NASHVILLE, November 14, 2018 – BMI®, the global leader in music rights management, presented its 2018 BMI Country Awards this evening, honoring the prolific musical career of BMI Icon Award recipient Steve Cropper, as well as the Country Songwriter, Song and Publisher of the Year. The 66^th^ 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. 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.
Cropper, who was named this year’s BMI Icon Award honoree, joins an elite list of songwriters including Mac Davis, Dolly Parton, Bob DiPiero, Vince Gill, Hank Williams, Jr., Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, and others who have distinctly and profoundly influenced the music industry. During the evening, heavy-hitter John Legend, CMA New Artist of the Year nominee Luke Combs, up-and-comer Maggie Rose, and Lucie Silvas with blues musician Mike Farris and guitarist Kenny Greenberg paid musical tribute to Cropper. Silvas, Farris, and Greenberg together gave a rocking mashup of “Soul Man” and “Hold On, I’m Comin’,” honoring both Cropper’s extraordinary guitar prowess and his musical contribution to the American classics. Maggie Rose gave a powerful performance of “In the Midnight Hour,” followed by Luke Combs’ rendition of “Knock on Wood.” Finally, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter John Legend brought the house down with “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.”
In addition to Cropper’s Icon Award, Jesse Frasure was named 2018’s Country Songwriter of the Year. His writing credits include five of the most-performed songs of the past year, including Thomas Rhett’s “Marry Me” and “Unforgettable,” Easton Corbin’s “A Girl Like You,” Old Dominion’s “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart,” and LOCASH’s “Ring on Every Finger.”
The coveted Song of the Year award was given to “In Case You Didn’t Know,” written by Tyler Reeve and Trent Tomlinson. Published by Big Mosquito Music, Big Spaces Music, Brown Hound Publishing, Kirbfinder’s Mucho Love Music, and Smack of Ham Songs, the Brett Young track was the most-performed country song of the year.
Taking home the Publisher of the Year accolade was Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Group, which is responsible for 20 of the 50 most-performed songs of the year including megahits “Meant to Be” by Bebe Rexha featuring Florida Georgia Line, “When It Rains It Pours” and “Hurricane” by Luke Combs. The Group also publishes Keith Urban’s “The Fighter,” and “I Could Use A Love Song” by Maren Morris. During the ceremony, BMI as well saluted the songwriters and publishers of the 50 most-performed country songs of the previous year.
For a complete list of 2018 BMI Country Awards winners, please visit www.bmi.com/country
Photo and video footage can be accessed via the official EPK link early Wednesday morning: