Willie Nelson to receive BMI Honor 11/6/07


by Stephen L. Betts

The 55th Annual Country Awards are set for Nov. 6, with the performing rights organization recognizing the songwriters and publishers of the past year’s most performed BMI country songs on U.S. television and radio.

Willie Nelson will also be honored as a BMI Icon at the invitation-only event which will be held at the company’s Music Row offices in Nashville.

Hosted by President CEO Bryant and Nashville Writer/Publisher VP Jody Williams, the ceremony will also recognize the Country Songwriter of the Year, Country Publisher of the Year and most performed Country Song of the Year, also know as the Robert J. Burton Award.

In addition to Willie Nelson, dozens of other artists are expected to attend the black-tie gala including Country Music Hall of Fame members Bill Anderson (also a BMI Icon), Kris Kristofferson and Vince Gill, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Brooks & Dunn’s Ronnie Dunn, Martina McBride, Jessica Simpson, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Kid Rock, Ryan Adams, Dwight Yoakam, Little Big Town and Montgomery Gentry.

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

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