Keith Urban Receives 2017 BMI Champion Award
Keith Urban received the 2017 BMI Champion Award at Tuesday night's (Nov. 7) BMI Country Awards ceremony. The honor was given to Urban during the annual event for his numerous charitable contributions, including supporting the CMA Foundation, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the Grammy Foundation, the Mr. Holland’s Opus Fund, MusiCares and others.
"It’s a beautiful honor," Urban shared with The Boot and other reporters prior to the ceremony. "I love doing what I get to do ... not just the music part, but to be able to give back, because Nashville’s been my home for 25 years, and it’s been so good to me. I’ve been helped so much in my life by other people that, obviously, having opportunities to do that now is a natural thing for me."
During the 2017 BMI Country Awards, prior to Urban taking the stage, Maren Morris performed Urban's first No. 1 hit, "But for the Grace of God," in his honor. She was backed by the Nashville School of the Arts choir, which performed with guitars donated to the school by Urban.
In his acceptance speech, Urban cited the immense gratitude he feels about being given the opportunity to spend the last two decades making music. He thanked "everyone who has stayed believing in me and given me a chance to give back."
"I have been in this town for 25 years now, and in that 25 years, I’ve been in three rehabs," the singer noted. "I have people who stood by me because they believed in me, and that gave me the chance to give back. I just love playing music. I love writing songs. I love making records. I’m passionate about it.
"I don't know what to say about this, because I just love getting to do it, so if I feel a little lost for words, it's because I am," Urban concluded. "I just want to close by saying that I do feel very much, like in that song, like a very lucky guy, very blessed. But above all, I've been blessed with the gift of your love."
Also at the 2017 BMI Country Awards, Songwriter Bob DiPiero, whose numerous hits include "Cowboys Like Us" by George Strait, "Money in the Bank" by John Anderson and Tim McGraw's "Southern Voice," was honored with the 2017 BMI Icon Award.
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