This year’s BMI Urban Music Awards was jam-packed with powerful performances, touching tributes, and of course- cameos from some of music’s brightest stars of the year. Hip-hop heavyweights were out in full-effect at Hollywood’s historic Pantages Theater Friday night to eat, drink, and honor each other’s many accomplishments. B.O.B. opened up the show, with a three-song set, including his smash hits, “Airplanes” and ‘Nothin On You”. Revered as “the future of music” by BMI’s President, Del Bryant, he received his first BMI award Friday night. Other hot performances came from Rick Ross, Pleasure P, and Flo-Rida, who shocked audiences when he completed his set atop the shoulders of a very large sidekick. The audience was sprinkled with music executives, artists, writers, and producers including Jimmy Iovine, Busta Rhymes, Pusha T, and Young Joc.
‘Producer of The Year’ went to Polow Da Don, who beat out serious competition like Kanye West, R.Kelly, and Sean Garrett for the title. The night’s other big winner? Weezy of course! The absent emcee won ‘Songwriter of The Year’ for his work on tracks like “Forever”, “Successful”, and “Turnin’ Me On” among others. Baby, Tyga, and the rest of the Young Money family came onstage to accept the award for their fearless leader.
The night was dedicated to this year’s President’s Award recipient, Will.i.am, whose music career spans much farther back than his super-group, The Black Eyed Peas. Apl.de.ap was by his side as friends and colleagues highlighted his greatest achievements, and shared touching details about his rise from poverty to super-stardom. Music icons Barry Gordy, Bono and Quincy Jones even sent in video messages they recorded for their friend. After a tearful acceptance speech from Will.i.am, he and Usher closed out the show with a crowd-pleasing performance of their hit collabo—“OMG”.
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