Broadcast Music (BMI) will celebrate the extraordinary career of Nashville songwriter Bob DiPiero by naming him a BMI Icon at its 65th annual BMI Country Awards. Keith Urban will be honored with the BMI Champion Award at the invitation-only ceremony.
The 2017 BMI Awards will be hosted on Tuesday, November 7th, in advance of the CMA Awards telecast the following evening. BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill, and Jody Williams, BMI Vice President, Creative, Nashville will host the event at BMI’s Nashville office.
Throughout the evening, songwriters, publishers and administrators of the past year’s most-performed country songs in the United States from BMI’s repertoire of nearly 13 million musical works will be honored. The BMI Country Song, Songwriter and Publisher of the Year will also be named during the ceremony.
DiPiero will receive the BMI Icon award in recognition of his unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers over the past 38 years. The BMI Icon Award is presented to songwriters who have distinctly and profoundly influenced the music industry. In receiving the award, DiPiero will join an impressive list of country music’s greatest songwriters including previous recipients Mac Davis, Vince Gill, Hank Williams, Jr., Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Charlie Daniels, Bill Anderson, Kris Kristofferson and more.
“Since the early 80’s Bob DiPiero, and his songs, have been a consistent and potent influence on country music,” said Williams. “He is a quintessential professional whose work ethic is matched only by his love of life, his fellow songwriters, and his beautiful wife Leslie. He’s a mentor, a friend, and world-class songwriter. He’s the embodiment of a BMI Icon.”
Since first moving to Nashville in 1978, DiPiero has been responsible for an uninterrupted string of country music hits. He’s written over 1,000 songs that have been recorded by top country artists beginning with his very first cut, “I Can See Forever In Your Eyes” by Reba McEntire. His first No. 1 came in 1983 with “American Made,” by The Oak Ridge Boys. The song later became a national ad jingle for Miller Beer, as well as Baby Ruth candy bars. Since then, DiPiero has received many accolades including 50 BMI MillionAir Awards for his country radio staples such as “Gone” (Montgomery Gentry), “Worlds Apart” (Vince Gill), “The Church On Cumberland Road” (Shenandoah), “Daddy’s Money” (Ricochet), “Blue Clear Sky” (George Strait), “You Can’t Take the Honky Tonk Out Of the Girl” (Brooks & Dunn), “There You Are” (Martina McBride) and “Southern Voice” (Tim McGraw).
Other major awards include two CMA Triple Play awards in 1995 and 1996, a BMI Country Song of the Year in 1995 for “Wink” performed by Neal McCoy and a Country Radio Music Award for Song of the Year in 1997 for “Worlds Apart” performed by Gill. In 1998, DiPiero was named Songwriter of the Year at the Nashville Music Awards and in 2007 he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and Nashville’s Walk of Fame. The Country Music Hall of Fame honored him with their prestigious “Poets and Prophets Series: Salute to Legendary Songwriter Bob DiPiero” in 2014. That same year, the Country Music Association presented DiPiero with the CMA Chairman’s Award.
Urban’s honor will be received for his work in supporting the next generation of songwriters and music makers, as well as his tireless commitment to numerous music education programs such as the CMA Foundation, the Grammy Foundation, the Mr. Holland’s Opus Fund, MusiCares and more. Urban’s All For The Hall benefit concerts have raised over $2.6 million for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and since 2013, the proceeds from his new URBAN™ Guitar Collection have benefited both the Grammy Foundation and Mr. Holland’s Opus Fund.
“Not only is Keith Urban one of the most talented and prolific songwriters in the industry, but he’s also a true humanitarian,” said Williams. “The BMI Champion Award recognizes his contributions to the music community and his tireless efforts to bring attention to important causes that directly affect the next generation of songwriters.”
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