BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) paid tribute to the best and brightest in Christian music with its annual Christian Awards celebration. The honorees were announced today on BMI.com and across the organization’s digital platforms, celebrating the encouraging and uplifting music of BMI’s Christian songwriters. To honor these achievements, BMI created a page on its website where fans can watch special video messages and performances, listen to award-winning music, and more. To view this exclusive content and hear the story behind some of this year’s uplifting songs, please visit bmi.com/christian2021.
“The BMI Christian Awards is one of our favorite annual celebrations, but it is especially meaningful after the events of the last year. Throughout this time, each and every one of these extraordinary songwriters has used their gift to uplift others,” says Leslie Roberts, AVP, Creative, BMI Nashville. “BMI is so proud to honor the creators of the inspirational songs of hope and faith that bring comfort to so many around the world. I am hopeful that we will all be together again to celebrate in person next year.”
The Song of the Year title went to “Way Maker,” written by Sinach and published by Capitol CMG Publishing. In 2020, the hit won the Dove Award for Song of the Year, making Sinach the first Nigerian Christian artist to win the award. The song has been covered by numerous artists including Christian rock band Leeland as well as the iconic Michael W. Smith. The Leeland and Smith versions of the song entered the Billboard Hot Christian Chart in the top ten, marking the first time in history that two versions of the same song resided together in the top of the chart.
For the third year in a row, the Songwriter of the Year award went to Ethan Hulse, who wrote “Rescue Story,” “Stand In Your Love” and “The Father’s House.” In 2019, Hulse won his first BMI Award and was simultaneously named Songwriter of the Year.
Capitol CMG took home the Publisher of the Year award. The company had the highest percentage of copyright ownership among the year’s most-performed songs, including the hits “Believer,” “Burn the Ships,” “Dead Man Walking,” “God’s Not Done With You,” “Holy Water,” “Let It Rain (Is There Anybody),” “See a Victory,” “Stand In Your Love,” “The Blessing,” “The Father’s House,” “Way Maker,” and “You Are Loved.”
In addition to the major award winners, BMI also paid homage to the Twenty-Five Most Performed Christian Songs of the Year (2020). This year’s winners featured 17 first time Christian award winners including Cody Carnes (“The Blessing”), Franni Cash Cain (“Holy Water”), Martin Cash (“Holy Water”), Dillon Chase (“Symphony”), Dave Clark (“River”), Sheri Easter (“You Are Loved”), Cassidy Estevez (“Symphony”), Rob Estevez (“Symphony”), Luke Guevara (“Symphony”), Matt Hales (“Burn the Ships”), Jason Ingram (“Alive,” “See A Victory”), Ricky Jackson (“Together”), Andrew Ripp (“Rescue Story”), Sinach (“Way Maker”), Rita Springer (“Stand In Your Love”), Mitch Wong (“Believer”), and Jimmy Yeary (“The God I Serve,” “Sometimes It’s The Radio”), who has previously been awarded seven BMI Country Awards. Legendary Christian songwriter and producer Bernie Herms is receiving his 17th and 18th Awards. He was named 2016 Christian Songwriter of the Year and also wrote the 2016 Christian Song of the Year, “Good Good Father.”
For a complete list of winners, video messages and performances, go to bmi.com/christian2021.