U.S. performing right organization BMI saluted the writers and publishers of the past year’s most performed songs on Christian radio and television during the annual Christian Music Awards tonight at the company’s Music Row offices in Nashville. BMI named versatile hit-maker Ed Cash the 2008 Christian Songwriter of the Year, while his composition “Made to Worship” garnered Song of the Year honors. BMI Vice President Jody Williams, along with Senior Director Thomas Cain and Associate Director Beth Mason, of BMI’s Writer/Publisher Relations department in Nashville, presented awards spanning five categories: Christian Rock, Contemporary Christian, Inspirational, Urban Gospel and Southern Gospel.
Prior to the presentation of awards, perennial Christian music titans Jars of Clay, rising star Aaron Shust and fiery gospel artist Isaiah Thomas set the evening’s warm tone with soulful renditions of their award-winning songs.
Prolific producer and songwriter Ed Cash earned the BMI Songwriter of the Year crown thanks to his profound compositions “Made to Worship,” “Holding onto You,” and “How Can I Keep from Singing.” The stirring “Made to Worship” also garnered the BMI Song of the Year crystal for Cash; recorded by contemporary Christian favorite Chris Tomlin, the song was published by Alletrop Music.
The ceremony also feted Publisher of the Year Universal Music Publishing Group. The award is determined by the highest percentage of copyright ownership in award songs. The company’s eight award-winning songs include “The Blessing of Abraham,” written by esteemed producer and chorale director Donald Lawrence, “Dead Man (Carry Me),” co-written and recorded by Jars of Clay, “My Savior, My God,” written and recorded by Aaron Shust, and “Imagine Me,” co-penned and recorded by contemporary gospel trendsetter Kirk Franklin.
Gospel luminary Donald Lawrence and ceremony performer Aaron Shust garnered two awards each. The night’s other big winners included genre-bender tobyMac; Christian rock outfit Red’s Jasen Rauch and Anthony Armstong; urban gospel star Kirk Franklin; Red producer Robert Graves; Jars of Clay members Dan Haseltine, Charlie Lowell, Steve Mason and Matt Odmark; 2007 BMI Christian Songwriter of the Year Mark Hall; Sanctus Real producer Chris Stevens and Sanctus Real member Dan Gartley; premier producer, arranger and musician Jay Joyce; Kingdom Heirs member Dennis Murphy; producer, songwriter and music minister Isaiah D. Thomas; gospel heavyweight Rodney Griffin; Needtobreathe’s Bo Rinehart; singer/songwriter Aaron Sprinkle; songwriter/producer Marc Byrd; gospel favorite Percy James Bady; songwriters Adam Kohout, Tery Wilkins, David Nasser, Jules “Juda” Bartholomew, Twila LaBar, Joel Lindsey, Belinda Lee Smith, Lisa Stewart Seals; and the McClurkin Project’s Andrea McClurkin-Mellini and Nate McNair.
In addition to Universal Music Publishing Group, publishers winning multiple awards were Alletrop Music, EMI Christian Music Group (Meaux Mercy Publishing, River Oaks Music Company), Lilly Mack Music, Asheville Music Publishing, Chris White Music, Q W Publishing, Sony/ATV Songs LLC and White Spot Publishing.
A complete list of the 2008 BMI Christian Awards is available at http://www.bmi.com/.
Click here for the List of Nominees.
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