Ellie Goulding was honored at the 2022 BMI London Awards last night (October 3), taking home the BMI President’s Award.
The trophy was presented to the British pop star by BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill and sees Goulding join an elite group of recipients that include the likes of Imagine Dragons, Noel Gallagher, Brian Wilson, Willie Nelson, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, and many more.
“I’ve never won anything like this before and it means so much to me,” the star said while collecting the award. “I moved out of my home when I was 16 and I kind of started then. And I felt I had so much to lose making a living out of something that everyone told me was definitely impossible.
“In the UK particularly, and as a woman, it’s sort of ingrained into you that ambition is a bad thing and it’s not very cool, but it shouldn’t be. Ambition is an essential ingredient for what we all do, and along with the talent and a bit of luck, for anyone who hopes of a long-lasting career, in a really tough industry actually, it’s essential, so to anyone who’s on their way there, please don’t listen to those people who have anything to say about you wanting bigger and better because you deserve it.”
Goulding concluded her impassioned speech by highlighting the power of music in times of struggle. “In a world now that needs urgent action, in a country that demands empathy, may music play its part in empowering others to begin,” she said.
During the ceremony, the acclaimed artist – who has now won 17 BMI Awards – also performed the tracks “Woman” and “New Heights,” both of which appeared on her 2020 album, Brightest Blue. She was accompanied by a pianist and backing vocalists for the performance, which received a standing ovation from the crowd.
Earlier this year, Goulding returned with her new single “Easy Lover,” which featured rapper Big Sean. After its release, the star recruited Four Tet to remix the track, turning it into a pulsating club banger.
“I wrote ‘Easy Lover’ in LA with Julia Michaels after conversations about the age old tale of being infatuated by someone cool and beautiful knowing that they will never quite feel the same,” the star said of the track upon its release.
“It’s about going back to the same dangerous person to feel alive when you know they have hurt people again and again before you. Having the legendary Greg Kurstin produce any song of mine is always a dream come true. He always understands the assignment!”