Willie Nelson to be honored by BMI on 11/6/07


NASHVILLE, TN – U.S. performing rights organization BMI will salute the past year’s most popular country songs on Tuesday, November 6, 2007 at the 55th Annual BMI Country Awards, country music’s oldest awards celebration. Staged at the company’s Music Row offices, the black-tie, invitation-only event spotlights the 50 most-performed songs of the previous year. 

Citations of Achievement will be presented to the writers and publishers of the top 50 songs. The evening will culminate in the announcement of Songwriter of the Year, Publisher of the Year, and Most Performed Country Song of the Year (the Robert J. Burton Award). Among the distinguished talents who have previously been crowned BMI Country Songwriter of the Year are Harlan Howard, Don Gibson, Bill Anderson, Roger Miller, John D. Loudermilk, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, Dennis Morgan, Paul Overstreet, Vince Gill, Shania Twain, Tom Shapiro, Troy Verges, Dixie Chick Martie Maguire, Ronnie Dunn, Bobby Braddock and eight-time victor Billy Sherrill.

In addition to recognizing the past year’s most-performed songs, BMI will officially name Willie Nelson the newest BMI Icon. Nelson joins an elite list of past honorees that includes country music stalwarts Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Whisperin’ Bill Anderson and Loretta Lynn, along with multi-genre nobility including the Bee Gees, Isaac Hayes, Ray Davies and James Brown. 

A romantic aesthete, Willie Nelson makes all that he touches beautiful. As a BMI Icon, Nelson will perhaps be recognized most for his songwriting, which has long enraptured the entire world. His love of the offbeat and heedlessness of conventional time signatures have made Nelson an innovative and inimitable guitarist. As a singer, his deft phrasing and naked sincerity are irresistible. The Texas native’s “Crazy,” “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,” “Funny How Time Slips Away,” “On the Road Again” and “Good Hearted Woman” merely skim the surface of a catalog stacked with unvarnished classics. Famous for his ceaseless touring, Nelson is an untiring philanthropist and humanitarian, most visibly through Willie-coined events like Farm Aid.

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