2017 BMI R&B Hip-Hop Awards
Another Awesome BMI R&B Hip-Hop Awards
By Zahra Mcclendon
BMI celebrated the songwriters, producers and publishers of the year’s most-performed R&B/hip-hop songs during the 2017 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards held at The Woodruff Arts Center’s Symphony Hall in Atlanta. Multi GRAMMY Award winning, singer and songwriter Patti LaBelle took home the night’s highest honor as BMI Icon in recognition of her career, for more than 50 years.
The night kicked off with Atlanta’s own Big Boi from OutKast performing a medley of two of their biggest hits, “B.O.B.” and “GhettoMusick.”
Hip-hop duo Ayo and Teo went on to give a dynamic performance of their Billboard Hot 100 hit “Rolex,” before Keke Palmer and BMI’s Wardell Malloy named Detroit-based rapper Kash Doll BMI’s Social Star.
Jacquees serenaded the audience with his Billboard R&B charting single, “B.E.D.” while Rick Ross kept the energy flowing with a medley of his biggest hits including “Hustlin,’” “Trap, Trap, Trap” and “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast).”
The evening continued with features of an array of outstanding tribute performances honoring Patti LaBelle beginning with BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music honoree, BeBe Winans singing his beautiful version of Ms. LaBelle’s number one single duet with Michael McDonald, “On My Own.”
Avery Sunshine gave a beautiful performance of “Love, Need and Want You.” Tributes moved along with Gospel vocalist Kierra Sheard’s powerful performance of “When You’ve Been Blessed,” followed by Tasha Cobbs-Leonard singing the classic hit, “You Are My Friend.”
Performances continued with Gospel vocalist Kierra Sheard’s powerful tribute of “When You’ve Been Blessed,” followed by Tasha Cobbs-Leonard singing the classic hit, “You Are My Friend.” Closing out the night, Ledisi gave an profound performance of the massive classic hit, “Lady Marmalade” before calling Ms. LaBelle to the stage where she gave an impromptu performance of “Over the Rainbow” and thanked those who paid tribute to her throughout the evening.
The show also honored the songwriters of the 35 best-performing R&B/Hip-Hop songs in the U.S. Metro Boomin took home the Producer of the Year award for the second year in a row and the coveted Song of the Year honor went to “Me, Myself & I” written by Tom Barnes, Lauren Christy, Michael Keenan and Bebe Winans. Universal Music Publishing Group took home Publisher of the Year and hitmakers Future, DJ Khaled and Rihanna tied for Songwriter of the Year.
Ms. LaBelle has taken her seat at the thrown of an elite group of songwriters who have received BMI’s Icon Award for their “unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.” Previous recipients include Nile Rodgers, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, James Brown, Al Green and Snoop Dogg, among others.