Brandi Carlile to Receive NMPA’s 2023 Songwriter Icon Award

May 23, 2023

Brandi Carlile will receive the National Music Publishers’ Association’s (NMPA) Songwriter Icon Award at the 2023 annual meeting, the organization announced Tuesday (May 23). The country and folk legend, nine-time Grammy winner, and Billboard cover star will join the likes of other bold-faced artists like Lin-Manuel Miranda and Taylor Swift in receiving the honor.

The NMPA annual meeting, which takes place at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall on June 14, will feature a keynote conversation with Warner Music Group CEO Robert Kyncl, who previously served as chief business officer at YouTube. Additionally, the organization will honor RIAA chairman/CEO Mitch Glazier with the NMPA Industry Legacy Award, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois with the NMPA President’s Award for his leadership on passing the Music Modernization Act and the CASE Act, and Ashley Gorley with the first-ever NMPA Non-Performing Songwriter Icon Award.

Gorley recently graced the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 Songwriters chart thanks to his numerous contributions to Morgan Wallen‘s One Thing at a Time. Among the 12 tracks he co-wrote is the current Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 song “Last Night.” Beyond his latest work with Wallen, Gorley is responsible for many of Nashville’s biggest hits, including 96 Hot 100 entries, dating back to his first with Carrie Underwood (“Don’t Forget to Remember Me”) in 2006. In a statement, NMPA president/CEO David Israelite called Gorley “easily the most successful songwriter in country music. His dominance comes from honing influences from hip-hop to rock and incorporating them into his unique style. He is responsible for widening and growing the entire genre.”

The NMPA annual meeting is an event known both as a critical touch base for music publishing professionals and as a stage for bombshell announcements from Israelite and his team. At the 2021 event, for example, Israelite announced a $200 million copyright infringement lawsuit against Roblox for hosting a library of thousands of unlicensed songs within the game and also said the organization would push forward with efforts to secure music licenses for Twitch — which the NMPA was able to make headway on a few months later. And at last year’s meeting, Israelite shared that the NMPA would be pursuing apps that skim music from digital services without getting the necessary licenses. This campaign to bring apps in line with music licensors included sending cease and desist notices to the Apple and Google app stores and filing a copyright infringement lawsuit against the music video-making app Vinkle.

This year, the NMPA hints that its “State of the Industry” address “will examine the new streaming rates which recently went into effect.” The evening of the address will also feature surprise tribute performances, panels and analyses.

In a statement about Carlile, Israelite said the singer-songwriter is “in a class of her own. A critical success who has become a cultural and commercial force, she consistently has delivered stunning lyrics and vocals that cut to the heart of the human experience. We are thrilled to celebrate what she has given and continues to give to the craft of songwriting.”

Israelite added about keynote speaker Kyncl, “From Netflix to YouTube to Warner, Robert Kyncl’s career encompasses the most dynamic facets of the entertainment industry. As we tackle the questions surrounding streaming and AI in an ever-changing landscape, we look forward to hearing his thoughts on the value of music and the ever-evolving opportunities for songwriters, artists, and creators.”

He continued by praising Glazier’s “inexhaustible work to protect artists. For years we have worked together to find common ground and unite our industry to face our biggest challenges — from piracy to AI — and no one is more deserving of our Industry Legacy Award.”

Read on Billboard.