Keith Urban, Bob DiPiero Among Honorees at 2017 BMI COUNTRY AWARDS

BMI proudly presented its 2017 BMI Country Awards last night, honoring 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 event, which is the genre's oldest awards ceremony, also 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. BMI President and CEO Mike O'Neill hosted the ceremony at the Company's office in Nashville, along with Jody Williams, BMI Vice President, Creative, Nashville.

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."

Earlier in the evening, Keith Urban was presented with the BMI Champion award for his tireless commitment to numerous music education programs such as the CMA Foundation, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the GRAMMY Foundation, the Mr. Holland's Opus Fund, MusiCares, and others. Urban's "All For The Hall" benefit concerts have raised more than $2.6 million for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and since 2013, the proceeds from his new URBAN™ Guitar Collection have benefited both the GRAMMY Foundation and Mr. Holland's Opus Fund. Maren Morris performed "But For The Grace of God" with help from the Nashville School of the Arts choir, who performed with URBAN™ Guitars donated to the school. The song was his first number one single.

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.

Congratulations to all! Here's a complete list of the night's winners:

SONG OF THE YEAR

H.O.L.Y.
busbee
Nate Cyphert
BMG Platinum Songs US
BRRCOFFEE
Pulse Ventures

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR

ROSS COPPERMAN
American Country Love Song
Break On Me
I Know Somebody
Noise
Setting The World On Fire
Wanna Be That Song

PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR

SONY/ATV MUSIC PUBLISHING NASHVILLE
(EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc, Sony/ATV Acuff Rose, Sony/ATV Countryside and Sony/ATV Tree)
A Little More Summertime
American Country Love Song
Better Man
Break On Me
Dirt On My Boots
Head Over Boots
Huntin', Fishin' and Lovin' Every Day
I Know Somebody
If The Boot Fits
Kill A Word
Livin' The Dream
Middle Of A Memory
Mind Reader
Move
Nobody To Blame
Noise
Parachute
Record Year
Rock On
Setting The World On Fire
Sober Saturday Night
Star Of The Show
Think A Little Less
Think Of You
Wanna Be That Song
You Should Be Here

CHAMPION AWARD

KEITH URBAN

ICON AWARD

BOB DIPIERO

Click here for the 2017 COUNTRY AWARDS TOP 50 SONGS

Source: BMI.com

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