MusicRow presented its 28th annual subscriber-voted MusicRow Awards on Wednesday (June 29) during a private ceremony hosted by BMI and sponsored by Anderson Benson.
Winners included producer Dave Cobb, songwriters Lori McKenna and Maren Morris, and the band Old Dominion. Nine studio musicians were also honored.
Song of the Year was presented to McKenna for her solo-penned “Humble and Kind,” recorded by Tim McGraw for Big Machine Records. She shared the award with the song’s publisher, Universal Music Publishing Group Nashville.
This marks McKenna’s second consecutive win, and third overall, for the MusicRow honor. The award recognizes a writer and publisher on the craft of songwriting, not necessarily chart position. McKenna performed an acoustic version of the song at the conclusion of the event. Her prior award-winning songs are “Stealing Kisses” (recorded by Faith Hill, 2007) and “Girl Crush” (recorded by Little Big Town, 2015).
Morris was named Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year for achieving her first Top 10 single as a songwriter during the eligibility period, with the song “My Church.” She is represented by BMI, published by Big Yellow Dog Music and is a Columbia Nashville recording artist.
Breakthrough Artist of the Year went to RCA Nashville’s Old Dominion. The quintet was honored for achieving significant career progress for the first time. Their hits include “Break Up With Him” and “Snapback.” Old Dominion was on tour and unable to accept the award in person, but submitted a video to express their thanks.
Producer of the Year was awarded to Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, A Thousand Horses, Wheeler Walker Jr.). This year marked the first nomination and win for Cobb, who is a producer-in-residence at historic Studio A in Nashville.
Earlier in the event, awards were also presented to Nashville session musicians who earned the most credits on albums that reached Billboard’s Top 10 Country Albums Chart during the eligibility period.
The list includes: Shannon Forrest, drums; Charles Judge, keyboards; Justin Niebank, engineer; Paul Franklin, steel; Wes Hightower, vocals; Ilya Toshinskiy, guitar; Jimmie Lee Sloas, bass; and Stuart Duncan and Larry Franklin (tie), fiddle.
The event served as an unveiling of MusicRow Magazine’s June/July print issue, featuring a cover photo of BMI Nashville’s Writer Publisher relations team.
Exclusive editorial in this print issue includes a candid look at the close-knit partnership of a songwriter and financial planner with Brett Beavers (Big Deal Music BMG) and David Adams (David Adams Wealth Group). Music Health Alliance is also profiled as a healthcare resource for the music industry, while Jill Block discusses the benefit she and her late husband, Billy Block, received from the organization.
Additionally, the appeal of vinyl music is highlighted from commentary from industry players while Kenny Rogers joins MusicRow Publisher/Owner Sherod Robertson for a candid conversation about his farewell tour, his musical heroes, and his legacy.
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