of the Year and BMI President Del Bryant at the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI

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Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton attend the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for BMI

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