Kris Kristofferson will be honored as the latest BMI Icon at the annual country music awards for the performing-rights organization. The black-tie, invitation-only gala, to be held November 10 at BMI's Nashville offices, will also celebrate the writers of the past year's most-performed country songs from the BMI catalog.

A Rhodes scholar and Army helicopter pilot prior to launching his music career, Kristofferson is a three-time Grammy winner who has also earned 48 BMI Country and Pop Awards for classic compositions including 'Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down,' 'Why Me,' 'Me and Bobby McGee' and 'Lovin' Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again),' which was BMI's Country Song of the Year in 1972. Two of his most honored tunes include 'Help Me Make It Through the Night,' which garnered seven BMI Country and four BMI Pop Awards, and 'For the Good Times,' a BMI Country Award winner each consecutive year between 1971 and 1979, and five-time BMI Pop Award recipient between 1970 and 1974.

Kristofferson has also had a successful acting career, starring in dozens of films including 'Lone Star,' 'Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid,' and the 'Blade' trilogy. His lead role in the 1976 remake of 'A Star is Born,' opposite Barbra Streisand, earned him a Golden Globe award. Kristofferson is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In September, he'll release a new album on New West Records.

The Icon designation is given to BMI songwriters and artists who have had "a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers." Past honorees in the country music field include Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Bill Anderson, Charlie Daniels, Loretta Lynn and last year's honoree Hank Williams, Jr. BMI Icons in other music genres include the Bee Gees, Isaac Hayes, Kinks frontman Ray Davies, James Brown, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Steve Winwood, among others.