BMI songwriter Bernie Herms took the top prize Tuesday evening (June 20), as the performing rights organization named him its Songwriter of the Year during the 2017 BMI Christian Awards, held at BMI’s Nashville office.
The annual event celebrates the songwriters and publishers of the past year’s Top 25 most-performed Christian rock, contemporary Christian, inspirational, southern and urban gospel songs on U.S. Christian radio.
In addition to being honored for penning songs such as “Christ In Me,” “Just Be Held,” “Tell Your Heart To Beat Again” and “Thy Will,” Herms took the stage to perform a rendition of “Thy Will” with co-writer Emily Weisband.
BMI’s Mike O’Neill (President and CEO), Jody Williams (VP, Writer Publisher Relations, Nashville) and Leslie Roberts (Executive Director, Writer/Publisher Relations) served as the evening’s hosts.
“Whether you are collecting your first BMI Award, or adding to your collection of BMI honors, we could not be more proud to honor your artistic contributions,” O’Neill said.
“Each year, when we celebrate the incredible music of BMI’s Christian songwriters and their publishers, I think it can’t possibly get any better than this. And every year it does. I’m so impressed and moved by the uplifting songs we honored tonight,” Roberts said. “We’re privileged to have such a talented group as part of the BMI family.”
Chris Tomlin’s “Good Good Father,” penned by BMI songwriter Tony Brown along with Pat Barrett, was named BMI’s Christian Song of the Year. The song is published by Capitol CMG Paragon and Common Hymnal Digital.
Capitol CMG Publishing (Capitol CMG Paragon, Meaux Mercy Publishing, Songs of Universal, Inc., Sparrow Song, Universal Music-Brentwood Songs, Worship Together Music) took home the Publisher of the Year award. The company had the highest percentage of copyright ownership among the year’s most-performed songs, including the hits “Battle Cry,” “Cast My Cares,” “Christ In Me,” “Even So Come,” “Feel It,” “Forever,” “Good Good Father,” “Great Are You Lord,” “I Am Not Alone,” “Just Be Held,” “Move (Keep Walkin’),” “Tell Your Heart To Beat Again,” “There is Power” and “Thy Will.”
The invitation-only event also featured performances of “Big Enough” by Joseph Habedank, “Fight For You” by husband/wife duo Grayson & Reed and closed with Kari Jobe’s performance of “I Am Not Alone.”
A complete list of the 2017 BMI Christian Awards winners is available at bmi.com/christian.
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