Mariah Carey was the guest of honor at the BMI Urban Music Awards, collecting the org’s Icon award, while Andrew “Pop” Wansel and a host of Cash Money Records denizens claimed top honors during Friday night’s soiree in Beverly Hills.
Accompanied onto the Saban Theater stage stage by her husband Nick Cannon and onetime musical director Randy Jackson, Carey gave a brief speech after a long, loving tribute which included a DJ set from longtime collaborator Jermaine Dupri and a rendition of “Hero” from “American Idol” vet Fantasia Barrino.
Honoring the year’s most performed urban songs, the performing rights org’s top awards were given to Drake and Lil Wayne, who split songwriter of the year honors, while labelmate Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” was named song of the year. Beatmaker Wansel was dubbed producer of the year, and EMI Music Publishing took home the publisher of the year award.
Veteran Queens rapper Nas opened the show with a strong four-song set, and newcomer Future made a cameo perf midway through. Show was hosted by BMI topper Del Bryant and vp of writer-publisher relations Catherine Brewton.