Matt Maher, Chris Tomlin, and For King and Country’s Luke Smallbone were among the big winners last night (June 21) during BMI’s annual Christian Awards, held at the performing rights organization’s Nashville office.
Maher and Tomlin tied this year for Christian Songwriter of the Year. Maher was honored for his songs “Because He Lives (Amen),” “Come As You Are,” and “Soul On Fire.” Tomlin, a co-writer on “Because He Lives (Amen),” also penned “At The Cross (Love Ran Red),” and “Jesus Loves Me.”
For King and Country’s “Shoulders” earned BMI Christian Song of the Year honors. The track was penned by BMI songwriter Luke Smallbone, alongside Ben Glover, Joel Smallbone, and Tedd Tjornhom. Publishers include Dayspring Music, Kilns Music and Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corporation.
Word Music Publishing (Dayspring Music and Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corporation) took home the Publisher of the Year award, having earned the highest percentage of copyright ownership among the year’s most-performed songs, including the hits “More Than You Think I Am,” “Save My Life,” “Shoulders,” “Through All Of It” and “Who I Am.”
BMI Nashville’s VP, Writer/Publisher Relations Jody Williams and BMI Nashville’s Executive Director, Writer/Publisher Relations Leslie Roberts hosted the ceremony.
The evening began on a somber yet joyous note, with Steven Curtis Chapman performing “My Redeemer Is Faithful and True,” in honor of musician, Imperials member, and former BMI executive Joe Moscheo, who died earlier this year. Moscheo joined BMI in 1978 and served as vice president of special projects, staying with the company for 16 years. Chapman is but one of the many songwriters Moscheo championed during his time at BMI.
Maher took his spot behind a keyboard for a rendition of “Because He Lives (Amen),” while duo All Sons & Daughters also offered a performance of “I Surrender.”
The evening was especially sweet for those picking up their first BMI Christian honors. Though BMI writer Tim Nichols has been awarded 19 BMI awards for his country compositions, including “Live Like You Were Dying” recorded by Tim McGraw, he picked up his first BMI Christian award during last night’s ceremony, for co-writing “More Than You Think I Am,” alongside Bernie Herms and Danny Gokey.
Others picking up their first BMI honors included THiS Music’s Molly Reed (for “Through All Of It”), Monty Allen and Robert Arthur (for “Glory Bound”).
Among those in attendance were former BMI President/CEO Del Bryant, as well current BMI President/CEO Mike O’Neill and Sr. VP, Writer/Publisher Relations Phil Graham.
“We’re honored to be able to celebrate these top Christian music creators,” noted Williams. “These songwriters and publishers earned incredible airplay while spreading a wonderful message.”
For a full list of honorees, visit bmi.com.
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