BMI Country Awards 2022: highlights and winners

HARDY wearing a medal, a baseball cap and an acoustic guitar. He is standing with three men and a woman at the BMI Country Awards 2022.

News from the BMI Country Awards 2022 held in Nashville, Tennessee on November 8, 2022

How were the BMI Country Award winners selected?

The BMI Country Awards has an interesting remit. The majority of the honours aren’t awarded subjectively based on the preferences of board members or uber-fans. Instead, they’re given to the performers and songwriters of the 50 country songs that were performed the most on U.S. radio and streaming services over the previous year. Winners receive a gold medal.

The award winners were announced at a star-studded ceremony in Nashville on November 8, 2022. Stick with us as we recap the BMI Country Awards 2022 highlights and winners!

Who attended the 70th BMI Country Awards ceremony in 2022?

Over 900 musicians, songwriters and music industry guests attended the awards ceremony at BMI’s headquarters in Nashville, USA.

If you love U.S. country music, you’ll be familiar with a lot of these up-and-comers and country superstars:

  • Jason Aldean
  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Priscilla Block
  • Kane Brown
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Eric Church
  • Luke Combs
  • Lindsay Ell
  • Toby Keith
  • Midland
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Dustin Lynch
  • Jake Owen
  • Elvie Shane
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Keith Urban
  • Chris Young

Who won the 2022 BMI Icon Award?

Toby Keith received the Icon Award at the BMI Country Awards 2022. Here’s why; the stats don’t lie! Toby Keith has:

  • sold 40 million albums
  • had 32 number one singles
  • written a number one single every year for 20 years (!)
  • won BMI’s Country Songwriter of the Year award three times
  • been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame

” I always felt like the songwriting was the most important part of this whole industry”

Toby Keith

What was the BMI Country Song of the Year 2022?

The Song of the Year award went to Forever After All written by Luke Combs, Drew Parker, and Rob Williford.

Combs first released the song in October 2020 on his album What You See Ain’t Always What You Get after previewing it on TikTok two months earlier. A week after the record’s release, The Tennessean reported that the song “set a record for most first-day streams from a country song” on Apple Music. Forever After All reached number one on the Billboard Country Airplay chart in June 2021.

Drew Parker co-wrote two other songs on Combs’ album What You See Ain’t Always What You Get. He also co-wrote Jake Owen’s song Homemade, and he’s a performer in his own right.

‘Rowdy’ Rob Williford is also a frequent collaborator with Combs. In fact, he co-wrote Beautiful Crazy which won the CMA Song of the Year Award in 2019. He signed a publishing deal with Warner Chappell and Edgehill Music Publishing in June 2022. He’s also recently worked on a studio project with Matchbox Twenty’s guitarist Kyle Cook and producer David Mescon.

If you’d like to catch Luke Combs playing Forever After All, Beautiful Crazy and countless other country hits live, he’s coming to the UK and Ireland in October 2023. He will be playing arena shows in Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester, and London. If you’re interested, act fast because ticket availability is limited.

Who won the BMI Country Awards 2022 Songwriter of the Year award?

Michael Hardy, who performs as HARDY, won the 2022 BMI Country Songwriter of the Year award. He was honoured for four songs he wrote for other artists and one that he released himself:

  • Beers on Me by Dierks Bentley
  • Come Back as a Country Boy by Blake Shelton
  • Give Heaven Some Hell by HARDY
  • Sand in My Boots by Morgan Wallen
  • Single Saturday Night by Cole Swindell

“I want to thank BMI so much for being here for me every single step of the way, for introducing me to some of my favorite collaborators that I still write with to this day. For creating opportunities for me that helped advance my songwriting career. I can honestly say without a doubt that I don’t know where I would be in this town if that 19-year-old kid wouldn’t have walked into this building and blindly signed. Thank you so, so much.”

HARDY wearing a medal, a baseball cap and an acoustic guitar. He is standing with three men and a woman at the BMI Country Awards 2022.
(L-R): BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill, BMI VP of Creative Clay Bradley, BMI Songwriter of the Year HARDY, BMI’s AVP, Creative Leslie Roberts and BMI’s EVP, Licensing & Creative Mike Steinberg / Photo credit: Erika Goldring (Getty Images for BMI)

It’s a busy and significant week for HARDY. Just one night after winning the BMI Country award, he was in the running for *three* CMA awards! He performed his new single wait in the truck with Lainey Wilson at the CMA awards ceremony on November 9, 2022.

Who performed at the BMI Country Awards 2022 award ceremony?

Carrie Underwood performed Icon award-winner Toby Keith’s breakthrough 1993 hit Should’ve Been A Cowboy. Eric Church also honoured Keith by covering his song I Love This Bar.

Other performers included Shy Carter, Scotty Emerick and Dean Dillon.

Where can I find out more about the 2022 BMI Country Awards?

Head to BMI’s website for a full list of winners, including a list of the 27 first-time BMI award-winners like Priscilla Block, Breland, Callista Clark, Elle King, and Elvie Shane.

Check out for more music news and reviews!