BMI HONORS GEORGE CLINTON, T-PAIN, LIL WAYNE AND MANY MORE AT URBAN AWARDS IN NEW YORK
NEW YORK, September 10, 2009 – U.S. music rights organization BMI saluted the world’s premier R&B, rap and hip-hop songwriters, producers and publishers tonight at its annual Urban Awards.
BMI President & CEO Del Bryant and Catherine Brewton, Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Atlanta, hosted the ceremony at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th Street, New York City.
Hip-hop titans T-Pain and Lil Wayne shared the prestigious Songwriter of the Year prize, as trendsetters Polow Da Don and Kanye West both earned Producer of the Year titles. Song of the Year honors went to Jordin Sparks’ “No Air,” written by Erik Griggs, while Universal Music Publishing Group garnered yet another Publisher of the Year crown.
The capstone of the night’s festivities was the presentation of the BMI Icon Award to George Clinton, whose achievements were celebrated with an all-star musical tribute, featuring performances by Cee-Lo Green, who delivered “One Nation Under a Groove”; Nikka Costa and Parliament/Funkadelic’s Bootsy Collins, who performed “Atomic Dog”; Janelle Monáe and Gym Class Hero’s Travis McCoy, who performed “Flashlight”; and Dallas Austin, Big Gipp and Outkast’s Big Boi, whose medley of “(Not Just) Knee Deep,” “Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk)” and “Up for the Down Store” was the jaw-dropping conclusion.
Clinton enters an elite collection of BMI Icons including the Jacksons, James Brown, the Bee Gees, Isaac Hayes, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Gloria Estefan, Willie Nelson, Carlos Santana, Little Richard and Al Green—songwriters who have had a “unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.”
The pioneer of p-funk, Clinton’s solo work and collaborations with his ace bands Parliament, Funkadelic and the P. Funk All-Stars rank among urban and rock music’s most influential. From the self-penned “(I Wanna) Testify,” “Atomic Dog,” “One Nation Under a Groove” to “Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk)” and “Aqua Boogie,” his songs have spawned new genres of music, have been sampled in countless hits and have been used in more than 1,000 television programs and films.
In 1997, George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic became members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, claimed a spot on the Hollywood Rock Walk and garnered the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAACP Image Awards.
T-Pain and Lil Wayne both contributed six songs to the year’s most-performed list, underscoring the dominance both artists have achieved, occasionally through collaborations with each other. T-Pain’s award-winning compositions include “Baby Don’t Go,” recorded by Fabolous; Rick Ross’s “The Boss”; “Low,” recorded by Flo Rida and featuring T-Pain; 2 Pistols’ “She Got It”; and “Can’t Believe It” and “Got Money,” which he co-wrote and performed with Lil Wayne. In addition to “Can’t Believe It” and “Got Money,” Lil Wayne’s most-performed compositions include “A Milli,” “Lollipop” and “Mrs. Officer,” which he co-wrote and recorded; and “Duffle Bag Boy,” recorded by Playaz Circle and featuring Lil Wayne.
Song of the Year “No Air” was co-written by Erik “Bluetooth” Griggs and published by 4 X Ample Music, Irving Music and Underdog East Songs.
Recorded by Jordin Sparks and featuring Chris Brown, the tune has already amassed more than 1 million performances in the United States alone, as more than 3.5 million copies have been digitally purchased worldwide. In addition to achieving platinum-sales status in the U.S., New Zealand and Australia, “No Air” climbed into the top ten of charts over the world.
Polow Da Don and Kanye West shared the Producer of the Year win thanks to individually logging the most producer credits on charting songs over the past year.
The BMI Top Urban Producers list also featured contemporary hit-makers L.O.S. Da Mystro, Jim Jonsin, T-Pain and JR Rotem.Universal Music Publishing Group earned its second consecutive BMI Urban Publisher of the Year trophy by scoring the highest percentage of copyright ownership in award songs.
The publishing powerhouse placed fifteen hits on the most-performed list, including Mario’s “Crying Out for Me”; David Banner’s “Get Like Me,” featuring Chris Brown; Usher’s “Love In This Club,” featuring Young Jeezy; Alicia Key’s “Teenage Love Affair”; and Mariah Carey’s “Touch My Body”; along with Song of the Year “No Air” and compositions from Songwriter of the Year T-Pain.Additional multiple award-winners included T.I., with three BMI Urban Awards, and Chris Brown, Jim Jonsin, Plies, Polow Da Don, JR Rotem, Kanye West and Young Jeezy, who each contributed two songs to the most-performed list.
The BMI and Coca-Cola #1 Show held prior to the ceremony also recognized the BMI-affiliated writers whose songs reached #1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Hot Rap Tracks, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and Hot 100 charts during the past year.
Sponsors of the 2009 BMI Urban Awards were Coca-Cola and official spirits sponsor Hennessy Black, who provided the evening’s complimentary cocktails.
Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI) is an American performing right organization that represents more than 400,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music and more than 6.5 million works. BMI reported $905 million for its 2009 fiscal year in performing right collections.
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.