Sixties survivor Donovan was honored as a BMI Icon tonight at a gala evening in London's Dorchester Hotel.
The Glasgow, Scotland-born singer/songwriter enjoyed 12 consecutive top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 during the 1960s, including "Hurdy Gurdy Man," Mellow Yellow" and "Sunshine Superman." He received the honor at the annual BMI London Awards, which recognizes U.K. and European songwriters and publishers of the past year's most-played BMI-represented songs on U.S. radio and television. BMI collects U.S. royalties for Donovan, who is a member of U.K. collecting society PRS for Music.
According to BMI figures, "Sunshine Superman" has had almost 3 million performances to date, while "Mellow Yellow" has passed the 2 million performance mark.
The Icon award recognizes BMI songwriters who have bestowed "a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers." Previous recipients include Bryan Ferry, Peter Gabriel, Ray Davies, Van Morrison, the Bee Gees, Isaac Hayes, Dolly Parton, James Brown, Willie Nelson, Hall & Oates, Paul Simon, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Steve Winwood.
Being added to that list is "a singular honor," Donovan tells Billboard.biz. "It's a wonderful honor to be recognized for one's songs, for a body of work, and when I looked at that list I was very, very pleased."
The London ceremony was hosted by BMI president and CEO Del Bryant, senior VP, writer/publisher relations Phil Graham and executive director, writer/publisher relations, Europe & Asia, Brandon Bakshi.
Other key winners on the night included Natasha Bedingfield, whose "Pocket Full of Sunshine," took the Robert S. Musel Award for song of the year. Published by EMI Music Publishing, the song was co-written by Bedingfield and Danielle Brisebois. It was also College Song of the Year crown after tallying the most performances on American college radio.
The BMI Dance Award went to "Cry for You," recorded by Swedish act September, co-written by Anoo Bhagavan and Niclas von der Burg and published by EMI Music Publishing Scandinavia.
The evening also saw a string of performance-based awards presented. Among those was a 9 million performance "Million-air Certificate" for Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl," published by Exile Music Publishing and Universal Music Publishing. Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green's "Black Magic Woman" (Bourne Music) was recognized for logging 5 million plays, as was 10cc's "I'm not in Love" (EMI Music Publishing), written by Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart.
Also joining the 5 million club were the Rolling Stones "Jumpin' Jack Flash," written by Sir Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, plus Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" (Warner/Chappell Music International).
A complete list of 2009 BMI London Awards winners is available at www.bmi.com/london .