October 4, 2023
Matraca Berg To Be Honored with BMI Icon Award at the 71st Annual BMI Country Awards On Nov. 7th
Country Songwriter of the Year, Country Song of the Year and Country Publisher of the Year to be Revealed During Celebration of the Year’s 50 Most-Performed Country Songs
NASHVILLE, TN - Oct. 4, 2023 - BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) will recognize the unparalleled career of groundbreaking songwriter Matraca Berg by presenting her with the BMI Icon Award during the 71st annual BMI Country Awards to be held at BMI’s Nashville office on Nov. 7th. BMI’s President and CEO, Mike O’ Neill will host the event with Nashville’s VP of Creative, Clay Bradley.
BMI will also reveal the Country Songwriter of the Year, Country Song of the Year and Country Publisher of the Year, while celebrating the top songwriters and music publishers behind this past year’s 50 most-performed songs in Country music during their annual invitation-only event.
“Matraca Berg’s exceptional songwriting talent has woven the threads of emotion and storytelling into musical tapestries that transcend generations,” Nashville’s VP of Creative, Clay Bradley said. “We are honored to present her with this year’s BMI Icon Award in recognition of her ability to capture the essence of life’s joys, trials and tribulations with lyrical depth and emotional resonance.”
The BMI Icon Award is given to exceptional songwriters in recognition of their unique and indelible influence on music makers over many generations. In receiving this award, Berg joins an impressive list of Country legends including Toby Keith, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Dean Dillon, and Hank Williams, Jr., as well as multi-genre creative/songwriting royalty Stevie Nicks, Little Richard, Carole King, Patti LaBelle, Brian Wilson, James Brown, Janet Jackson, Bo Diddley, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Peter Gabriel, Al Green, Van Morrison, Sting, Bryan Ferry, Carlos Santana, Los Lobos, and more.
With a career spanning nearly four decades, Matraca Berg continues to solidify her status as one of America’s preeminent songwriters with her enduring power of storytelling through song. The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee scored her first No. One hit at 18 with 1983’s “Faking Love,” her first Grammy nomination at 22 and became the first woman to have five No. One hits in a single calendar year. Having mined the human condition to deliver moments that struck powerful chords in the millions of people who’ve heard them, Berg’s songs speak to the state of being wholly open to life; she has accumulated 11 Millionaire Awards, with half a dozen multiple Millionaire designations, including a Sextuple for “XXX’s and OOO’s,” a pair of Quadruples for “Wild Angels” and “Strawberry Wine” and a Triple for “I’m That Kind of Girl.”
Her singular collection of chart-topping songs includes Deana Carter’s coming of age standard and 1997 Country Music Association Song of the Year “Strawberry Wine” and its follow-up “We Danced Anyway,” Martina McBride’s “Wild Angels,” Trisha Yearwood’s “Wrong Side of Memphis” and “XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl),” 2023 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Patty Loveless’ classics “I’m That Kind of Girl” and “You Can Feel Bad,” as well as Gretchen Wilson’s Grammy-nominated “I Don’t Feel Like Loving You Today,” Suzy Bogguss’ “Hey Cinderella,” Reba McEntire’s “The Last One To Know,” the Chicks’ “If I Fall You’re Going Down With Me,” and Kenny Chesney’s award-winning Grace Potter duet “You & Tequila.”
A special thank you to BMI’s longtime partners Crown Royal and George Dickel as well as its new partner WP Global Private Equity Partners for supporting the 71st annual BMI Country Awards.
ABOUT MATRACA BERG
Matraca Berg is the rarest of all beings: a child born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Going to sessions with her back-up singer mother and aunts as a baby, songs are her birthright. Scoring her first No. 1 with “Faking Love,” she received her first Grammy nomination at 22 with Reba McEntire’s “The Last One To Know.” In 1997, Berg became the first woman to have five No. 1s in a single year, winning the Country Music Association’s coveted Song of the Year for Deana Carter’s multiple week chart-topper “Strawberry Wine” in the process. That same year her critically-acclaimed Sunday Morning To Saturday Night was named to all-genre Top 10 Albums of the Year lists at TIME, USA Today, Rolling Stone, Chicago Tribune, PEOPLE, Playboy and Entertainment Weekly’s Top Three Country Albums of the Year.
A songwriter’s songwriter, her penchant for distilling the essence of real people, especially women, who demonstrate great strength in the throes of vulnerability had defined her work. Berg’s songs have been covered by Linda Ronstadt, Dusty Springfield, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Kim Carnes, Faith Hill, Keith Urban, Loretta Lynn, Patty Loveless, Trisha Yearwood, Ray Price, Reba, Robin & Linda Williams, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Pam Tillis, Randy Travis, Suzy Boggus, the (Dixie) Chicks and Kenny Chesney with Grace Potter. She’s co-created the musical review “Good Ole Girls” with noted Southern authors Lee Smith and Jill McCorkle and roots-rocker Marshall Chapman, which has been performed across the South after an off-Broadway run.
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 bmi.com, follow us on X 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.
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