Accessibility links

Willie Nelson to Earn Iconic Status

Willie Nelson needs to clear more space in his trophy case.

Broadcast Music Inc. announced on July 12 that it will bestow iconic status on the 74-year-old singer at an upcoming ceremony.

The big night happens November 6 in Nashville. BMI gives the honor to songwriters and artists who have had a "unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers."

Before becoming a recording star in the 1970s, Willie Nelson was a successful songwriter. His hits include Ray Price's "Night Life"; Billy Walker's "Funny How Time Slips Away," and most famously, "Crazy" by Patsy Cline.

He and his friend Waylon Jennings also helped popularize the so-called "outlaw" country movement. Based in Austin, Texas, it incorporated elements of rock, pop, jazz, folk, and blues within the country framework.

Willie Nelson remains an active recording artist, having recently released "Last Of The Breed," with Merle Haggard and Ray Price.

Previous winners of BMI's Icon Award include Haggard, Dolly Parton, Charlie Daniels, Loretta Lynn, the Bee Gees, Isaac Hayes, Ray Davies, James Brown, and Crosby, Stills & Nash.

BMI represents more than 300,000 songwriters, composers, and publishers in all genres of music.