The 2017 BMI Country Awards honored the prolific songwriting career of BMI Icon Award recipient Bob DiPiero, as well as the Country Songwriter, Song and Publisher of the Year. The 65th annual even celebrated the songwriters and publishers of the most-performed country songs of the past year. In addition, country superstar Keith Urban was presented with the BMI Champion award for his work supporting the next generation of songwriters and music makers.
DiPiero, who was named this year’s BMI Icon Award winner, joins an elite list of songwriters including Mac Davis, Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Hank Williams, Jr., Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Charlie Daniels, Kris Kristofferson, and more. He was honored with a tribute concert from country heavy hitters Brooks & Dunn and Reba, as well as country newcomer, Jon Pardi. The BMI Icon Award is presented to songwriters who have distinctly and profoundly influenced the music industry. Brooks & Dunn gave a rocking performance of “You Can’t Take The Honky Tonk Out of The Girl,” and Reba serenaded the room of industry tastemakers with a heartfelt performance of the 1994 chart topper, “Till You Love Me.” Newcomer Jon Pardi brought the house down with “Daddy’s Money.”
Ross Copperman was named Songwriter of the Year for the second year in a row. His writing credits include six of the most-performed songs of the past year, including LOCASH’s “I Know Somebody,” Kenny Chesney’s “Noise” and “Setting The World On Fire,” Brett Eldredge’s “Wanna Be That Song,” Keith Urban’s “Break On Me,” A Thousand Horses’ “Smoke” and Luke Bryan’s “Strip It Down.”
The coveted Song of the Year award was given to “H.O.L.Y.,” written by busbee and Nate Cyphert. Published by BMG Platinum Songs US, BRRCOFFEE, and Pulse Ventures, the Florida Georgia Line track was the most-performed country song of the year.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville continued their incredible winning streak of more than a decade, again taking home the Publisher of the Year accolade. Responsible for 26 of the 50 most-performed songs of the year, Sony/ATV published megahits such as Keith Urban’s “Break On Me,” Cole Swindell’s “You Should Be Here,” Luke Bryan’s “Huntin’, Fishin’, and Lovin’ Every Day,” and many more. During the ceremony, BMI also saluted the songwriters and publishers of the 50 most-performed country songs of the previous year.