Brandy and her parents
The evening also featured a series of special tributes to Brandy, which began with contemporary R&B singer/songwriter Jade Novah performing a beautiful rendition of “Talk About Our Love.” The tributes continued with Samoht singing a stripped-down version of “Brokenhearted,” followed by gospel singer Kierra Sheard’s sultry performance of two of Brandy’s ballads, “Have You Ever” and “He Is.” Eric Bellinger rounded out the tributes with “Baby” and “Nothing” which had the audience singing along. Brandy’s brother, Ray J, took to the stage and serenaded his sister with “Best Friend” before she was presented with the BMI President’s Award. Brandy accepted the accolade with an impromptu performance, encouraged by the audience, of “I Wanna Be Down,” before singing her iconic hit “Almost Doesn’t Count.”
The event also honored the top producers and songwriters of the previous year’s 35 best-performing R&B/hip-hop songs in the U.S. from BMI’s repertoire of more than 14 million musical works. Wheezy Beatz tied for Producer of the Year with Tay Keith. Keith also received the coveted Songwriter of the Year award, an honor he shared with Post Malone, marking his second tie for the evening. Song of the Year went to “God’s Plan” by Yung Exclusive and Marciano and Sony/ATV was named Publisher of the Year for having 18 of the most performed songs of the year including “Sicko Mode,” “I Like It” and “In My Feelings.”
As the 2019 BMI President’s Award honoree, Brandy joins previous recipients Curtis Mayfield, Ludacris, Toni Braxton and Will.i.am, among others in sharing this distinction.
For a complete list of the 2019 winners, visit bmi.com and use hashtag #BMIRnBHHAwards on social.