On Friday night BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) , the global leader in music rights management, presented the 2015 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards, held at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. The star-studded event celebrates the songwriters, producers and publishers of the most-performed R&B/hip-hop songs of the previous year.
Grammy Award-winning songwriter, composer, producer, arranger and guitarist, Nile Rodgers was honored with the BMI Icon Award for his unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers and his ability to connect people through song.
The evening featured a slew of performances: B.o.B opened with a medley of hits, followed by IloveMakonnen who kept the energy going with “Tuesday.” Backed by music director Rickey Minor, as well as band and Donald Lawrence’s vocals, the high-powered Icon tribute was kicked off by R&B chanteuses Kelly Price covering “Upside Down,” Deborah Cox’s delivery of “I’m Coming Out,” Kathy Sledge and the Company offering a rousing rendition of “We Are Family,” and V. Bozeman’s vibrant version of “I Want Your Love.” The celebration continued with CeeLo Green’s dynamic performance of “Let’s Dance.” The night concluded with the top honoree taking the stage to perform fan favorites “Good Times” and “Rappers Delight,” with hip-hop legend Chuck D joining Rodgers.
Additional top honors presented at the awards ceremony: John Legend “All of Me” earned the Song of the Year prize; DJ Mustard was crowned the Songwriter of the Year for penning hits “2 On,” “Don’t Tell ‘Em,” “I Don’t F**ck With You,” “Main Chick,” “My Hitta,” “Na Na,” “No Mediocre,” “Paranoid,” “Show Me,” and “Who Do You Love?.” DJ Mustard also won the coveted Producer of the Year award for the second year in a row, while Universal Music Publishing Group accepted the prestigious Publisher of the Year crystal for having 18 of the most-performed songs from the previous year. BMI also recognized top producers Kanye West, J Cole, Jim Jonsin, Michael “Finatik” Mulé and Isaac De Boni.
BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill and Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Atlanta, Catherine Brewton shared the evening’s hosting duties with R&B artist and actor Ray J.
Check out photos and video footage below:
(Photos by Chris Iwuoma for ThisisRnB and Lester Cohen & Frazer Harrison for Getty Image)