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The 61st Annual BMI Pop Awards touched down at the iconic Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Tuesday. There, the performance rights organization honored the songwriters and music publishers behind the most played pop songs of the year.
Hosted by BMI president and CEO Del Bryant and VP and general manager, Barbara Cane, the evening promised to “represent a diverse group of music creators whose talents have shaped the landscape of pop music.”
Among them: Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, who received the President’s Award for his influential presence on the pop scene. The Voice judge gave a heartfelt acceptance speech to the star-studded room with his friends and family watching from their dinner table. He joins a long list of performers to previously win the award, including Taylor Swift, Gloria Estefan, Willie Nelson and Pitbull.
Levine also took the opportunity to debut a new artist, Rozzi Crane, the first to be signed to his label, 222 Records. When she performed the Maroon 5 hit “She Will Be Loved,” the crowd looked wowed by her huge voice and undeniable stage presence.
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Allen Stone performed his own soulful version of “ Won’t Go Home Without You” before being joined by Crane for a duet of “Sunday Morning.”
After the tribute, Levine took the stage to accept his President’s Award and seemed truly touched, despite his jovial comments. “The smartest thing I did was find people like Rozzi Crane,” he said. “Thank you and screw you for singing my song better than I do.” He called the honor “shocking and incredible,” and credited BMI with supporting him since his days with his first band, Kara’s Flowers.
Other awards went to Claude Kelley, Benny Blanco and Ammar Malik who were named songwriters of the year. The three penned four of the 25 most played pop songs of the year.
Blanco and Malik also earned the award for Pop Song of the Year along with Levine for their hit, “Moves Like Jagger.”
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The Pop Publisher of the Year prize went to Universal Music Publishing Group, with 19 of the 25 songs coming from them.
Stars like Gavin DeGraw, Hot Chelle Rae mixed and mingled with aspiring artists like American Idol cast-off Haley Reinhart and Christina Perri, who snagged an award for her hit, the Twilight theme song, “A Thousand Years.”
RedOne also hit the stage a few times to collect on his contributions to the Top 25 list. The producer-turned-music mogul recently signed Jennifer Lopez to his 2101 Records imprint of Capitol Records. The hitmaker was also responsible for her 2011 smash “On The Floor” and recently released a new single, “Live It Up” from her forthcoming tenth studio album. Lopez will perform the song at the American Idol finale on Thursday night.
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