A star-studded crowd of musicians and scribes flocked to the Beverly Wilshire Tuesday night to celebrate legendary singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks at the 62nd annual BMI Pop Awards.
Adam Levine, Shakira, Sheryl Crow, Lady Antebellum and Vanessa Carlton each took the stage to pay tribute to the Icon Award honoree by performing some of her greatest hits.
Carlton sang “Dreams,” followed by Levine and Crow who teamed up to perform “Leather and Lace.”
Crow also expressed her admiration for Nicks, saying, “There’s not a woman that writes songs that doesn’t want to be you.”
Lady Antebellum played “Rhiannon” and Shakira, who told Nicks, “You’re my hero,” concluded the musical tribute with her rendition of “Landslide.”
Nicks addressed the crowd for nearly 30 minutes and talked about everything from writing her first song and receiving her first guitar to the future of the music industry.
“In the beginning, there was a song,” Nicks began, telling the audience about the process of writing her first songs and discovering her passion for music. After having her heart broken a couple of years later, the Fleetwood Mac singer said she was finally able to write about her own emotional experiences.
“For the first time after all those years of singing other people’s beloved songs, I understood what love was and why people write these songs,” she explained.
Nicks also discussed her decision to pursue a solo career without abandoning or jeopardizing Fleetwood Mac.
“Being in a band with three writers means you only get three or four songs per album, and for somebody who writes as much as me that really just wasn’t enough,” Nicks said.
Though she expressed an interest in music from a very young age, Nicks explained that her mother insisted she pursue her education herself before dedicating her life to music.
“The question was, for my mother, ‘You will get an education because you will probably be a famous rock and roll singer or country singer or an R&B singer – whatever it is that you’re going to be. But you will be educated and you will be able to stand in a room full of incredibly intelligent, intellectual men and keep up with them,’” Nicks shared.
The singer-songwriter even offered some practical advice, telling the audience, “Don’t break up other people’s marriages. It backfires every time and it’s very bad karma and it will never work,” alluding to her own affair with Mick Fleetwood.
Nicks, who turns 66 later this month, also took a moment to address the young songwriters in the room and reminded them of the hard work that goes into building a successful career.
“This is what you have to look forward to if you really want to do this forever. You can, you just have to – as my mom would say – put your nose to the grindstone and go for it and just be determined and don’t let anybody get in your way,” she said, adding, “I probably won’t be here in thirty years. But my spirit will be with you.”
Earlier in the evening, the publisher of the year award was presented to Sony/ATV, the company behind 15 of the year’s most performed songs. The Lumineers’ hit “Ho Hey” was crowned song of the year and the award for songwriter of the year came down to a four-way tie between Levine, Jeff Bhasker and Macklemore (Ben Haggerty) and Ryan Lewis, each of whom penned three songs on the most performed list.
Other guests in attendance included Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, Jordin Sparks, Jason Derulo, Michelle Branch, Skylar Grey and Andy Grammer.
(Pictured: Shakira and BMI president Del Bryant flank BMI Icon Award winner Stevie Nicks)