Groundbreaking songwriter Matraca Berg will be honored with the BMI Icon Award during the 71st annual BMI Country Awards. The annual, invitation-only event will be held at BMI’s Nashville office on Nov. 7. BMI’s President and CEO, Mike O’ Neill will host the event with Nashville’s VP of Creative, Clay Bradley.
The Country Songwriter of the Year, Country Song of the Year and Country Publisher of the Year will also be honored during the awards, as will the top songwriters and music publishers behind this past year’s 50 most-performed songs in country music.
The BMI Icon Award is given to exceptional songwriters in recognition of their unique and indelible influence on music makers over many generations. In receiving this award, Berg joins an impressive list of country legends including Toby Keith, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Dean Dillon and Hank Williams, Jr., as well as multi-genre creatives Stevie Nicks, Little Richard, Carole King, Patti LaBelle, Brian Wilson, James Brown, Janet Jackson, Bo Diddley, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Peter Gabriel, Al Green, Van Morrison, Sting, Bryan Ferry, Carlos Santana, Los Lobos and more.
“Matraca Berg’s exceptional songwriting talent has woven the threads of emotion and storytelling into musical tapestries that transcend generations,” says Bradley. “We are honored to present her with this year’s BMI Icon Award in recognition of her ability to capture the essence of life’s joys, trials and tribulations with lyrical depth and emotional resonance.”
Berg’s career has spanned nearly four decades. The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee scored her first No. 1 hit at age 18 with 1983’s “Faking Love.” She scored her first Grammy nomination at 22 and became the first woman to have five No. 1 hits in a single calendar year.
Berg’s collection of chart-topping songs includes Deana Carter’s iconic standard and 1997 CMA Song of the Year “Strawberry Wine” and its follow-up “We Danced Anyway,” as well as Martina McBride’s “Wild Angels,” Trisha Yearwood’s “Wrong Side of Memphis” and “XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl),” Patty Loveless’ classics “I’m That Kind of Girl” and “You Can Feel Bad,” and Gretchen Wilson’s Grammy-nominated “I Don’t Feel Like Loving You Today.” Her hits also include Suzy Bogguss’ “Hey Cinderella,” Reba McEntire’s “The Last One To Know,” the Chicks’ “If I Fall You’re Going Down With Me” and Kenny Chesney’s award-winning Grace Potter duet “You & Tequila.”
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