Sting won the Icon Award in London last night on October 10 at the BMI London Awards, staged by the music rights management organization that represents 12 million song copyrights and 750,000 songwriters, composers, and publishers. Others to be honored at the ceremony included Ed Sheeran and Snow Patrol. Sting is pictured above with BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill.
At the ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel, Sting performed solo acoustic versions of ‘Heading South On The Great North Road,’ one of the tracks on his upcoming 57th & 9th album, which will be released on November 11. He also played the Police classics ‘Message In A Bottle’ and ‘Every Breath You Take.’ Earlier in the proceedings, he also received a BMI Million-Air Award to mark the latter song’s 13 million combined radio plays.
“It’s a fabulous honor,” said Sting of the award, previous winners of which include Queen, Ray Davies, Bryan Ferry and Sir Tim Rice. “It’s a little premature, but I’m extremely grateful. Your real job as a songwriter is to provide a soundtrack to people’s emotional lives, touchstones for their emotional landscapes, their memories. And that’s an unexpected and unanticipated honor as well as a privilege.”
The event celebrates the UK and European songwriters, producers, and publishers of the most-performed songs of 2015 on U.S. radio and television. Sheeran with the Song of the Year award (the Robert S. Musel Award) for ‘Thinking Out Loud,’ the most performed song of 2015 by UK or European writers in the BMI catalog on US radio.
Among many other winners, full details of which are here, Snow Patrol won a BMI Million-Air Award for combined radio plays of ‘Chasing Cars,’ as did Sir Paul McCartney for ‘Live and Let Die,’ Ray Davies for ‘Lola’ and ‘You Really Got Me,’ Howard Jones for ‘No One Is To Blame’ and Elton John and Bernie Taupin for ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ and ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.’