The BMI last night honoured internationally-celebrated songwriter Sting as BMI Icon at the 2016 BMI London Awards.
Music industry guests including Hozier, Rudimental, Snow Patrol, Disciples and Wayne Hector filled London’s Dorchester hotel to celebrate UK and European songwriters, producers and publishers of the most-performed songs of 2015 on United States radio and television.
Sting was named BMI Icon because of his “unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers” and joins a list of past honourees including Graham Gouldman, Sir Tim Rice, John Lydon, Queen, Ray Davies and Bryan Ferry among others. He was presented with the prestigious award by BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill before taking to the Ballroom stage for a special acoustic rendition of ‘Message In A Bottle’. He then treated invited guests to the first-ever performance of ‘Heading South On The Great North Road’ taken from his forthcoming album ‘57th & 9th’. He closed the show with ‘Every Breath You Take’, for which he also received a BMI Million-Air Award earlier in the evening, to honour 13 million combined radio plays.
Upon accepting the award Sting said:
“…your real job as a songwriter is to provide a soundtrack to people’s emotional lives, touchstones for their emotional landscapes, their memories. And that’s an unexpected and unanticipated honour as well as a privilege.”
BMI also honoured Ed Sheeran with the Song of the Year award (The Robert S. Musel Award) for ‘Thinking Out Loud’. The prize is given to the most-performed song of 2015 by UK or European writers in the BMI catalogue of U.S radio. In addition, ‘Hey Mama’ was awarded the prestigious Dance Song of the Year written by Giorgio Tuinfort, Afrojack, Sean Douglas, Ester Dean and Alan & John Lomax, which was made famous by David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj and Bebe Rexha.
Throughout the night, BMI honoured many British songwriters and co-writers of the most performed songs on U.S radio and television. Among them, Rudimental were presented with a Pop Award for ‘Lay It On Me’ which was also co-written by Ed Sheeran, whilst Hozier was presented with an award for ‘Someone New’. One Direction proved they had another unbeatable year in 2015, with songwriting powerhouses Wayne Hector and Ed Drewett receiving awards for co-writing ‘Steal My Girl’ and Jamie Scott recognised for ‘Night Changes’ and ‘Drag Me Down’.
Snow Patrol received a BMI Million-Air Award to honour the combined radio plays of the BRIT Award nominated ‘Chasing Cars’. Also receiving Million-Air Awards were Sir Paul McCartney for ‘Live and Let Die’, Ray Davies for ‘Lola’ and ‘You Really Got Me’, Howard Jones for ‘No One Is To Blame’ and Elton John for ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ and ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’.