BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene
The BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards will return to Atlanta this summer and pay homage to Patti LaBelle.
The voice behind such classics as “Lady Marmalade,” “On My Own” and “New Attitude” will be named the BMI Icon at the event in recognition of her achievements during her 50-plus years in the business. Previous recipients include Nile Rodgers, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, James Brown, Al Green and Snoop Dogg.
This year’s production will be held Aug. 31 at Atlanta Symphony Hall. BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill and BMI Vice President of Writer/Publisher Relations Catherine Brewton will host.
The event will also recognize the songwriters, producers, publishers and administrators of the most performed R&B/Hip-Hop songs of the past year from BMI’s catalog of more than 12 million musical works. As well, the BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Songwriter, Producer and Publisher of the Year will be named.
Though the ceremony – which moved to Atlanta last year after previously being held in New York and L.A. in previous years – is not open to the public, music fans can participate in the BMI Social Star contest, which aims to find the songwriter with the most engaged social media audience. Voting begins Aug. 14.
Fans can vote by using BMI’s Instagram and Twitter accounts. The songwriter with the most Instagram likes and use of a specialized Twitter hashtag will win. Previous victors include Mac Miller, Machine Gun Kelly, Joey Bada$$ and Zendaya.