Taylor Swift, Hank Williams, Jr. Honored at BMI Awards
Taylor Swift's 'Teardrops on My Guitar' was honored Tuesday with the Robert J. Burton Song of the Year Award, as performing rights organization BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) celebrated their top hits, artists and songwriters of 2008.
Another highlight of the black-tie awards ceremony in Nashville was the all-star tribute recognizing Hank Williams, Jr. as a BMI Icon. Among the artists saluting the influential performer and songwriter were Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kid Rock, Gregg Allman, Robert Randolph, and Kenny Chesney.
Casey Beathard earned his second BMI Country Songwriter of the Year award, co-writing five of the songs on BMI's most-performed list for the year: Rodney Atkins' 'Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy),' Kenny Chesney's 'Don't Blink,' George Strait's 'How 'Bout Them Cowgirls,' Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus's 'Ready, Set, Don't Go' and Tracy Lawrence's 'Find Out Who Your Friends Are,' featuring Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw. Last year's BMI Country Songwriter, Jeffrey Steele, invoked recent national political events when presenting the award to Beathard.
"Hopefully, it'll be a smooth transfer of power," joked Steele. "I believe we can reach an agreement on the transition, in terms of rhyme schemes and all that."
Beathard was BMI's Country Songwriter of the Year in 2004, and earlier this year earned the Nashville Songwriters Association International Songwriter of the Year title.
The 2008 BMI Country Awards also honored hit songwriters Brett Beavers, Shane Minor, Rodney Clawson, Marv Green, Ed Hill and David Lee, along with recording artists/songwriters Luke Bryan, Sugarland's Kristian Bush, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban, who each contributed two songs to the list of the year's top 50 songs which were recognized throughout the ceremony.