BMI will celebrate the extraordinary career of Steve Cropper by naming him a BMI Icon at the 66th annual BMI Country Awards. Cropper will receive this honor in recognition of his influence on generations of music makers. The event will be held Tuesday, Nov. 13 at BMI’s Nashville office and will be hosted by BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill and Jody Williams, BMI Vice President, Creative, Nashville.
The BMI Icon Award is presented to songwriters who have distinctly and profoundly influenced the music industry. In receiving the award, Cropper will join an impressive list of Country music’s greatest songwriters including previous recipients Bob DiPiero, Vince Gill, Mac Davis, Hank Williams, Jr., Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Charlie Daniels, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson and more.
“The iconic music coming out of Memphis in the 60’s is some of the best known American music ever made and is still heard all over the world. One consummate music man was in the middle of that wave…Steve Cropper,” said Williams. “Not only is Steve a masterful songwriter, he is one of the most influential guitarists in the world. His body of work as an artist and producer, along with the massive hits he wrote, truly make Steve a BMI Icon.”
Throughout the evening, the private event will also salute the songwriters, publishers and administrators of the past year’s most-performed country songs in the United States from BMI’s repertoire of nearly 14 million musical works. The BMI country song, Songwriter and Publisher of the Year will also be named during the ceremony.
Cropper made his musical debut on American Bandstand in 1961 and within one year, along with Booker T and the MG’s, he had written the number one hit “Green Onions.” In the years to follow, he established himself as songwriting royalty, co-writing some of music’s biggest classics such as “Knock On Wood,” “Midnight Hour,” and the legendary “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” with friend Otis Redding. In addition to his obvious songwriting prowess, producing became second nature as he turned out timeless tracks by renowned artists like Wilson Pickett, Tower of Power, John Mellencamp, Otis Redding, and more. Cropper’s exemplary guitar work can be heard on albums by Rod Stewart, Peter Frampton, Booker T and the MGs, Ringo Starr, and Wynonna, and he has toured with legends like Neil Young and Jimmy Buffett. In the late 1970s, Cropper began his now famous work as an original of the Blues Brothers Band, appearing in both the major motion pictures and numerous TV shows. Cropper has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame. In 2004, he was the solo inductee into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. Additionally, he has received Tennessee’s Arts and Humanities Lifetime Achievement Award and a lifetime achievement GRAMMY in 2007.