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Lil Wayne Honored as BMI Icon at 2023 BMI R&B/HIP-HOP AWARDS


Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for BMI

From a press release:

BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) paid tribute to the best in R&B and Hip-Hop at its 2023 R&B/Hip-Hop Awards held at LIV Nightclub Miami Beach on Sept. 6. Lil Wayne received the night’s highest honor as the BMI Icon and Ice Spice was presented with the BMI Impact Award, marking the first time this award was given in the ceremony’s 23-year history.

Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for BMI

BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill presents Lil Wayne with the BMI Icon Award at the 2023 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards held at LIV Nightclub Miami Beach on September 6, 2023.

As a member of the BMI family for more than 20 years, Lil Wayne has 53 BMI Awards, was named BMI Songwriter of the Year four times and now adds BMI Icon to his collection of accolades. O’Neill and Brewton presented the honor to the five-time GRAMMY® Award-winning superstar praising him for transforming Hip-Hop and influencing legions of rappers on the scene today. Beyond his success in music, he is a renowned music executive, entrepreneur, and philanthropist.

In addition, BMI’s R&B/Hip-Hop Songwriter of the Year, Song of the Year, Producer of the Year, Publisher of the Year and BMI’s Top 35 Most-Performed R&B/Hip-Hop Songs in the U.S. of the previous year were also announced.

The evening also celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop, paying tribute to its legacy and continued influence on music creators and fans across multiple generations with historic performances by some of the genre’s biggest names. The private event was hosted by BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill and BMI Vice President, Creative, Atlanta, Catherine Brewton.

Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for BMI

R&B and Hip-Hop royalty came out to pay tribute to Lil Wayne with electrifying performances of some of his most popular songs. Big Freedia (pictured) opened with a medley.

Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for BMI

Bobby V (pictured) followed with “Mrs. Officer,” NLE Choppa hyped the crowd with his version of “A Milli” and a special set from Trombone Shorty rounded out the tribute performances.

As the 2023 BMI Icon, Lil Wayne joins an elite group of music creators who have left an indelible mark and unique influence on generations of music makers, including Busta Rhymes, Janet Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Nile Rodgers, Snoop Dogg, The Jacksons, LA Reid, Babyface, Al Green, Isaac Hayes, James Brown and more.

Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for BMI

In celebration of 50 years of Hip-Hop, BMI brought together multiple megastars for performances representing key locations in the history of the genre. For New York, Ja Rule performed a medley of his biggest hits including “New York,” “Livin’ It Up” and “Put It On Me,” while Doug E. Fresh took the stage for a combination of several hip-hop classics including his hits, “La Di Da Di” and “Freaks” performed with Vicious.

Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for BMI

Too Short dedicated his set to the West Coast with “Shake That Monkey” and “Blow the Whistle.” Representing Atlanta, Ying Yang Twins (pictured) performed a medley of “Whistle While You Twerk,” “Salt Shaker,” “Ms. New Booty,” “Wait (The Whisper Song),” “Say I Yi Yi,” and “Get Low.”

Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for BMI

Flo Milli (pictured) introduced the Miami sounds of Trick Daddy (pictured below) and Trina before their performances of “Let’s Go,” “Da Baddest Bitch” and “Nann.” Additional crowd-rousing performances included Mannie Fresh on “Back That Azz Up” and Capella Grey on “Gyalis.”

Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for BMI
Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for BMI

Over the course of the ceremony, BMI recognized the top producers and songwriters of the previous year’s 35 Most-Performed R&B/Hip-Hop Songs in the U.S., leading up to the prestigious Song of the Year, which went to “About Damn Time,” written by Ricky Reed and Blake Slatkin and performed by Lizzo. Songwriter of the Year was a three-way tie with Chris Brown (“Baddest,” “Come Through,” “Under the Influence”), Doja Cat (“Get Into It (Yuh),” “Vegas,” “Woman”) and Tems (“Free Mind,” “Lift Me Up,” “Wait for U”) sharing the coveted title for each writing three of the previous year’s most performed songs.

Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for BMI

Hitmakers Tay Keith (pictured) and Lil Yachty each earned Producer of the Year with Keith honored for his work on hits such as “Jimmy Cooks” by Drake, “Rich Flex” by Drake and 21 Savage and “Hot Shit” by Cardi B featuring Kanye West and Lil Durk, and Yachty for “BackOutsideBoyz” and “Search & Rescue” by Drake and “Major Distribution” by Drake and 21 Savage.

Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for BMI

Additionally, ATL Jacob (pictured), Rob Bisel, Dougie F, Finatik N Zac, RiotUSA and Metro Boomin were also named top producers of the year during the ceremony.

Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for BMI

(L-R) Juvenile, Shadonna Gray and BMI’s Byron Wright attended the 2023 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards at LIV Nightclub at Fontainebleau Miami.

Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for BMI

Rapper Tyga attended the 2023 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards at LIV Nightclub at Fontainebleau Miami.

Sony Music Publishing was named BMI’s R&B/Hip-Hop Publisher of the Year for representing 20 of the previous year’s most-performed songs including BMI’s R&B/Hip-Hop Song of the Year, “About Damn Time,” as well as “Break My Soul,” “Get Into It (Yuh)” and “First Class,” to name a few.

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