Legendary singer/songwriter Bill Anderson was saluted as a BMI ICON for his “unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.” Since his first hit, “City Lights,” in 1958, Anderson has scored with nearly 50 charting singles and more than 50 BMI Country and Pop Awards. Presented for only the fifth time, the honor was bestowed earlier this year on Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Little Richard at the BMI Pop Awards and on James Brown at the BMI Urban Awards.
Caught completely by surprise, Anderson said ” I was getting ready to cheer on one of my fellow BMI writers when I heard a few faint notes of ‘City Lights.’ Then, Steve Wariner hit the stage to sing a few lines from a couple of our songs and the ‘I Love You Drops’ just started flooding my eyes. It was such a wonderful surprise!”
Anderson, whose first hit was City Lights in 1958, is still on the charts almost 50 years later with Kenny Chesney’s single A Lot Of Things Different, co-written with Dean Dillon. Asked if he is sought for specific advice by his younger co-writers, Anderson said, ”I’m always honored when a younger writer wants to write with me, but I would hope they’d treat me the same way they’d treat anybody who doesn’t play the guitar very well.”