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Lil Wayne Honored as BMI Icon and Ice Spice Awarded BMI Impact at 2023 R&B/Hip-Hop Awards

The 2023 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards, a showcase of music excellence, unfolded at Miami Beach's LIV Nightclub this past Wednesday. Presented by BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), the event shone a spotlight on artists and creators who have profoundly shaped the R&B and Hip-Hop genres.

Lil Wayne, a BMI cornerstone for over two decades, claimed the prestigious BMI Icon Award—a testament to his astounding legacy. With an impressive 53 BMI Awards, his influence on the music landscape continues to evolve. BMI President/CEO Mike O’Neill and BMI VP of Creative Catherine Brewton, based in Atlanta, presented this honor, lauding Lil Wayne's transformative impact on Hip-Hop and aspiring artists.

The event was punctuated by electrifying performances, commencing with an enthralling medley from Big Freedia, followed by Bobby V's rendition of "Mrs. Officer." NLE Choppa ignited the audience with his take on "A Milli," while Trombone Shorty delivered a spellbinding set.

Lil Wayne joins an elite cadre of music creators, including Busta Rhymes, Janet Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Nile Rodgers, Snoop Dogg, The Jacksons, LA Reid, Babyface, Al Green, Isaac Hayes and James Brown, who have forever altered the industry.

Adding to the evening's accolades, rising star Ice Spice was awarded the inaugural BMI Impact Award. In just two years, Ice Spice has garnered acclaim with four top 10 hits on the Hot 100, collaborating with luminaries like Taylor Swift, Pink Pantheress, Nicki Minaj and Aqua.

BMI also celebrated the previous year's top producers and songwriters for the 35 most-performed R&B/Hip-Hop songs in the U.S. The coveted Song of the Year award was clinched by "About Damn Time," authored by Ricky Reed and Blake Slatkin and brought to life by Lizzo. This track, which held the Billboard Hot 100's top spot for two weeks, also secured a Grammy for Record of the Year.

The Songwriter of the Year honor was shared by three outstanding artists. Chris Brown, known for hits like "Baddest," "Come Through," and "Under the Influence," was among them. Doja Cat, celebrated for her contributions to tracks like "Get Into It (Yuh)," "Vegas," and "Woman," also shared the title. Tems, known for impactful songs like "Free Mind," "Lift Me Up," and "Wait for U," completed the trio.

Tay Keith and Lil Yachty shared the title of Producer of the Year, a tribute to their roles in crafting hits such as "Jimmy Cooks" by Drake, "Rich Flex" by Drake and 21 Savage, and "Hot Sh-t" by Cardi B featuring Kanye West and Lil Durk. The ceremony also recognized other outstanding producers, including ATL Jacob, Rob Bisel, Dougie F, Finatik N Zac, RiotUSA and Metro Boomin.

Sony Music Publishing was hailed as BMI’s R&B/Hip-Hop Publisher of the Year, representing a significant portion of the previous year's most-performed songs, including the BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Song of the Year, "About Damn Time," as well as hits like "Break My Soul," "Get Into It (Yuh)" and "First Class."

In commemoration of 50 years of Hip-Hop, BMI united a constellation of stars, each representing a distinct chapter in the genre's history. New York was brought to life by Ja Rule and Doug E. Fresh, while Too Short celebrated the West Coast. Representing Atlanta, the Ying Yang Twins delivered an explosive performance. Flo Milli introduced the Miami sounds of Trick Daddy and Trina, and other captivating performances included Mannie Fresh and Capella Grey.

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