Wednesday, November 10, 2010

motional Taylor Swift dedicates top award to her tragic friend as she dazzles at BMI Awards


Tribute: An emotional Taylor Swift dedicates her Songwriter of the Year award to her dead friend Jeff Lang at the BMI Country Awards on Tuesday

Professionally it was one of the biggest nights of her life for Taylor Swift.

But as she was named the youngest ever country songwriter of the year at the BMI Awards last night she revealed her private sadness.

The 20-year-old dedicated the prestigious award to a close friend, whose funeral she had attended just 24 hours earlier.

'It's been a really emotional week for me... He was 21, and I used to play my songs for him first. So I would like to thank Jeff Lang.'

Brave face: Less than 24 hours earlier she had been at her friend's funeral

University Of Tennessee student Lang, from Taylor's adopted hometown of Hendersonville, Tennessee, was found dead at his apartment last Tuesday.

Police are currently awaiting the result of toxicology reports into the biology major's death.

Taylor's tribute came as the pop sensation also won country song of the year with co-writer Liz Rose for You Belong To Me.

Taylor became the first songwriter to win that award three years in a row.

Bill Anderson previously was the youngest winner of songwriter of the year, taking the honor in 1960 at 23.

Johnny Cash was next with a win in 1956 at 24.

Delighted: Taylor receives a guitar as part of the Songwriter of the Year award

Earlier this year, Swift became the youngest winner of the performing rights organization's pop song of the year award.

Swift won the songwriter award based on her own recordings of Fifteen, White Horse, You Belong To Me and Best Days Of Your Life, recorded by Kellie Pickler.

Country songwriter of the year is one of the few awards the pop star had yet to win.

She's also Country Music Association's reigning entertainer of the year and tonight could see her win female vocalist for the second year in a row during the glittering televised ceremony.

BMI honored dozens of songwriters, including Miranda Lambert, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Kristian Bush of Sugarland, Toby Keith and Keith Urban.

Full length and fabulous: Faith Hill and Sheryl Crow also attended

In one of last night's most poignant moments, Ronnie Dunn, George Strait, Martina McBride and Faith Hill serenaded Billy Sherill, who was named a BMI icon.

Hill became emotional during her rendition of Tammy Wynette's Stand By Your Man.
Sherill was named BMI's country songwriter of the 20th century in 1999 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this year.

The producer and songwriter is widely credited as the founder of the so-called 'countrypolitan' movement that opened the doors for pop-leaning singers like Swift, Carrie Underwood and many of the night's other award winners.

Gold medal: Keith Urban shares a hug with Sheryl

Sherill was typically dismissive about his pivotal role in country music history.
'I don't think I changed anything,' Sherill said. 'I think I jumped on the bandwagon.'

The 74-year-old said even now after all the awards, he still has trouble with the attention.

He said he would rather be at home watching The Twilight Zone than the centre of attention.

'It's very humbling,' Sherill said. 'It's kind of scary. It's so wonderful, it's unreal.

'It's really hard to talk about. It's easy to do, it's hard to talk about.'

Group hug: Tim McGraw, Kix Brooks, Barbara Brooks and Faith Hill

source: dailymail [endtext]

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