*Urban music’s top creators shared the stage Friday night at BMI’s Urban Awards at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. The annual event celebrates the songwriters, producers and music publishers of the past year’s most-performed r&b, rap and hip-hop songs in the BMI repertoire.
The 2011 ceremony featured high-wattage star power and broke BMI records. The incomparable Snoop Dogg was honored as a BMI Icon. With seven songs among the most-performed, Drake accepted his first BMI Urban Songwriter of the Year crown. At 22, B.o.B became the youngest songwriter ever to win BMI Urban Song of the Year thanks to his “Nothin’ on You,” featuring Bruno Mars.
Only 20 years old, Lexus “Lex Luger” Lewis carved out his own place in BMI history, becoming the youngest ever to be named BMI Urban Producer of the Year. In addition to Luger, BMI honored Top Producers Polow Da Don, Daniel “Kane Beatz” Johnson, R. Kelly and Kanye West.
Universal Music Publishing Group scored 13 songs among the year’s most-performed and claimed the BMI Urban Publisher of the Year crystal.
A stacked live musical tribute paid homage to Snoop Dogg. Wiz Khalifa kicked off the tribute with “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang”; The Lady of Rage followed with “Deep Cover”; Too $hort delivered “Gin & Juice”; Warren G, Kurupt and Daz Dillinger came together for “Ain’t No Fun”; Game performed “Murder was the Case”; Charlie Wilson delivered “Beautiful”; Akon followed with “Sexual Seduction”; Nas and Kurupt wowed with “Next Episode”; and lastly, Aftermath’s Dr. Dre offered a heartfelt speech before Snoop Dogg himself joined Bootsy Collins and Charlie Wilson on stage to deliver “What’s My Name?” as the towering finale.
BMI honors songwriters who have had a “unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers” as Icons. Snoop Dogg joins a list of past honorees that includes George Clinton, The Jacksons, James Brown, Isaac Hayes, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, The Bee Gees, Willie Nelson and Carlos Santana, to name but a few.
BMI President & CEO Del Bryant and Catherine Brewton, Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Atlanta, hosted the 2011 BMI Urban Awards. For a full list of winners, visit www.bmi.com/urban.
Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI), a global leader in rights management, is an American performing right organization that represents more than 475,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music and more than 6.5 million works. BMI has represented the most popular and beloved music from around the world for 70 years. The 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. BMI songwriters and composers were the most celebrated creative voices in awards presentations and on the charts during the past year, accounting for almost two-thirds of the Grammy Awards and dominating other key awards and honors presentations across all genres of music (www.bmi.com).