Lil’ Jon was the big winner at the 2005 BMI Urban Awards, held Friday (Aug. 26) night at the Grand Ballroom of the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach. BMI president/CEO Del Bryant and VP of writer/publisher relations Catherine Brewton hosted the ceremony, honoring the producer/rapper with songwriter of the year, song of the year for Usher’s “Yeah!” and the inaugural urban ringtone award for Petey Pablo’s “Freek-A-Leek.”
Controversial singer/producer R. Kelly also earned a BMI Crystal for urban songwriter of the year, while rapper/producer Kanye West was honored as producer of the year for having the most producer credits on charting songs. Others on the BMI top producers list included Cool & Dre, Eminem, Fat Joe, Jazze Pha, R. Kelly, John Legend, Lil’ Jon, Mannie Fresh and the Neptunes.
THe performing rights organization named EMI Music Publishing as urban publisher of the year for having the highest percentage of copyright ownership in award songs. EMI had 17 songs on the most-performed songs list this year.
This year’s BMI Icon honorees were Charlie Wilson and the GAP Band, who were honored for “their enduring influence on generations of music makers.”
Billboard also recognized the BMI-affiliated writers who had No. 1 songs on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Hot Rap Tracks, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and Hot 100 charts during the past year. Snoop Dogg and the Neptunes’ Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo topped all four lists with “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”