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BMI Honors Gospel Legends Edwin Hawkins, Lady Tramaine Hawkins and Kurt Carr at Trailblazers Luncheon

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), the global leader in music rights management, brought legends and contemporary stars together to celebratedthe careers of gospel giants Edwin Hawkins, Lady Tramaine Hawkins, and Kurt Carr at its 14th annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon in Nashville.

In addition, the event, held at Rocketown, also recognized BMI’s Most-Performed Gospel Song of the Year: Kirk Franklin’s “I Smile.” The song, pulled from the gold-certified album Hello Fear, topped gospel charts and achieved historic crossover success while amassing more than 500,000 performances. To help celebrate this astounding achievement, The Walls Group surprised the audience with a memorable performance of the song Franklin co-penned.

CeCe Winans and Donnie McClurkin hosted the luncheon, along with Del Bryant, BMI President & CEO, and Catherine Brewton, BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations.

Musical tributes began with an awe-inspiring nod to Kurt Carr featuring the Donald Lawrence & Co. singers, Lisa Knowles, Sheri Jones-Moffett, and Amber Bullock.  The charismatic songs of Edwin Hawkins were then celebrated with dynamic performances by Pastor Shirley Ceasar, Bishop Paul Morton, LaShun Pace, Kierra Sheard, Jason Nelson and Jonathan Nelson. Finally, an all-star collection of artists, including Anaysha Figueroa, Le’ Andria Johnson, VaShawn Mitchell and Yolanda Adams, performed a rousing tribute to Lady Tramaine Hawkins, which served as the event’s triumphant finale.

BMI’s impressive roster of gospel songwriters includes Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams, Jessica Reedy, Marvin Sapp, Twinkie Clark, BeBe Winans, Wess Morgan, Kim Burrell and many more.

Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) is a global leader in music rights management, serving as an advocate for the value of music.   BMI represents the public performance rights in more than 7.5 million musical works created and owned by more than 550,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers.  The Company negotiates music license agreements and distributes the fees it generates as royalties to its affiliated writers and publishers when their songs are performed in public. In 1939, BMI created a groundbreaking open-door policy becoming the only performing rights organization to welcome and represent the creators of blues, jazz, country, and American roots music. Today,  the musical compositions in BMI’s repertoire, from chart toppers to perennial favorites span all genres of music  and are consistently among the most-performed hits of the year. For additional information and the latest BMI news, visit, follow us on Twitter @BMI or stay connected through Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) Facebook page.

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