BMI pop lauds EMI

Label joins Crow, Edmonds, Kelly at top of list

Sheryl Crow, Kenneth (Babyface) Edmonds, Jim Steinman and R. Kelly were among the songwriters nabbing top honors at BMI’s 46th annual Pop Awards gala held Tuesday at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Music publishing titan EMI was honored by the performing rights org as publisher of the year.

BMI honored the writers and publishers of 73 of the year’s most frequently performed songs, a pack that was led by the Celine Dion-performed “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” which was penned by Jim Steinman and earned the org’s pop song of the year honor.

Trio of tunes

Babyface, Crow, Kelly and scribe Jeffrey Trott each had three tunes on BMI’s most-performed list during the Oct. 1, 1996-Sept. 30, 1997, eligibility period and shared pop songwriter of the year honors. The tunes are honored based on the org’s computerized survey of national radio airplay.

Babyface, whose radio staple “Everytime I Close My Eyes” was among the trio of his songs feted, has won a most-performed honor almost every year for the past eight. Tuesday’s nods bring his awards tally to 48.

R. Kelly, who has landed eight career BMI Pop Awards, counted his Grammy-winning song “I Believe I Can Fly” among his nods.

BMI’s stable

Other BMI-affiliated scribes laying claim to a pair of the most-performed tunes of the year included David Foster, Alanis Morissette, Mariah Carey, Paula Cole and Meredith Brooks.

EMI Music Publishing was behind 15 of the 73 songs honored and earned BMI’s publisher of the year trophy. Warner Chappell, Sony ATV and Zomba also received accolades for being among the music publishing houses sporting three or more of the year’s most-performed songs.

A special nod was given to scribes Richard Addrisi and his late brother Donald for “Never My Love.” The 1967 hit made famous by the Association logged an impressive 7 million broadcast performances. It is only the second BMI song to reach that plateau.

“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” co-penned by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Phil Spector and one of the Righteous Brothers’ best-known songs, was previously the org’s only tune to cross the 7 million threshold and was also honored at the gala. It picked up its 12th BMI Pop Award, an org record.

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