Video: David Foster's 10 Tips for Songwriters
Video: David Foster's 10 Tips for Songwriters

In recognition of his "unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers," songwriter/producer David Foster was presented with BMI's Icon award Tuesday night in Los Angeles, and during his acceptance speech, he listed 10 rules for up-and-coming songwriters, which offers good advice for almost everyone.

Also during the ceremony, Chaka Khan's scorching performance of "Through the Fire" sparked the evening's musical salute to Foster. The singer's performance of her own Foster-produced hit (which enjoyed a second, sped-up life in Kanye West's "Through the Wire") drew a standing ovation from the industry audience as did singers Cody Karey and Delta Goodrum's stirring take on "The Prayer," originally recorded by Celine Dion and Josh Groban. Rounding out the salute to the 15-time Grammy Award-winning Foster were Brian McKnight, who sang the Earth, Wind & Fire hit "After the Love Is Gone," and Keri Hilson who delivered the Whitney Houston classic "I Have Nothing."