Troy Tomlinson, Martin Bandier, Del Bryant, Kris Kristofferson, Taylor Swift, Bobby Pinson, Jody Williams, Clay Bradley, Phil Graham
Troy Tomlinson, Martin Bandier, Del Bryant, Kris Kristofferson, Taylor Swift, Bobby Pinson, Jody Williams, Clay Bradley, Phil Graham

NEW YORK & NASHVILLE, Nov 11, 2009 / FW/ — The 57th Annual BMI Country Awards honored Kris Kristofferson as a BMI Icon, while Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” was named Song of the Year. Bobby Pinson was awarded Songwriter of the Year and Sony/ATV Music Publisher was named Published of the Year.

Hosted by BMI President & CEO Del Bryant and Nashville Writer/Publisher VP Jody Williams, the 57th Annual Country Awards recognized the songwriters and publishers of the top BMI country songs played on American radio and television during the previous year.

A highlight of the evening was the tribute to newly crowned BMI Icon Kris Kristofferson, featuring performances by Patty Griffin, Vince Gill, and Willie Nelson.

Lisa Kristofferson, Jody Williams, Kris Kristofferson, Carolyn BWith the penetration of a poet and the humbling grace of a troubadour, Kris Kristofferson built a legendary career most recognized for its versatility, authenticity, and sheer brilliance. He has received 48 BMI Country and Pop Awards for his compositions including “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down,” “Why Me,” “Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again),” “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” which garnered seven BMI Country and four BMI Pop Awards, and “For the Good Times,” which won a BMI Country Award each consecutive year between 1971 and 1979 as well as five BMI Pop Awards between 1970 and 1974.

Jody Williams, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Del BryantEight of his compositions have generated substantially more than one million performances, and three Grammys line his shelves. While he wrote most of his masterpieces alone, his co-writers include giants Shel Silverstein, Marijohn Wilkin, and Fred Foster.

He has starred in numerous films, including Lone Star, the Blade trilogy, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, A Star Is Born, for which he garnered the Golden Globe trophy for Best Motion Picture Actor, and Songwriter, for which he received an Oscar nomination for Original Song Score.

Along with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash, Kristofferson also formed the Highwaymen. Still recording, now for New West Records, he released new album, entitled Closer to the Bone, in late September of this year. A Rhodes Scholar capable of choosing virtually any path, Kristofferson decided to write songs, and for that, purveyors and lovers of American music are eternally grateful.

Seen on the red carpet: Nicole Kidman with husband Keith Urban who is a former winner at the BMI, Melita Snider, Don Was, Kix Brooks, Deborah Allen, and Todd Snider, Big Kenny, Zac Brown Band, Tamara Saviano, Billy Swan, Kris Kristofferson and Donnie Fritts, Del Bryant, Kristian Bush, Jody Williams, Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, Bobby Pinson, Brooks & Dunn, Patty Griffin, Clay Bradley, Gary Overton, Kid Rock, Pat Higdon, Scott Francis, Jody Williams, Troy Tomlinson, Martin Bandier, Phil Graham, Don Was, Lisa Kristofferson, Miranda Lambert, Big Kenny, Christiev Alphin