Keith Urban and hit-maker Bob DiPiero will be recognized at the 65th annual BMI Country Awards at the performing rights organization’s Nashville headquarters on Nov. 7.
Urban’s BMI Champion Award recognizes his work in supporting the next generation of songwriters and music makers. Throughout his career, he has exhibited a tireless commitment to supporting several music education initiatives through the CMA Foundation, the Grammy Foundation, the Mr. Holland’s Opus Fund, MusiCares and more. His All For The Hall benefit concerts have raised over $2.6 million for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
DiPiero has been named as the 2017 BMI Icon for his indelible influence on generations of music makers over the past 38 years. The honor is presented annually to a BMI songwriter who has profoundly influenced the music industry.
He has written more than 1,000 songs that have been recorded by top country artists beginning with his very first cut, which he penned himself, Reba McEntire’s “I Can See Forever In Your Eyes.” His first No. 1 was the Oak Ridge Boys’ 1983 hit “American Made,” which became a national jingle for Miller Beer, as well as Baby Ruth candy bars.
Additional DiPiero hits include Montgomery Gentry’s “Gone,” Vince Gill’s “Worlds Apart,” Shenandoah’s “The Church on Cumberland Road,” George Strait’s “Blue Clear Sky,” Brooks & Dunn’s “You Can’t Take the Honky-Tonk Out of the Girl,” Martina McBride’s “There You Are” and Tim McGraw’s “Southern Voice.” He is also a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee.
Previous BMI Icon recipients include Mac Davis, Vince Gill, Hank Williams, Jr. Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson and others.
The private event will also salute the songwriters, publishers and administrators of the past year’s most-performed country songs in the U.S. from BMI’s repertoire of nearly 13 million musical works. The BMI Country Song, Songwriter and Publisher of the Year will also be named during the ceremony.