Dean Dillon, Hunter Hayes, Rodney Clawson, Sony/ATV Among BMI's 2013 Country Awards Honorees

Dean Dillon and Toby Keith

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Songwriter Dean Dillon penned hits for George Strait, George Jones, Kenny Chesney and more in his prolific career in Nashville and several of those artists honored him as the newest BMI Icon at the 61st BMI Country Awards in Nashville.

BMI Country Music Awards -- Photo Gallery

Dillon has written more than 50 songs for Strait. The beloved singer paid homage with a medley of his Dillon-penned hits, including "The Chair," ''Marina Del Ray," and "Here For A Good Time." Chesney, Luke Bryan and Lee Ann Womack also performed some of Dillon's songs at the annual event put on by Broadcast Music, Inc.

Dillon joins an elite list of songwriters who have had "a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers."

Also on the night, Rodney Clawson was named songwriter of the year for helping to write six of the year's most performed country songs. Clawson’s recent credits include "Drink On It" recorded by Blake Shelton, "Drunk On You" by Luke Bryan, "One of Those Nights" by Tim McGraw, "Take a Little Ride" by Jason Aldean, "Where I Come From" by Montgomery Gentry and "Did It for the Girl" by Greg Bates.

Young country artist Hunter Hayes took home the song of the year award for his smash hit, "Wanted," which was co-written with Troy Verges and has generated than one million performances in 2012 alone.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville again grabbed publisher of the year honors, having been responsible for 20 of the 50 most-performed songs of the year,

Meanwhile, BMI launched two initiatives: the inaugural issue of the BMI Nashville newsletter and the start of BMI TV.

For a complete list of 2013 BMI Country Awards winners visit www.bmi.com/country.