Last night, BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) paid tribute to the best in songwriting at its 67th Annual BMI Pop Awards held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. World-renowned singer/songwriter and musician Sting was celebrated for “Every Breath You Take” becoming the Most Performed Song in BMI’s repertoire of over 14 million musical works, GRAMMY Award-winning band Imagine Dragons received the BMI President’s Award and legendary music publishing executive Martin Bandier was named a BMI Icon. The private event, hosted by BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill and Vice President, Worldwide Creative Barbara Cane, also saluted the songwriters and publishers of the past year’s most-performed Pop songs in the United States from BMI’s extensive catalog.
The night’s first honor went to Sting for penning the timeless hit “Every Breath You Take,” which is now BMI’s most performed song with nearly 15 million radio plays. O’Neill commemorated Sting’s milestone, noting that “the enduring success of ‘Every Breath You Take’ is truly a spectacular achievement that now has a singular place in songwriting history.” Upon receiving the honor, Sting commented, “I am so deeply proud to be a member of this community of songwriters. There’s a rare nobility in this profession that is more than just mere entertainment, and I believe it has something to do with the form of a song.” The rock icon went on to give an intimate acoustic performance of his signature single, which first became a hit in 1983 with The Police before its 1995 resurgence with “I’ll Be Missing You” by P. Diddy, Faith Evans and 112.
Imagine Dragons received the BMI President’s Award in honor of their incredible creative accomplishments and commitment to philanthropic efforts that bring awareness to social injustice. In receiving this award, the group joins an illustrious group of previous recipients including Luis Fonsi, P!nk, Adam Levine, Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney and Ludacris, among others. In addition to the BMI President’s Award, two of their singles, “Thunder,” which recently reached a milestone of more than one billion streams, and “Whatever It Takes” from the group’s third album Evolve, were recognized among the evening’s top-performed songs of the past year. Imagine Dragons took to the stage after receiving their awards for an acoustic version of some of their biggest hits including “It’s Time,” “Believer” and “Radioactive.”
Marking the first time a music publisher has been named a BMI Icon, Martin Bandier received the honor in recognition of his many contributions to the industry at large including his tireless work to advocate for songwriters’ rights. Under his leadership, Sony/ATV became the largest music publisher in the world and home to some of the biggest names in music including BMI songwriters Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran, P!nk, Carole King, Sting and Taylor Swift. Bandier accepted the honor with “humble gratitude” commenting, “Just as BMI backed me and believed in me at the start of my career, I hope that I have offered the same support and mentorship to those with whom I’ve worked with along the way.” Singer/songwriter Steve Tyrell graced the stage to honor Bandier with a dedicated performance of “Stand By Me.”
BMI’s 50 best-performing songs were also named throughout the evening, leading up to the announcement of the BMI Pop Song of the Year, which went to Bebe Rexha, Joshua Miller and Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard for their massive hit, “Meant to Be.” It was a four-way tie for the prestigious Songwriter of the Year award, with Adam “Frank Dukes” Feeney, Taylor Swift, Ali Tamposi and Andrew Watt each writing four of the year’s most-performed songs, and Sony/ATV Music Publishing scored the esteemed BMI Pop Publisher of the Year crystal with 28 of the year’s most-performed songs.
For a complete list of 2019 winners, visit bmi.com.