BMI will present the 5x GRAMMY® award-winning superstar rapper, executive and philanthropist Lil Wayne with the BMI Icon Award at the 2023 R&B/Hip-Hop Awards on September 6. BMI’s highest honor will recognize Wayne’s illustrious career spanning over 20 years and his incomparable influence on the genre and beyond. The evening will also celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop, paying tribute to its legacy and continued influence on music creators and fans across multiple generations. Hosted by BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill and BMI Vice President, Creative, Atlanta, Catherine Brewton, the private event will be held at LIV Nightclub in Miami Beach.
“As a legend and superstar of Hip-Hop, Lil Wayne is synonymous with the genre. He’s been part of the BMI family since 2002, and we’re proud to name him a BMI Icon in keeping with his reputation as one of the most influential artists of all time,” said Brewton. “We’re also excited to pay tribute to the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop with a celebration that reflects the genre’s legacy, which has infiltrated entertainment, fashion, sports and much more.” Brewton continued, “We’re thrilled to be back in Miami for this history-making milestone and to recognize BMI’s songwriters and producers who will usher R&B/Hip-Hop into the next 50 years. It’s going to be a night to remember.”
Throughout the evening, BMI will also salute the songwriters, producers and music publishers of the past year’s 35 most-performed R&B/Hip-Hop songs in the United States from BMI’s repertoire of more than 20.6 million musical works. The BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Songwriter, Producer and Publisher of the Year will also be named during the ceremony. To celebrate this historic event of 50 years of Hip-Hop, the evening will include a special tribute performance featuring hip-hop megastars whose contributions to the genre have made a significant impact throughout the past half-century.
The rap icon, acclaimed author, pro skater, philanthropist, and history-making superstar, Lil Wayne, has cemented his legacy as one of the best-selling artists of all time, tallying sales in excess of 100 million records worldwide with 25 million albums and 90 million digital tracks sold in the United States alone. His discography is highlighted by five career-spanning #1 debuts, including 2008’s 8x platinum, 3x GRAMMY® Award-winning opus Tha Carter III
Tha Carter IV, he released the latest version of the series – Tha Carter V – in 2018. Not only did it clinch #1 on the Billboard 200, but it also achieved the second-largest streaming week for an album in history. It all bulldozed the way for his thirteenth full-length, Funeral, a year later. In 2022, Wayne earned his first Diamond certification from the RIAA with his generational smash hit “Lollipop” feat. Static Major.
Among many milestones, Wayne emerged as the first artist to surpass Elvis Presley with the most entries on the Billboard Hot 100 and has logged a staggering 183 entries – the 3rd most of all time. He has garnered 26 BET Awards, 4 Billboard Music Awards, 7 MTV Awards, 4 Soul Train Awards and recently received the Global Impact Award at The Recording Academy Honors Presented by The Black Music Collective. Throughout his years with BMI, Wayne has received 52 BMI Awards as well as being named R&B/Hip Hop Songwriter of the Year in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013. He also received College Song of the Year at the BMI London Awards in 2009 for his track “Down.”
Wayne also owns and operates Young Money Entertainment as CEO, a company that has ignited the careers of Drake and Nicki Minaj, to name a few. The committed philanthropist also founded The One Family Foundation – a charitable group focused on helping underserved youth.
The BMI Icon Award is presented to songwriters, composers or producers who have distinctly and profoundly influenced the music industry, leaving an indelible and unique influence on generations of music makers. As the 2023 honoree, Lil Wayne joins an elite group of music creators who have received BMI’s highest honor. Previous recipients include Janet Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Nile Rodgers, Snoop Dogg, The Jacksons, LA Reid, Babyface, Al Green, Isaac Hayes, James Brown, Busta Rhymes and more.