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Busta Rhymes to Receive BMI Icon Award for Contributions to Music Industry

 Photo Credit: Joseph "Jo Lenz" Kindred
Rapper Busta Rhymes will receive the performance rights organization's highest award at BMI's 2022 R&B/Hip-Hop Awards on Sept. 7, at a private event held at Miami Beach's LIV Nightclub.

The BMI Icon Award, presented to songwriters, composers or producers who have distinctly and profoundly influenced the music industry, will be given to the 50-year-old musician in celebration of a career spanning three decades.

BMI vice president Catherine Brewton, who will host the show with BMI president & CEO Mike O'Neill, said in a statement that the organization was excited to honor Rhymes as one of the pioneers of hip-hop.

"Through his award-winning solo work, countless collaborations and acting, Busta is a true innovator in every sense of the word and has made a dynamic impact on legions of fans and music creators worldwide," Brewton said. "His quick wit and intricate rapping style have made him legendary, inspiring many young performers to follow in his footsteps."

Previous recipients of the award include Janet Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Nile Rodgers, Snoop Dogg, The Jacksons, LA Reid, Babyface, Al Green, Isaac Hayes and James Brown.

Rhymes began his career as a member of Leaders of the New School. The hip-hop crew, founded in the late 1980s, got its big break in the early 90s as the opening act for rap icons Public Enemy. Their two albums spawned multiple hits, including the classic "Case of the P.T.A.," which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles Chart.

Following the dissolution of the group Rhymes became a sought-after collaborator on other artists' projects. His solo debut "The Coming" reached No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart in 1996 and made him a superstar.

In the ensuing years, Rhymes has received numerous accolades and awards, including six BET Awards, eight BMI Awards, a Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Award, a Soul Train Award, as well as 12 Grammy and 16 MTV Video Music Award nominations.

Hits like "Woo-Hah!! Got You All in Check," "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See," "Break Ya Neck," "Dangerous," "What's It's Gonna Be?" and "Gimme Some More" have cemented his status as an anthem-maker and icon of his genre.

While his work away from music, roles in "Shaft," "Finding Forrester" and "The Rugrats Movie," as well as competing in FOX's "The Masked Singer," has helped expand his cultural profile and keep his music relevant over the years.

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