J. Cole, Khalid, Nick Mira, Post Malone and Sony/ATV Music Publishing Among Major Award Honorees
BMI’s 2020 Social Star and the Songwriters of the Top 35 Songs of the Previous Year Were Also Announced
BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) is proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its R&B/Hip-Hop Awards, recognizing the genre’s top songwriters, producers and publishers of the previous year. BMI’s Song of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Producer of the Year, Publisher of the Year and 2020’s Social Star were announced across BMI’s digital and social channels to commemorate the remarkable achievements of these music creators.
“We are honored to recognize the accomplishments of our exceptional family of songwriters, producers and publishers. For the past 20 years, I’ve watched their artistry shape the landscape of hip-hop and R&B and witnessed the undeniable influence their creative works have had on other genres,” said Catherine Brewton, Vice President Creative, Atlanta. “Today, we applaud our creators’ enduring musical contributions and look forward to the day we can celebrate together once again.”
Song of the Year was awarded to the ubiquitous smash hit “Talk,” performed by Khalid. As the lead single off his sophomore album, Free Spirit, the song peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earned the songwriter his sixth GRAMMY nomination, this time for Record of the Year. With this accolade, Khalid adds another BMI award to his collection after picking up Songwriter of the Year at this year’s BMI Pop Awards. In honor of this award, Khalid gave BMI an exclusive acoustic performance of “Talk,” which can be seen below:
GRAMMY award-winning lyricist and producer J. Cole and GRAMMY-nominated recording artist and musician Post Malone tied for the coveted title of Songwriter of the Year. The two power players of hip-hop wrote six of BMI’s most-performed R&B/Hip-Hop songs in 2019 between them with Cole’s “a lot,” “Middle Child” and “The London,” and Malone’s “Goodbyes,” “Sunflower” and “Wow.” J. Cole kicked off the year with his critically acclaimed single “a lot,” which earned the rapper his first GRAMMY for Best Rap Song. “Middle Child” became Cole’s highest-charting record to date, reaching number four on the Billboard Hot 100, while “The London,” released later that year, received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Rap/Sung Performance. Post Malone started the year on a high note with the chart-dominating hit “Sunflower,” earning two GRAMMY nominations for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. His seventh top-ten single, “Goodbyes,” followed along with the catchy single “Wow.” which claimed the number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100. This marks the second year in a row that Malone has been named BMI’s R&B/Hip-Hop Songwriter of the Year, and earlier this year, he was also crowned BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year at the 2020 BMI Pop Awards.
Nick Mira was named BMI’s R&B/Hip-Hop Producer of the Year for having ten BMI songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart over the past year, including two of his collaborations with late BMI songwriter/rapper Juice WRLD, “Lucid Dreams” and “Bandit.” Mira is one of the most sought-after producers in the industry after amassing numerous noteworthy credits during his short tenor with hip-hop heavyweights such as Gunna, Post Malone, Lil Tecca and Young Thug, to name a few. Seven other producers were also highlighted for having five or more songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart over the past year, including Charlie Handsome, Eminem, London On Da Track, Mike Dean, Tay Keith, Taz Taylor and Wesley Glass aka Wheezy Beatz.
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For the second year in a row, Sony/ATV Music Publishing received honors for Publisher of the Year for representing 20 of BMI’s best performing R&B/Hip-Hop songs of 2019 including “Look Back at It,” “My Type,” “Old Town Road (Remix),” “Swervin,” “Truth Hurts” and more.
Bobby Fishscale is the newly minted 2020 BMI Social Star, an award presented to the nominated affiliate who has the most engagement with their social followers over a 10-day voting period. This year, BMI has partnered with some of the top music streaming platforms to offer the winner exciting opportunities on their respective services. Fishscale joins previous winners Mac Miller, Machine Gun Kelly, Zendaya, SoMo, Joey Bada$$, Kashdoll, Derez De’Shon and NLE Choppa in sharing the recognition.
BMI also celebrated the songwriters, producers, and publishers of the 35 most-performed R&B/Hip-Hop songs of the previous year. The year’s group of honorees includes 41 first-time R&B/Hip-Hop award recipients. Among the songs being honored are Gunna’s “Drip Too Hard” (featuring Lil Baby) co-written by Chandler “Turbo” Durham, Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” co-written by Ricky Reed and Jesse Saint John, DJ Khaled’s “Leave Me Alone,” “Trip” by Ella Mai co-written by Quintin Gulledge, Lil Nas X’s “Panini” co-written by Denzel Baptise and David Biral, and Chris Brown’s “No Guidance” co-written by Tyler “Velous” Bryant, Nija Charles and Teddy Walton, among others.
For the complete list of winners and to view exclusive content, including video messages, performances, and a look back on the last 20 years of the award show, go to bmi.com/randbhiphop2020.