The BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards honor the best songwriters in the urban music industry, and this year featured a stellar cast of superstars and up-and-comers getting their due. Additionally, this year’s awards were an opportunity to celebrate one of hip-hop’s greatest success stories. For the better part of 15 years, Cash Money Records has been one of the most successful labels in hip-hop. Its founders, Bryan “Birdman” Williams and Ronald “Slim” Williams, were given their due at this year’s awards ceremony.
The duo was honored as BMI Icons at the 2013 ceremony, held last night at the Hammerstein Ballroom in The Manhattan Center in New York City. And the audience was treated to some throwback hits courtesy of former label stars Mannie Fresh, Juvenile and Turk, who were all on hand to pay tribute to the famous label with a stellar performance of old hits like “Bling Bling.”
The Cash Money family dominated the annual invitation-only event, taking home seven awards, with label superstar Nicki Minaj awarded with BMI’s Songwriter of the Year. Lil Wayne, the label’s longest-tenured and biggest star, also shared some words about the night and the only label he has ever called home.
Countless other hip-hop stars, including Trinidad James, Juelz Santana, Future, Sean Kingston, MC Hammer, Curren$y were also on hand, as well as celebs like Rocsi Diaz, Po Johnson and Eva Marcille.
R&B star Ray J served as host, alongside BMI president and CEO Del Bryant and vice president Catherine Brewton. Other winners, including Universal Music Group, won the coveted Publisher of the Year Award. Bad Boy rapper Machine Gun Kelly, snagged the BMI Social Star Award for the artist who best demonstrated the power of social media as a platform for songwriting skill.
Hit the click to check out some photos from the red carpet and backstage …