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August 26, 2004

News, BMI Urban Awards, International, Rock, R&B;, Pop, Latin, Country, Urban

BMI Celebrates Urban Music at 2004 Awards with Top Writers, Producers, Publishers

Al Green Honored as BMI ICON

BMI saluted the premier R&B;, rap and hip-hop songwriters, producers and publishers at its 2004 BMI Urban Awards, staged tonight (8/27) at the Grand Ballroom at the Fontainebleau Hilton Resorts & Towers in Miami Beach.

Pictured at the 2004 BMI Urban Awards are BMI's Del Bryant and Frances Preston, Producer of the Year R. Kelly, BMI ICON honoree Al Green and BMI's Catherine Brewton

R. Kelly won two of the evening's top honors as writer of Song of the Year, "Ignition," and as Urban Producer of the Year. Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams were proclaimed Urban Songwriters of the Year and Universal Music Publishing was named Urban Publisher of the Year. A highlight of the gala was a tribute to soul music legend Al Green, who was named a BMI ICON for "his enduring influence on generations of music makers."

BMI Urban Awards Event Photos
2004 BMI Urban Awards Song List
Al Green: MusicWorld Feature | BMI Awards List
More on BMI and Urban Music

The black-tie ceremony was hosted by BMI President and CEO Del Bryant. President Emeritus Frances W. Preston and Assistant Vice President of Writer/Publisher Relations Catherine Brewton assisted with the presentations to the BMI-affiliated writers and publishers of the 36 most performed songs in the urban music format.

Al Green R. Kelly Busta Rhymes

"Ignition," written by R. Kelly and published by R. Kelly Publishing, Inc. and Zomba Songs Inc., was named Urban Song of the Year for tallying the most US broadcast performances during the eligibility period. Included on Kelly's multi-platinum Jive Records album, Chocolate Factory, "Ignition" was a Billboard R&B;/Hip-Hop, Hot 100 and Top 40 charts smash.

Mannie Fresh Nate Dogg Kanye West

Kelly collected his second major award of the night when he was crowned Producer of the Year. The BMI Top Urban Producers list also included Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams of the Neptunes, Busta Rhymes, Irv Gotti, Jazze Pha, Lil' Jon, Mannie Fresh, Nate Dogg, Kany� West, Mario Winans, and D-Roc and Kaine of the Ying Yang Twins.

Irv Gotti Jazze Pha Lil' Jon

The BMI Urban Songwriter of the Year trophy went to the team of Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams - also known as the Neptunes - who placed five titles on the most performed list. The songs earning them the prize were "Beautiful" (recorded by Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell and Uncle Charlie Wilson), "Excuse Me Miss" (by Jay-Z), "Frontin'" (Pharrell featuring Jay-Z), "Luv U Better" (LL Cool J featuring Marc Dorsey) and "When the Last Time" (The Clipse).

Mario WinansYing Yang Twins

This is the third Urban Songwriter of the Year award for Williams; he also won in 2001 and 2002. At last year's ceremony, Williams took the BMI Urban Song of the Year honor for co-writing "Hot In Herre," and the Neptunes were named Urban Producers of the Year.

Eight songwriters were double winners, contributing two songs each to the most-performed list: Jeff I. Bass, Mary Y. Brown, Eminem, Irv Gotti, Jazze Pha, R. Kelly, Lil' Jon and Sham. Other writer/artists earning awards were Jennifer Lopez, Ja Rule, Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, Anthony Hamilton, Wayne Wonder and Paul Simon.

Universal Music Publishing was named BMI Urban Publisher of the Year by accumulating the highest percentage of copyright ownership in award songs. David Renzer, Worldwide President of Universal Music Publishing Group, accepted on behalf of the publisher, which boasted 10 songs on the most-performed list (through its companies Irving Music, Songs of Universal, Inc., and Universal-Songs of PolyGram International, Inc.).

Other publishers with multiple award-winning songs were EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc. (9); Warner/Chappell Music Group (Unichappell Music, Inc./Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.) (7); Waters of Nazareth Publishing (5); Careers-BMG Music Publishing, Inc./Zomba Songs Inc., Ensign Music Corporation, Noontime Tunes (3); and Bubba Gee Music, D J Irv Publishing, Eight Mile Style Music, Miss Mary's Music, Nitty and Capone Publishing, R. Kelly Publishing, Inc., White Rhino Music, Inc. (2).

The evening culminated in the ICON tribute to Al Green, who was honored during the dinner with performances by BMI artists Kany� West, Pharrell, Sleepy Brown, Claudette Ortiz and Lloyd. Born in Forest City, Ark., Green blends southern gospel, Philadelphia soul, and a soaring, sensual voice to create music that has rocked our world for four decades. Ranked by many as the world's greatest living soul artist, he became an international superstar through such self-written hits as "Let's Stay Together," "I'm Still in Love With You," "Call Me," "Love and Happiness," "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)" and "Tired of Being Alone." Green is in the midst of a remarkable comeback, thanks to his current Blue Note album, I Can't Stop, which reunites him with producer/arranger/songwriting collaborator Willie Mitchell, who first signed Green to the Memphis-based Hi label and oversaw the singer's seminal string of '70s smashes.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer joins an impressive list of previous ICON honorees including country songwriter/artists Bill Anderson and Dolly Parton; R&B; legends James Brown, Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Bo Diddley; "Soul Man" Isaac Hayes; Motown songwriting trio Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland; and pop songwriting master Brian Wilson.

In addition to the BMI performance awards, music trade magazine Billboard recognized the BMI-affiliated writers who had #1 songs on the R&B;/Hip-Hop Singles and Rap Tracks charts during the past year; Kany� West led with four songs, two of which topped both lists.

BMI annually honors the songwriters and music publishers of the most performed songs on American radio in the urban, pop, country, Latin and Christian genres.

Delta is the official airline of BMI's 2004 Urban Awards.

BMI members in this story: Bill Anderson, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Sleepy Brown, Del Bryant, Busta Rhymes, Bo Diddley, Nate Dogg, Lamont Dozier, Eminem, Irv Gotti, Al Green, Anthony Hamilton, Isaac Hayes, Brian Holland, Chad Hugo, Ja Rule, Jazze Pha, R. Kelly, Little Richard, Jennifer Lopez, The Neptunes, Claudette Ortiz, Dolly Parton, Frances Preston, Sham, Paul Simon, Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Brian Wilson, Charlie Wilson, Mario Winans, Wayne Wonder, Ying Yang Twins

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