Ice Spice received the inaugural BMI Impact Award at the 2023 R&B/Hip-Hop Awards, which were held at LIV Nightclub in Miami Beach on Wednesday (Sept. 6). As previously announced, Lil Wayne received the BMI Icon Award.

The private event was hosted by BMI president/CEO Mike O’Neill and BMI vp of creative, Atlanta, Catherine Brewton.

Over the course of the ceremony, BMI also recognized the top producers and songwriters of 2022’s 35 most-performed R&B/hip-hop songs in the United States, leading up to song of the year, which went to “About Damn Time,” written by Ricky Reed and Blake Slatkin. Lizzo’s recording of the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks and won a Grammy for record of the year.

As one of 2023’s biggest breakout stars, Ice Spice has had four top 10 hits on the Hot 100 so far this year, thanks to collaborations with Taylor Swift, Pink Pantheress, Nicki Minaj and Aqua.

As a member of the BMI family for more than 20 years, Lil Wayne has amassed 53 BMI Awards, was named BMI Songwriter of the Year four times and now adds BMI Icon to his collection of accolades. R&B and hip-hop royalty paid tribute to Lil Wayne with performances of some of his most popular songs: Big Freedia opened with a medley, Bobby V followed with “Mrs. Officer,” NLE Choppa offered “A Milli” and Trombone Shorty played a set.

As the 2023 BMI Icon, Lil Wayne joins an elite group of music creators including Busta Rhymes, Janet Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Nile Rodgers, Snoop Dogg, The Jacksons, LA Reid, Babyface, Al Green, Isaac Hayes and James Brown.

Songwriter of the year was a three-way tie with Chris Brown (“Baddest,” “Come Through,” Under the Influence”), Doja Cat (“Get Into It (Yuh),” “Vegas,” “Woman”) and Tems (“Free Mind,” “Lift Me Up,” “Wait for U”) sharing the title; each wrote three of the previous year’s most-performed songs.

Hitmakers Tay Keith and Lil Yachty were each named producer of the year. Keith was honored for his work on hits such as “Jimmy Cooks” by Drake, “Rich Flex” by Drake and 21 Savage and “Hot Sh-t” by Cardi B featuring Kanye West and Lil Durk. Yachty was cited for “BackOutsideBoyz” and “Search & Rescue” by Drake as well as “Major Distribution” by Drake and 21 Savage.

ATL Jacob, Rob Bisel, Dougie F, Finatik N Zac, RiotUSA and Metro Boomin were also named top producers of the year.

Sony Music Publishing was named BMI’s R&B/hip-hop publisher of the year for representing 20 of the previous year’s most-performed songs including “About Damn Time,” “Break My Soul,” “Get Into It (Yuh)” and “First Class.”

In celebration of 50 years of hip-hop, BMI brought together multiple stars for performances representing key locations in the history of the genre. Ja Rule and Doug E. Fresh represented New York. Too Short dedicated his set to the West Coast. Ying Yang Twins represented Atlanta. Flo Milli introduced the Miami sounds of Trick Daddy and Trina. Additional performers included Mannie Fresh and Capella Grey.

To see a complete list of winners, visit

Paul Grein
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