NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The biggest stars and the best songwriters in country music celebrated Tuesday night at the 59th annual BMI Awards.
The BMI Awards are a highlight of CMA Week in Nashville. The biggest names in the business always show up. Kenny Chesney even walked the carpet, something that hasn't happen in years. Chesney also made an appearance to help put song writing in the spotlight.
Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman both attended, as well as the guys from Lady Antebellum and superstar Taylor Swift
"Without the songwriters that write the songs that we sing, or they inspire us. My biggest heroes in the music business, I believe. We wouldn't have met if it wasn't for songwriting, doing Tequila, the song that we sing together, that's what it's all about," said Chesney.
It was easy to spot the songwriters BMI honored Tuesday night they were all wearing well-earned medallions around their necks.
"This is a big time award for us as songwriters, it means a lot, so we're glad to be here," said singer-songwriter Grace Potter.
Each year the BMI Awards put industry veterans right next to country music up and comers. For many of those just getting started in the business, these nights are milestone moments.
"It's huge, I'm surrounded by people that I studied, I'm surrounded by people that made records that I listened to obsessively," said Luke Bryan, a songwriter.
The BMI Awards are a big night in Nashville because
they celebrate country music's best.
This year both Rhett Akins and Dallas Davidson were
named co-songwriters of the year. The Georgia
natives and close friends, are frequent collaborators on many well-known songs
including All About Tonight" (Blake
Shelton) and "All Over Me" (Josh Turner). Individually, Akins' wrote "Farmer's
Daughter" (Rodney Atkins) and Davidson was responsible for "Rain Is a Good
Thing" (Luke Bryan) .
The BMI song of the year is Josh Turner's 'All Over
Me, written by the songwriters of the year.
a surprise announcement, the BMI Country Song of the Year award was rechristened
the Frances W. Preston Award in honor of the legendary former BMI
President & CEO.
15 songs among the year's most performed, powerhouse Sony/ATV Music
Publishing Nashville scored its tenth consecutive Publisher of the Year win.
also celebrated an icon within country music. Bobby Bradock, known for such
songs as "D-I-V-O-R-C-E,", "He Stopped Loving Her Today," and "Old Flames Have
New Names," was named as the 2011 BMI Songwriting Icon. Braddock was inducted in
the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame 30 years ago, and is the only living
songwriter to have penned chart-toppers in five consecutive decades.