61st Annual BMI Country Awards

Dean Dillon Speech
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George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan and Lee Ann Womack
Pay Tribute to the Songwriting Legend
Hunter Hayes, Rodney Clawson and Sony/ATV
Among Honorees at the Annual Event in Nashville

NASHVILLE, November 5, 2013 – Broadcast Music, Inc.®, (BMI®), a global leader in music rights management, presented the 2013 BMI Country Awards, honoring the prolific songwriting career of BMI Icon Dean Dillon, as well as the Country Songwriter, Song and Publisher of the Year tonight in Nashville. The 61st annual event, which is the genre’s oldest awards ceremony, also celebrated the songwriters and publishers of the most-performed country songs of the past year.

Dillon, who was named this year’s BMI Icon, joins an elite list of songwriters who have had “a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers” and was honored with an all-star tribute from some of country’s biggest stars, including Luke Bryan performing Dillon’s BMI award-winning hit “Unwound,” Lee Ann Womack with an emotional rendition of “An Empty Glass” and Kenny Chesney with the country classic “Holed Up In Some Honky Tonk.” George Strait, who alone has recorded 54 of Dillon’s songs, paid homage with a medley of three of his most notable Dillon-penned hits, including “The Chair,” “Marina Del Rey” and “Here for a Good Time.”

Rodney Clawson was named Songwriter of the Year, with writing credits on six of the most-performed songs of the past year, including “Drink On It” recorded by Blake Shelton, “Drunk On You” by Luke Bryan, “One of Those Nights” by Tim McGraw, “Take a Little Ride” by Jason Aldean, “Where I Come From” by Montgomery Gentry and “Did It for the Girl” by Greg Bates.

Hunter Hayes’ smash hit “Wanted,” penned by Hayes and Troy Verges, won the coveted Song of the Year award. Published by Happy Little Man Publishing, Songs from the Engine Room and Songs of Universal, Inc., “Wanted” garnered more than one million performances in 2012 alone, making it one of the most-performed songs of the year.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville continued their winning streak of over a decade, again taking home the Publisher of the Year accolade. Responsible for 20 of the 50 most-performed songs of the year, Sony/ATV published megahits such as Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise,” Toby Keith’s “Red Solo Cup,” Little Big Town’s “Pontoon” and many more. During the ceremony, BMI also saluted the songwriters and publishers of the 50 most-performed country songs of the previous year.

BMI President Del Bryant hosted the ceremony with Jody Williams, BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Nashville; Michael O’Neill, BMI Chief Executive Officer; and Clay Bradley, BMI Assistant Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Nashville.
The evening also marked the launch of two initiatives for BMI, the first being the inaugural issue of the BMI Nashville newsletter, which highlights BMI affiliates and events throughout the region and includes a cover story feature on the red hot Country duo Florida Georgia Line. Additionally, BMI launched BMI TV which will feature new content and interviews with BMI affiliates from awards shows and industry events, beginning with a red carpet interview with superstar Carrie Underwood from the recent T.J. Martell Foundation Honors Gala in New York City.

For a complete list of 2013 BMI Country Awards winners, please visit
Media can access high-resolution photos and event information at bmi.com/press.

Photo and video footage can be accessed
via the official EPKlink early Wednesday morning:

Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI®) is a global leader in music rights management, serving as an advocate for the value of music. BMI represents the public performance rights in more than 8.5 million musical works created and owned by more than 600,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers. The Company negotiates music license agreements and distributes the fees it generates as royalties to its affiliated writers and publishers when their songs are performed in public. In 1939, BMI created a groundbreaking open-door policy becoming the only performing rights organization to welcome and represent the creators of blues, jazz, country, and American roots music. Today, the musical compositions in BMI’s repertoire, from chart-toppers to perennial favorites, span all genres of music and are consistently among the most-performed hits of the year. For additional information and the latest BMI news, visit www.bmi.com, follow us on Twitter @BMI or stay connected through Broadcast Music, Inc.’s Facebook page.

Media Contacts:

Natasha Powell, BMI

Drew Maynard, BMI

Silvia Davi, BMI

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