*Many of us hear the great songs on the radio, on television, and through streaming media services like Pandora and Spotify daily. However, many of us don’t know the men and women behind the stars or the chart topping hits.
On Friday, BMI, the global leader in music rights managements, hosted its annual BMI R&B/Hip Hop awards honoring the artists and writers who product the hits that we jam to every day.
Hosted by BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill, Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Atlanta, Catherine Brewton along with Revolt TV President of Marketing Kenny Burns, the annual event paid homage to several icons in the music industry including Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges who was presented with the BMI President’s Award for his outstanding achievement in songwriting and his profound global influence on culture and the entertainment industry.
Ludacris, who has been in the music industry for more than 15 years, got the crowd jumping with a medley of all of his greatest hits including “Fantasy,” “How Low Can You Go,” “Southern Hospitality,” “Area Codes,” and “Yeah,” joined by special guest Mystikal.
The evening also featured a slew of performances: rapper TeeFlii and DJ Goofy delivered “24 Hours”; Tamar Braxton offered “Love and War”; and a special set by DJ Mustard and YG.
Additional top honors were presented at the awards ceremony: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us” earned the Song of the Year prize; Lil Wayne was crowned the Songwriter of the Year for penning hits “Ball,” “Bandz A Make Her Dance,” “Beware,” “Love Me,” “No Worries,” and “Pop That.” DJ Mustard won the coveted Producer of the Year award and Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. accepted the prestigious Publisher of the Year crystal for having 14 of the most-performed songs from the previous year.
BMI also recognized top producers Mike Dean, Noel “Detail” Fisher, Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon, Ryan Lewis and Kanye West.
Zendaya won the BMI Social Star Award. Selected by fans voting via Twitter, the award salutes the BMI R&B/hip-hop songwriter who has best demonstrated the power of social media to showcase their songwriting talents.
During the ceremony, BMI also recognized the songwriters of Billboard No. 1 singles on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs charts over the past year.