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Kris Kristofferson Honored as BMI Icon

November 26 2009

1977 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, Kris Kristofferson was honored by BMI at the 57th BMI Country Awards. The annual event celebrates country music’s elite songwriters at the performing rights organization’s Music Row offices. Hosted by BMI President & CEO Del Bryant, BMI Vice President Writer/Publisher Relations; Jody Williams and BMI Assistant Vice President Writer/Publisher Relations; Clay Bradley, in addition to toasting the writers and publishers of the past year’s 50 most-performed country songs from the BMI repertoire, the highlight of the evening was the tribute to newly crowned BMI Icon Kris Kristofferson, featuring performances by Patty Griffin, Vince Gill, and Willie Nelson.

With the penetration of a poet and the humbling grace of a troubadour, Kris Kristofferson built a legendary career most recognized for its versatility, authenticity, and sheer brilliance. He has received 48 BMI Country and Pop Awards for his compositions including “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down,” “Why Me” “Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)” “Me and Bobby McGee” “Help Me Make It Through the Night” which garnered seven BMI Country and four BMI Pop Awards, and “For the Good Times” which won a BMI Country Award each consecutive year between 1971 and 1979 as well as five BMI Pop Awards between 1970 and 1974. Eight of his compositions have generated substantially more than one million performances, and three Grammys line his shelves. While he wrote most of his masterpieces alone, his co-writers include giants Shel Silverstein, Marijohn Wilkin, and Fred Foster.

He has starred in numerous films, including Lone Star, the Blade trilogy, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, A Star Is Born, for which he garnered the Golden Globe trophy for Best Motion Picture Actor and Songwriter, and for which he received an Oscar nomination for Original Song Score. Along with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash, Kristofferson also formed the Highwaymen. Still recording, now for New West Records, his latest album entitled “Closer to the Bone” was released in late September 2009. A Rhodes Scholar capable of choosing virtually any path, Kristofferson decided to write songs, and for that, purveyors and lovers of American music are eternally grateful.

Shown in photo (Left to Right): BMI President Del Bryant, Kris Kristofferson, Taylor Swift, BMI Songwriter of the Year Bobby Pinson, and BMI's Jody Williams.