Taylor Swift, RedOne win BMI Awards

John Fogerty named BMI Icon

Most music fans likely would not have recognized many of the faces at Tuesday night's BMI Pop Awards, but chances are they know plenty of their songs by heart.

The performing rights group's 58th annual shindig at the Beverly Wilshire drew some of today's top songwriters along with no shortage of wily veterans. Modern chart-hoggers including RedOne, Taylor Swift, Kara DioGuardi, Claude Kelly and Evan Bogart mingled alongside such Songwriters Hall of Famers as John Fogerty -- who received the BMI Icon award -- Mac Davis and Holland-Dozier-Holland.

Mega-selling country crossover act Swift won three awards Tuesday, and she was charming in accepting her Song of the Year honor for "Love Story," telling the crowd she "loves to write about boys."

Swift -- at 20, the youngest ever to win the award -- said she wrote "Love Story" after "the one epic teenage tantrum I ever threw in my life." After telling her doubting parents how much she loved this guy and storming out, she slammed her bedroom door, sat on the floor and penned the multiple-format smash.

"Thank you for rewarding that behavior," Swift said.

RedOne (aka Nadir Khayat) was the night's big winner, taking his first Songwriter of the Year honor. The Morocco-born two-time Grammy winner, who co-penned three of Lady Gaga's hits and Sean Kingston's "Fire Burning," ran through a fast list of thank-yous before returning to the mike twice to add more -- then returning to the stage to add another. Lady Gaga's name was not among them.

BMI chief Del Bryant, who co-hosted the event with BMI's Barbara Cane, introduced Fogerty as "a genuine artist, able to take not the road less traveled but the road that has been traveled by countless others and still somehow create something fresh, powerful and unforgettable."

The 2010 BMI Icon then closed the show with a typically energetic 10-song medley of Creedence Clearwater Revival classics and solo tunes including "Centerfield" and "Don't You Wish It Was True," joined by his teenage sons Shane and Tyler on guitars. Afterward, Fogerty talked about the terrible situation in Nashville, mentioning that he lost some prized guitars in the flood.

"But losing a guitar is really nothing compared to losing a song, or a bunch of songs, or your life savings that was earned by those songs," he said.

Fogerty was referring to how he signed over publishing rights to his catalog to Fantasy Records, then owned by Saul Zaentz, who went on to win three best picture Oscars. Fogerty said he'd rather not elaborate, but the message was received by the roomful of songwriters.

Orianthi, the Aussie singer-guitarist who was set to play alongside Michael Jackson during his comeback shows in London, opened the concert portion of the show with a rendition of Creedence's "Run Through the Jungle."

BMI also recognized Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. as publisher of the year. The company scored a leading 12 awarded songs including "Circus" (Britney Spears), "Dead and Gone" (T.I. featuring Justin Timberlake) and "My Life Would Suck Without You" (Kelly Clarkson).

BMI also saluted writers and publishers of the past year's 50 most-performed pop songs on U.S. radio and television. The list features such chart hits as the Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feeling," Beyonce's "Halo" and Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody."

Billboard senior correspondent Gail Mitchell contributed to this report.
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