Each songwriter co-wrote three of BMI’s most performed R&B/hip-hop songs. Megan Thee Stallion co-wrote her hits “Body”, “Cry Baby” and “Thot Shit”. YC co-wrote Moneybagg Yo’s “Time Today” and “Wockesha” and Pooh Shiesty’s “Back in Blood” (with Lil Durk).
The private event was hosted by Mike O’Neill, BMI President and CEO, and Catherine Brewton, BMI Vice President, Creative (Atlanta).
The award for song of the year went to Justin Bieber smash “Peaches”, featuring Daniel Caesar and GIVĒON. Five of the song’s co-writers – Caesar, GIVĒON, Bernard “HARV” Harvey, Luis Manuel Martinez Jr. (Shndō) and Andrew Watt — are signed with BMI. The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 1.
Sony Music Publishing received BMI’s R&B/Hip-Hop Publisher of the Year for representing 20 of the previous year’s most performed songs, including “Peaches,” Polo G’s “Rapstar,” Drake’s “Way 2 Sexy” (featuring Future and Young Thug) and Gunna’s “Lemonade” (with Internet Money featuring Don Toliver & Nav).
D’Mile was presented as producer of the year for his work on Silk Sonic’s “Smokin Out the Window,” “Skate” and “Leave the Door Open,” as well as “Fair Trade” by Drake and Travis Scott.
Top producer citations also went to ATL Jacob, Rogét Chahayed, Isaac “Zac” De Boni, Charlie Handsome, Michael “Finatik” Mulé and Kanye West.
As previously announcedBusta Rhymes was named a BMI Icon for his “defining influence on hip-hop and for guiding the next generation of talent.”
A video tribute was shown with comments from Janet Jackson, Lil Wayne, Missy Elliott, Fat Joe and Mariah Carey. Called to the stage, Pharrell Williams said he felt “honored to be in the presence of someone who had the courage to be so different … and still does today.”
Upon receiving the honor, Rhymes commented, “We’re all blessed with this gift. It’s one thing to identify with the gift, it’s another thing to believe in it once you identify with it.” He went on to say, “The most beautiful part about it is that I deserved this … I’ve never been celebrated as an icon before, but I never had to question whether I was.”
Rhymes then performed a hit medley including “Break Ya Neck,” “Scenario” and “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See” with longtime friend and collaborator Spliff Star and DJ Scratchator. Pharrell ended the night by joining Rhymes for a performance of “Pass the Courvoisier.”
As the 2022 BMI Icon, Busta Rhymes joins an elite group of music creators who have received BMI’s highest honors. Among them: Janet Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Nile Rodgers, Snoop Dogg, The Jacksons, LA Reid, Babyface, Al Green, Isaac Hayes and James Brown.
During the celebration, BMI recognized the top producers and songwriters of the previous year’s 35 top-performing R&B/hip-hop songs in the BMI repertoire in the United States. BMI notes that the writers of these songs included 64 first-time winners.
DJ Khaled hosted while DJ Nasty performed throughout the evening. Soul trap singer and rapper Murray performed his songs “Bad Situations” and “Quicksand.” Nigerian singer/songwriter and producer Pheelz performed “Electricity” and his viral hit, “Finesse.”
To see a complete list of winners, visit BMI.com.