Songwriter of the Year: Taylor Swift
Publisher of the Year: Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville
Song of the Year: “You Belong With Me,” written by Liz Rose and Taylor Swift, published by Sony/ATV Tree, Taylor Swift Music, Wagnerville Music
BMI Icon: Billy Sherrill
Taylor Swift became the youngest person ever to be named BMI Country Songwriter of the Year last night (11/9) at the organization’s annual Country Awards. Swift, 20, earned the award thanks to her self-recorded compositions “Fifteen,” “White Horse” and “You Belong With Me,” as well as “Best Days of Your Life,” recorded by Kellie Pickler.
“You Belong With Me” also earned Swift her third consecutive BMI Country Song of the Year trophy, making her the only songwriter to win the award three years in a row. Co-written with frequent collaborator Liz Rose, the song is published by Sony/ATV Tree, Taylor Swift Music, Orbison Music LLC, and Wagnerville Music.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville earned its ninth consecutive BMI Country Publisher of the Year title at the black-tie event staged at BMI’s Music Row offices.
Billy Sherrill, the father of the contemporary country sound, was named a BMI Icon [see video below]. An all-star tribute paid homage to Sherrill’s genre-shaping work as a producer and songwriter. Ronnie Dunn performed “The Most Beautiful Girl”; Martina McBride delivered “’Til I Can Make It on My Own”; Faith Hill contributed “Stand By Your Man”; and George Strait offered “My Elusive Dreams.” Sherrill has received more BMI Country Awards than any other songwriter in history, and was named BMI Country Songwriter of the 20th Century in 1999.
BMI President & CEO Del Bryant hosted the gala with Jody Williams, Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Nashville. Awards were also given to the songwriters and publishers behind country music’s most-performed songs of the past year.
In 2008, Swift became the youngest songwriter to win Country Song of the Year, and earlier this year she became the youngest individual to pen the BMI Pop Song of the Year.