Songwriters and producers are the architechs of music. BMI recently honored the top artists, songwriters, and producers of the past year at the 2017 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards.
Held at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, the event was hosted by BMI president/CEO Mike O’Neill, BMI vice president, Catherine Brewton, and the lifestyle specialist, Kenny Burns.
The night kicked off with Atlanta’s own Big Boi from OutKast performing a medley of two of their biggest hits, “B.O.B.” and “GhettoMusick.” Jacquees serenaded the audience with his Billboard R&B charting single, “B.E.D.” while Rick Ross kept the energy flowing with a medley of his biggest hits including “Hustlin,’” “Trap, Trap, Trap” and “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast).”
Universal Music Publishing Group claimed Publisher of the Year and hitmakers Future, DJ Khaled and Rihanna tied for Songwriter of the Year.
The second half of the evening featured an array of outstanding tribute performances honoring Patti LaBelle. Ms. LaBelle hit the stage where she gave an impromptu performance of “Over the Rainbow” and thanked those who paid tribute to her throughout the evening.
As a BMI Icon, Ms. LaBelle joined an elite group of songwriters who have received BMI’s Icon Award for their “unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.” Previous recipients include Nile Rodgers, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, James Brown, Al Green and Snoop Dogg, among others.
A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.