On the Scene: 70th Annual BMI Pop Awards Pays Tribute To The Best In Songwriting

The Knockturnal was on the scene last night as BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) paid tribute to the best in songwriting at the 70TH Annual BMI Pop Awards held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Legendary music creators Carole Bayer Sager and Mike Stoller were named BMI Icons, celebrating their countless and timeless contributions to the art of songwriting. In addition, BMI’s Pop Song of the YearSongwriter of the YearPublisher of the Year and BMI’s top 50 most-performed pop songs in the U.S. of the previous year were also announced. The private event was hosted by BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill and Vice President Worldwide Creative Barbara Cane. Some of the winners of the night included:
“Mood” Named BMI Pop Song of the Year;
Omer Fedi and Michael Pollack Tied for Songwriter of the Year;
Sony Music Publishing and Universal Music Publishing Group
Honored with Publisher of the Year
Celebrating over 80 years of service to songwriters, composers, music publishers and businesses, 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 over 18.7 million musical works created and owned by more than 1.2 million 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.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – MAY 10: (L-R) President and Chief Executive Officer of BMI Michael O’Neill, honoree Mike Stoller, honoree Carole Bayer Sager, and Vice President, Worldwide Creative and Advisor to the EVP, Creative & Licensing at BMI Barbara V. Cane attend the 70th Annual BMI Pop Awards at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel on May 10, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by JC Olivera/Getty Images for BMI)

The celebration opened with students from USC Thornton School of Music performing a medley in honor of the night’s BMI Icons, Carole Bayer Sager and Mike Stoller. The talented ensemble, led by program chair Patrice Rushen, performed selections of the Icons’ biggest hits including, “Hound Dog,” “Yakety Yak,” “Poison Ivy” and “Stand By Me,” written by Stoller and “Best That You Can Do (Arthur’s Theme),” “The Prayer” and “That’s What Friends Are For” by Sager.
GRAMMY Award-winning singer/songwriter Ledisi also paid tribute to the illustrious career of Carole Bayer Sager with a powerful performance of her 1977 hit, “Nobody Does It Better.” Some of Sager’s other incomparable songs include “On My Own,” “A Groovy Kind of Love,” “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” and more.  She’s worked with the biggest stars in music including Neil Diamond, Michael Jackson, Carole King, Bette Midler, Dolly Parton, Carly Simon, Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand, among countless others. Her work has earned her many of the industry’s top accolades such as a GRAMMY Award, an Oscar, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and 26 BMI Awards. After being named a BMI Icon, Sager said, “songwriting has rewarded me throughout my entire life…I wrote in my memoir that songwriting not only gave me my life but saved my life.” She went on to say, “the greatest gift of all is the realization that we are all connected, and it’s music that bridges people all over the world.”

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – MAY 10: Students in a USC Thornton School of Music ensemble perform onstage during attends the 70th Annual BMI Pop Awards at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel on May 10, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for BMI)

Americana music star Anderson East took to the stage to honor world-renowned songwriter Mike Stoller, with a moving rendition of his iconic hit “Stand By Me.” As one half of the renowned songwriting team, Leiber & Stoller, Mike Stoller composed some of the most beloved selections from the American canon, including perennial classics like “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Love Potion No. 9,” “On Broadway” and hundreds more that have helped shape the course of popular music. Stoller has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and shares a star with Leiber on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He’s won a GRAMMY Award, the Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and an impressive 57 BMI Awards, among many others. On being honored as a BMI Icon, Stoller said, “I’m just delighted, honored and thrilled, and I only wish my late partner Jerry Leiber was here to accept such an award as well. He would have loved it.”

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – MAY 10: Ledisi performs onstage during the 70th Annual BMI Pop Awards at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel on May 10, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for BMI)

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – MAY 10: Anderson East performs onstage during the 70th Annual BMI Pop Awards at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel on May 10, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for BMI)

Sager and Stoller join an elite group of songwriters who have been honored with BMI’s highest accolade, including Mann & Weil, Sting, Barry Manilow, Willie Nelson, The Bee Gees, Brian Wilson, Carlos Santana, Carole King, Crosby, Stills & Nash, David Foster, Dolly Parton, the Jacksons, John Fogerty, Merle Haggard, Nile Rodgers, Paul Simon and Stevie Nicks, among others.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – MAY 10: (L-R) Honorees Mike Stoller and Carole Bayer Sager attend the 70th Annual BMI Pop Awards at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel on May 10, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for BMI)

Throughout the ceremony, the 50 most-performed pop songs of the previous year in the U.S. were also revealed, leading up to BMI’s Pop Song of the Year, which went to “Mood” by 24kGoldnIann DiorOmer FediKBeaZy and Blake Slatkin. The massive hit was certified 5x platinum by the RIAA and spent eight weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and 35 weeks at the top of Billboard’s Hot Rock and Alternative chart.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – MAY 10: (L-R) Omer Fedi, winner of multiple awards such as Song of the Year for ‘Mood’ and Songwriter of the Year, and Addison Rae attend the 70th Annual BMI Pop Awards at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel on May 10, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for BMI)

BMI’s Pop Songwriter of the Year was a tie between Omer Fedi and Michael Pollack with each writing four of the most performed songs. In addition to the BMI Song of the Year “Mood,” Fedi co-wrote “MONTERO (Call Me by Your Name)” (co-written with Denzel Baptiste and David Biral of “Take a Daytrip,” Roy Lenzo and Lil Nas X), “Stay” (co-written with Cashmere Cat, Isaac “Zac” De Boni, Haan, The Kid LAROI, Michael “Finatik” Mulé, Charlie Puth and Blake Slatkin) and “WITHOUT YOU/WITHOUT YOU (Remix)” (co-written by The Kid LAROI and Blake Slatkin, with Miley Cyrus contributing to the remix). Pollack was honored for his hand in co-writing “Anyone” (co-written with Raul Cubina, Jordan K. Johnson and Andrew Watt), “Daisies” (co-written with Jordan K. Johnson), “Holy” (co-written with Chance the Rapper, Anthony M. Jones and Jorgen Odegard), and “Nobody’s Love” (co-written with Nija Charles, Brandon “B HAM” Hamlin, Jordan K. Johnson and Ryan Ogren).

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – MAY 10: (L-R) Songwriter of the Year award co-winners Omer Fedi and Michael Pollack attend the 70th Annual BMI Pop Awards at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel on May 10, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for BMI)

Both Sony Music Publishing and Universal Music Publishing Group tied for the honor of Publisher of the Year, each representing 28 of the previous year’s most performed songs. BMI also welcomed 60 first time Pop Award winners including D’Mile (“Leave the Door Open”), GIVĒON (“Peaches”), Megan Thee Stallion (“Beautiful Mistakes”) and Tia Tia (“My Head & My Heart”), to name just a few. For a full list of the 2022 honorees, please visit www.bmi.com/pop2022 .
The event was an absolute dream featuring an amazing dinner, full bar, and tons of amazing performances that really set the tone for the night. Thanks to the BMI’s so many celebrated and accomplished music creatives that would typically be more behind the scenes were highlighted at this amazing even and got to join an amazing lineage of celebrated songwriters and producers. When we got to talk to some of these songwriters and producers they were all in agreement that thanks to BMI they also get to shine under the spotlight and be appreciated for all the work they do.

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