Las Vegas, NV -- U.S. performing right organization BMI saluted the world's premier r&b, rap and hip-hop songwriters, producers and publishers at its Urban Awards, held at the Zumanity Theatre at New York-New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Hosted by BMI President & CEO Del Bryant and Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Atlanta Catherine Brewton, the gala attracted an impressive gathering of music's biggest stars and hippest trendsetters.
T.I., Ne-Yo and Mr. ColliPark each earned Songwriter of the Year titles. "Check On It" secured Song of the Year honors for co-writers Slim Thug and Sean Garrett, and a special presentation officially recognized legendary MC Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons of Run DMC as the newest BMI Icon.
The night's other big winners included Pharrell Williams, who earned the Producer of the Year title; EMI Music Publishing, named Urban Publisher of the Year; and T-Pain's "I'm N Luv (Wit A Stripper)," which nabbed the BMI Urban Ringtone Award. Executives from music trade magazine Billboard were also on hand to give out No. 1 Awards to the BMI songs that reached the top spot on its urban music charts during the past year.
T.I., Ne-Yo and Mr. ColliPark each composed four songs on BMI's most-performed list, and all three acquired their first BMI Songwriter of the Year crowns. Rap star T.I. co-wrote hits "My Love" and "What You Know," along with Lil' C's "Shoulder Lean" and Nelly's "Grillz"; smooth vocalist Ne-Yo co-penned Beyoncé's "Irreplaceable" and his own "Sexy Love," "So Sick" and "When You're Mad"; and producer/artist extraordinaire Mr. ColliPark co-wrote the Ying Yang Twins' "Badd," Diddy's "Come to Me," Bubba Sparxxx's "Ms. New Booty" and David Banner's "Play."
Rapper Slim Thug and songwriter/producer Sean Garrett's "Check On It" earned Song of the Year. The 2006 Pop Songwriter of the Year, Garrett also penned the Urban Song of the Year in 2004. Published by Publisher of the Year EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc., "Check On It" was recorded by Beyoncé and featured the vocal stylings of co-writer Slim Thug.
As one third of Run-DMC, Rev Run helped change the sound of rap by simultaneously being more street and rock 'n' roll than his contemporaries. From the boom-box classic single "Sucker MCs" (1983) to their standard-setting discs Run-DMC, King of Rock, Raising Hell and Tougher Than Leather, Run-DMC defined a new level of cool for the world. Dressed in their trademark black hats and outfits to match, Run-DMC stayed at the top of the pop charts for most of the '80s and knocked open the doors to commercial freedom for the rap generation. A multi-media star — he stars in his own television show, Run's House — Rev Run continues to create music, having just released his CD Distortion on the Russell Simmons Music Group (RSMG).
Pharrell Williams earned his third BMI Producer of the Year title for logging the most producer credits on charting songs. The BMI Top Urban Producers list also included Rodney Jerkins, Polow Da Don, Jazze Pha, Kanye West, will.i.am, Lil Jon, Sean Garrett and T-Pain.
EMI Music Publishing was named BMI Urban Publisher of the Year by scoring the highest percentage of copyright ownership in award songs.
"I'm N Luv (Wit A Stripper)," co-written and performed by BMI Top Urban Producer T-Pain and Mike Jones and published by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. and Zomba Songs, received the BMI Urban Ringtone Award for tallying the most downloads during the award period.
Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI) is an American performing right organization that represents more than 350,000 songwriters, composers and publishers in all genres of music. For more than 65 years, BMI has represented the most popular and beloved music from around the world, a vast repertoire that includes more than 6.5 million works. The non-profit-making corporation collects license fees from businesses that use music, which it then distributes as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents.
For a complete list of 2007 BMI Urban Awards winners, please visit