BMI proudly honored internationally-celebrated songwriter Sting as a BMI Icon today 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 the UK and European songwriters, producers and publishers of the most-performed songs of 2015 on U.S. radio and television.
Sting was named a BMI Icon because of his “unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers,” joining a list of past honorees that includes 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 and CEO Mike O’Neill before taking to the ballroom stage for a special acoustic rendition of “Message In A Bottle.” He then treated the 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 honor 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 honor as well as a privilege.
BMI also honored Ed Sheeran with the Song of the Year award (The Robert S. Musel Award) for “Thinking Out Loud.” The trophy is given to the most performed song of 2015 by UK or European writers in the BMI catalog on U.S. radio. In addition, “Hey Mama” was awarded the prestigious Dance Song of the Year. The hit was written by Giorgio Tuinfort, Afrojack, Sean Douglas, Ester Dean and Alan & John Lomax, and made famous by David Guetta, featuring Nicki Minaj and Bebe Rexha.
Throughout the night, BMI also celebrated many other British songwriters and co-writers of the most performed songs on U.S radio and television. Among them was Rudimental, who were presented with a Pop Award for “Lay It On Me,” which was also co-written by Ed Sheeran. Hozier was presented with an award for “Someone New,” while 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 winning for “Night Changes” and “Drag Me Down.” In addition, Snow Patrol received a BMI Million-Air Award to honor 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.”