The BMI Country Awards this year included a three-way tie for the songwriter of the year prize, but there was no disputing the song of the year, which went to "Live Like You Were Dying."

The BMI Country Awards this year included a three-way tie for the songwriter of the year prize, but there was no disputing the song of the year, which went to "Live Like You Were Dying."

The awards were handed out by BMI president and CEO Del Bryant and VP of writer/publisher relations Paul Corbin at a black-tie ceremony at the performing rights organization's Music Row offices last night (Oct. 18).

BMI writer Tim Nichols accepted the song of the year prize for the Tim McGraw hit "Live Like You Were Dying," which Nichols wrote with ASCAP writer Craig Wiseman. The song, which was the title track to McGraw's triple-platinum album, also was recognized with the Robert J. Burton Award as the most performed country song of the year. Both awards went to Nichols and publishers Nichols Worth Music and Warner-Tamerlane Publishing.

The songwriter honor was split among Harley Allen, Big & Rich's Big Kenny Alphin and Lonestar frontman Richie McDonald. Each writer had three tunes among BMI's 50 most performed country titles of the year.

Allen was recognized for "Awful, Beautiful Life," "If Nobody Believed in You" and "My Last Name." Alphin's songs were the Big & Rich singles "Holy Water" and "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" as well as Gretchen Wilson's hit "Here For the Party." McDonald was recognized for the Billy Dean hit "Let Them Be Little" as well as the Lonestar singles "Mr. Mom" and "Let's Be Us Again."

Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville was named publisher of the year for the fourth consecutive year. Its win this year came from landing 15 songs on the list of BMI's 50 most performed songs (through its divisions Sony/ATV Acuff Rose and Sony/ATV Tree). The publisher award goes to the company accumulating the highest percentage of copyright ownership in awarded songs.

As previously announced, country legend Charlie Daniels was the recipient of the BMI Icon award for what the organization describes as his "enduring influence on generations of music makers." Artists Travis Tritt and Montgomery Gentry performed in tribute to Daniels, who has won multiple BMI country and pop awards in the past.

Bryant and Corbin also awarded certificates of achievement to the writers and publishers of the year's 50 most performed songs from the BMI repertoire. BMI writers landing two songs each on the top 50 list were Bob DiPiero, Ed Hill, Tommy Lee James, Toby Keith, Vicky McGehee, Shania Twain, Keith Urban and Nichols.

Multiple publisher awards went to Careers-BMG Music Publishing/Zomba Songs (9); Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (6); Universal Music Publishing (Songs of Universal and Universal-Songs of PolyGram International) (5); Coburn Music and Mike Curb Music/Diamond Storm Music (4); Big Love Music, EMI-Blackwood Music and Harley Allen Music (3); and Big Yellow Dog Music, Cake Taker Music, Dimensional Songs of the Knoll, Guitar Monkey Music, Loon Echo, Love Monkey Music, Music Hill Music/Sagrabeaux Songs, Nichols Worth Music, Still Working For the Man Music, Tokeco Tunes and Tommy Lee James Songs (2 each).

For a complete list of honorees, go to BMI.com.