Busta Rhymes Honored, Sony Wins Publisher of the Year at BMI R&B/ Hip-Hop Awards
Busta Rhymes received the Icon award, Megan Thee Stallion and Christopher “YC” Pearson were named songwriters of the year and Justin Beiber’s “Peaches” was song of the year at the BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards, held at Miami’s LIV nightclub on Wednesday night. Other top honors went to Sony Music Publishing as publisher of the year and Silk Sonic/ Drake/ H.E.R. collaborator Dernst “D’Mile” Emile was named producer of the year.
The event, which recognizes the top producers and songwriters of the previous year’s 35 best-performing R&B/hip-hop songs in the U.S., was hosted by BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill and Vice President of Creative (Atlanta) Catherine Brewton. (Pictured above, L-R: O’Neill, Busta Rhymes, DJ Khaled, Brewton and Khaled’s wife, Nicole Tuck.)
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O’Neill presented Rhymes with the BMI Icon award for his “defining impact on hip-hop and for mentoring the next generation of talent.” Pharrell Williams was also called to the stage to recount memories of his and Rhymes’ longstanding relationship, noting that he felt “honored to be in the presence of someone who had the courage to be so different… and still does today.”
On receiving the honor, Rhymes shared, “We’re all blessed with this gift. It’s one thing to identify with the gift, it’s another thing to believe in it once you identify with it.” He went on to say, “The most beautiful part about it is I earned this… I’ve never been celebrated as an icon before, but I never had to question whether I was one.”
Rhymes then performed a medley of some of his biggest hits such as “Break Ya Neck,” “Scenario,” and “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See,” with longtime friend and collaborator Spliff Star and DJ Scratchator. Williams also joined Rhymes onstage for a performance of “Pass the Courvoisier.”
The night kicked off with an appearance by DJ Khaled who helped welcome in attendees while DJ Nasty played a few tracks followed by a performance by singer-rapper Morray and Nigerian singer-songwriter Pheelz.
As for the rest of the night’s honorees, the song of the year award went to “Peaches” writers Daniel Caesar, Giveon, Bernard “Harv” Harvey, Luis Manuel Martinez Jr. (Shndō) and Andrew Watt. D’Mile was recognized with the producer of the year award for his work on “Fair Trade” by Drake and Travis Scott, and “Smokin Out The Window,” “Skate” and “Leave The Door Open” by Silk Sonic. Megan and Christopher “YC” Pearson tied as the songwriter of the year, with Megan honored for “Body,” “Cry Baby” and “Thot Shit” and YC for his work on “Back in Blood,” “Time Today” and “Wockesha.”
Sony Music Publishing received the R&B/hip-hop publisher of the year award for representing 20 of the previous year’s most performed songs including song of the year, “Peaches,” as well as “Lemonade,” “Rapstar” and “Way 2 Sexy,” to name a few.
As the 2022 BMI Icon, Busta Rhymes joins previous honorees Janet Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Nile Rodgers, Snoop Dogg, the Jacksons and many more. To view a full list of winners, visit BMI.com.
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