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The 2017 BMI Awards honors Metro Boomin, Future, and Patti LaBelle

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A big night in music took place in Atlanta this past Thursday, August 31 at the Woodruff Arts Center.

Throughout the year, we see many award shows celebrate our favorite artists in Hip Hop and R&B, but the BMI Awards aims to honor those who create magic behind the scenes; From songwriters, producers and publishers, The BMI Awards sets out to honor the most-performed R&B/hip-hop songs throughout the year.

The show honored 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, Universal Music Publishing Group claimed Publisher of the Year, and hit makers Future, DJ Khaled and Rihanna tied for Songwriter of the Year.

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Hosted by BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill, BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations Catherine Brewton, and Lifestyle Specialist Kenny Burns as co-host, the evening included performances by some of the hottest talent on the music scene.

Kicking off the night, Atlanta’s own Big Boi from OutKast performed a medley of two of their biggest hits, “B.O.B.” and “GhettoMusick.” Newcomers on the Hip-hop scene, the brother duo Ayo and Teo went on to give a performance of their Billboard Hot 100 hit song “Rolex.” Rick Ross kept the energy flowing with a medley of his biggest hits, including “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast)," “Hustlin'" and “Trap, Trap, Trap."

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Continuing with the second half of the show, an array of artists performed a tribute to honor Patti LaBelle, with performances from BeBe Winans, Avery Sunshine, Kierra Sheard, Tasha Cobbs, and Ledisi. LaBelle took to the stage, where she gave an impromptu performance of “Over the Rainbow” and thanked those who paid tribute to her throughout the evening.

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As a BMI Icon, Ms. LaBelle joined an elite group of songwriters who have received BMI’s Icon Award for their “unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.” She joins previous recipients including Nile Rodgers, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, James Brown, Al Green and Snoop Dogg, and Toni Braxton.

The event was sponsored by the Swisher Sweets Artist Project which increases awareness and exposure for emerging musical talent.

We look forward to the awards and all that is in store next year.

-Gene' Hunter


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