Nashville, TN – In a night filled with musical surprises and heartfelt tributes, Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs were both named Songwriters of the Year at the 71st annual BMI Country Awards, held on Tuesday evening at BMI’s Nashville office. The tie, a first in the awards show’s history, reflected the immense talent and popularity of both artists, who have consistently delivered hit songs that have resonated with audiences worldwide.
To commemorate this unprecedented tie, BMI orchestrated a special performance during the ceremony, inviting Wallen and Combs to take the stage together and sing each other’s hits. Wallen, with his signature soulful vocals, delivered a captivating rendition of Combs’ “Going, Going, Gone,” while Combs, known for his powerful stage presence, brought a unique energy to Wallen’s “Thought You Should Know.” The impromptu duet was a highlight of the evening, showcasing the mutual respect and admiration between the two country music stars.
“This is a dream come true,” Wallen expressed during his acceptance speech. “I’ve been looking up to Luke for years, and to be sharing this award with him is truly special.”
Combs echoed Wallen’s sentiment, stating, “I’m incredibly honored to be recognized alongside Morgan. We both push each other to be better songwriters, and I’m grateful for his friendship and inspiration.”
Beyond the Songwriter of the Year tie, the ceremony also honored Matraca Berg with the prestigious BMI Icon Award, recognizing her legendary contributions to country music over the past three decades. Berg, a prolific songwriter and singer, has penned countless hits for artists such as Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, and Garth Brooks, and her songs have become staples of the country music canon.
In accepting the Icon Award, Berg expressed her humility and gratitude, stating, “I’m so grateful to have been given the gift of songwriting. It’s been an incredible journey, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to share my music with the world.”
The BMI Country Awards also recognized a number of other talented songwriters and publishers, highlighting the depth and breadth of talent within the country music industry. Among the honorees were Ashley McBryde, Jordan Davis, and Josh Osborne, who were all named BMI Country Songwriters of the Year, and Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp., which was named BMI Country Publisher of the Year.
The 71st annual BMI Country Awards was a night to celebrate the creative minds behind some of the most iconic country music of our time. With its focus on songwriting and publishing, the awards show played a vital role in recognizing the talent and dedication of those who make country music such a vibrant and enduring genre.