Will.i.am Receives BMI President’s Award
Will.i.am received the top honor at this year's BMI Urban Awards in Los Angeles Friday (September 10). The Black Eyed Peas frontman walked away with the President's Award which is bestowed to an individual who has a profound influence on the entertainment industry. Held at the famed Pantages Theatre and hosted by Ray J and BMI Vice President of Writer/Publisher Relations, the night began with performances from B.o.B, Pleasure P, Rick Ross, Flo Rida and Usher who surprised the crowd with a show of his chart topping single 'OMG.'
"It feels great [to be honored]," Will told The BoomBox. "In no way am I finished. I want to keep on going and doing things. Nowadays in the music industry, BMI [is] the only part of the music industry that makes sense because it collects your money, I know where the money comes from and it comes from this side."
While accepting the award, the 35-year-old became noticeably emotional as he thanked his mother and grandmother for their support. "I just fell in love with music," he told the audience of his inspiration to transcend his upbringing in the projects of East Los Angeles, to international superstardom. Several of Will's musical peers, including group member Apl.de.ap, attended the show in support of his honor.
The night's other winners included B.o.B, producer Polow Da Don, and Lil Wayne snagging his second consecutive Urban Song of The Year award. Despite not being in attendance, Weezy's Cash Money/Young Family -- Brian "Baby" Williams, Tyga and Mill -- accepted on his behalf. "Love and dedication, we gonna do it forever," Baby proclaimed among accepting the award. The annual award show recognizes the performance rights organization's top writers and producers in the urban music sector.