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Prior to the start of last evening's (May 18) 58th annual BMI Pop Awards, Billboard caught up with several honorees on the red carpet:
* Before receiving this year's BMI Icon award, John Fogerty left no doubt as to why he's such a revered artist. Joined by guitar-playing teen sons Shane and Tyler, the legendary singer/songwriter/musician blazed through a medley of his most memorable songs --including "Proud Mary," "Fortunate Son" and "Bad Moon Rising" -- for a quite enthusiastic industry audience. Fogerty noted on the red carpet that being considered an icon "is a little scary."
* Songwriter/producer Kara DioGuardi was honored for her work on Kelly Clarkson's "I Do Not Hook Up," Pink's "Sober" and Theory of a Deadman's "Not Meant to Be." In her guise as "American Idol" judge, DioGuardi predicts it will be a "Crystal [Bowersox], Lee [Dewyze] finale." As for the imminent departure and fellow judge Simon Cowell: "I'll be sad to see Simon go, especially because of his conviction and passion. The new judge should be someone with extensive music knowledge and strong opinions that will make good TV. It's a judge's duty to speak from the heart." Pressed to name possible Cowell replacements, DioGuardi only noted that she was "impressed by Harry Connick Jr."
* Songwriter of the Year RedOne says his goal, whether working with Lady Gaga or anyone else, is to "better magnify the artist's talent. I observe who and what they are first and then find the best way to show that." As for Gaga, currently on tour overseas, RedOne notes that she just "loves to perform. No one is pushing her to do anything. And when she has free time, it's 'Red, studio!' Her vibe is incredible." Noting that no release date has been set, RedOne promises the new material they are working on will take her to "the next level." Among his other projects: working on several songs with T.I. and a song on Quincy Jones' forthcoming "Soul Bossa Nova" featuring B.o.B., T.I. and African artist Mohombi.
* Taylor Swift, whose "Love Story" won song of the year honors, says she's been writing songs for the last two years and, at this point, it's "about honing things down to final production" on her next album. In the meantime, she's also busy working on her new apartment, nicknamed "the Imaginarium" because of the "crazy, whimsical things" that are being done including "rooms where there weren't rooms before." But she was more concerned about the recent flooding in Nashville. "Driving around and seeing the damage was heartbreaking for me. But it's so wonderful to see Nashville step up." Among the concerts she's looking forward to seeing this summer: Tom Petty ("he's a musical inspiration to me").
* Cited for his work on T.I.'s "Whatever You Like," producer/songwriter Jim Jonsin is also celebrating the success of his Rebel Rock artist B.o.B. ("Nothin' on You"). "I love working with these new, young kids," says Jonsin. "They are so inspiring." He adds that B.o.B. recently spent four days working with T.I. on his upcoming album and that the three plan to get together again in the next few weeks. Among Jonsin's other current collaborations: Shakira, Wiz Khalifa, JoJo and new Interscope signee Yelawolf.