Songwriter Ed Cash was the evening’s top winner during the 2018 BMI Christian Awards, held Tuesday evening (June 19) at the BMI offices in Nashville. The celebration feted the top 25 songs played on U.S. Christian radio during the past year, honoring the writers and publishers behind the top songs in Christian rock, contemporary Christian, inspirational, southern and urban gospel.
Cash was named Songwriter of the Year, having penned the hits “Home,” “Jesus,” and “My Victory.” Cash was also on hand to offer a performance of “Home.”
The evening was hosted by Jody Williams, VP, Creative, Nashville and Leslie Roberts, Executive Director, Creative, Nashville.
“Every year the BMI Christian Awards gives us the opportunity to celebrate and honor all genres of inspirational music and the impact its creators have made on the music industry and on its fans around the globe,” says Roberts. “It is always a privilege for us at BMI to dedicate an evening to the great accomplishments and successes of the talented songwriters and artists that create this incredible music that inspires, comforts, entertains, uplifts and challenges us as human beings to live more spirit-filled lives.”
Soulful singer Tauren Wells, who recently performed in Music City as part of Chris Tomlin’s Good Friday Nashville concert, offered a rendition of “Hills and Valleys,” while newcomer Riley Clemmons performed “Broken Prayers.”
The Song of the Year title went to “What a Beautiful Name” written by Ben Fielding and Brooke Ligertwood and published by Capitol CMG Paragon. The song topped Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs chart on February 25, 2017 and held the top position for 38 weeks, making it the second-longest-leading number one in the history of the chart. “What a Beautiful Name” has also earned two Dove Awards and Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song at the 60th annual GRAMMY Awards.
For the second consecutive year, Capitol CMG Publishing (Capitol CMG Paragon, Meaux Mercy Publishing, River Oaks Music Company, 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 “Home,” “Jesus,” “Living in the Promised Land,” “Love Broke Through,” “Oh My Soul,” “One Step Away,” “The Lion and the Lamb,” and “What a Beautiful Name.”
Williams also honored Porter’s Call founder and executive director Al Andrews, for his work in counseling recording artists. Porter’s Call, a Franklin, Tennessee-based organization, supports and counsels recording artists and families through various issues. BMI songwriters the Warren Brothers, Charlie Worsham, Brandon Heath and Chris Tomlin also sent in video tributes for Andrews and Porter’s Call.
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