Songwriter/producer Ed Cash was named BMI's 2008 Christian Songwriter of the Year during the organization's annual Christian Music Awards, held April 19 at the company's Nashville offices.

One of Cash's compositions, "Made to Worship," recorded by Chris Tomlin, was named BMI's Christian Song of the Year. Cash was also recognized for penning the hits "Holding Onto You" and "How Can I Keep From Singing."

Universal Music Publishing Group was named Christian Publisher of the Year. 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," penned by 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 Kirk Franklin.

During the evening, BMI recognized songwriters and publishers in the Christian rock, contemporary Christian, inspirational, urban gospel and Southern gospel fields who had the most performed songs on Christian radio. Jars of Clay, Aaron Shust, and Isaiah Thomas performed during the event.

Shust and Lawrence each earned two BMI honors. Among the other songwriters recognized were Franklin, Thomas, tobyMac, Percy Bady, Joel Lindsay, David Nasser, Jasen Rauch and Anthony Armstrong of the group Red, Jars of Clay members Dan Haseltine, Charlie Lowell, Steve Mason, Matt Odmark, and Casting Crown's frontman Mark Hall.