September 19, 2023

BMI Honors Billy F Gibbons With Its 2023 Troubadour Award

Intimate Evening Showcased Surprise Performances by Chris Isaak, Robert Earl Keen, Elle King, Kingfish and Keith Urban

Gibbons Highlighted through Commemorative Speeches by Eric Clapton, Eddie Trunk, Jimmie Vaughan, Van Wilks and More

NASHVILLE, TN – Sep. 19, 2023 - BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) honored Billy F Gibbons, founding member of ZZ Top, with its coveted Troubadour Award during a private reception at BMI’s Nashville location on Monday, Sept. 18th. BMI’s President and CEO Mike O’ Neill alongside Nashville’s VP of Creative Clay Bradley presented the prestigious accolade to Gibbons for his profound impact on the creative community.

“BMI has been fortunate enough to have Billy as part of our family for decades and his contributions to ZZ Top’s enduring success has solidified their status as rock legends,” Bradley said. “His songwriting and artistic style transcends through many decades which was on full display last night.”

A BMI affiliate since 1970, Gibbons’ influence continues to set the pace for generations to follow and was showcased through surprise performances by Chris Isaak (“Sharped Dress Man”), Elle King (“Gimme All Your Lovin’”), Kingfish (“Waitin’ for the Bus”), Keith Urban (“Rough Boy”) and past BMI Troubadour recipient Robert Earl Keen (“La Grange”). Renowned radio host Eddie Trunk gave a commemorative speech that highlighted the career behind ZZ Top’s chief songwriter that spans more than fifty years.

The evening also included congratulatory videos from longtime friends and collaborators such as Eric Clapton, Jimmie Vaughan and Van Wilks along with Bill Bentley, George Gruhn, Greg Voros and Tom Bukovac who spoke on Gibbons’ distinct style.

Leading into AMERICANAFEST, “Nashville’s most glorious low-key party” (Rolling Stone) reunited many BMI affiliates including Oliver Anthony, Matraca Berg, Kix Brooks, Jamey Johnson, Tim Montana and Molly Tuttle as well as past BMI Icon award recipients Steve Cropper, John Oates and Bob DiPiero. Gibbons joins the ranks of past Troubadour Award recipients including John Hiatt and the late John Prine, along with Lucinda Williams and Keen who were both on hand. The evening was sponsored by DAOU, George Dickel Bourbon and WP Global.


Celebrating over 80 years of service to songwriters, composers, music publishers and businesses, Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI®) is a global leader in music rights management, serving as an advocate for the value of music. BMI represents the public performance rights in over 20.6 million musical works created and owned by more than 1.3 million songwriters, composers, and music publishers. The Company negotiates music license agreements and distributes the fees it generates as royalties to its affiliated writers and publishers when their songs are performed in public. In 1939, BMI created a groundbreaking open-door policy becoming the only performing rights organization to welcome and represent the creators of blues, jazz, country, and American roots music. Today, the musical compositions in BMI’s repertoire, from chart toppers to perennial favorites, span all genres of music and are consistently among the most-performed hits of the year. For additional information and the latest BMI news, visit, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @BMI or stay connected through Broadcast Music, Inc.‘s Facebook page. Sign up for BMI’s The Weekly™ and receive our e-newsletter every week to stay up to date on all things music.

BMI Contact:
Elice Cuff-Campbell
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