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Terence Blanchard Honored With BMI Icon Award

BMI Honors Terence Blanchard and William Ross at 2019 Film, TV & Visual Media Awards

From Billboard
by Tallie Spencer

​Broadcast Music, Inc celebrated film composer and jazz musician Terence Blanchard and composer William Ross Wednesday night at the BMI Film, TV & Visual Media Awards, honoring them with the BMI Icon Award and Classic Contribution Award, respectively. The private ceremony was hosted by BMI VP Creative of Film, TV and Visual Media, Doreen Ringer-Ross and BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

Blanchard, a five-time Grammy award winner and most recently an Oscar nominee for his music in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlaansman, was showered with praise by his peers with the formal recognition for his significant contributions to the cinematic community. Blanchard’s work also includes scores on films such as Malcolm X, When the Levees Broke, Eve’s Bayou, Talk to Me, Red Tails and Barbershop.

After a video tribute from Blanchard’s colleagues, O’Neill presented Blanchard with the prestigious Icon Award, noting the honor was “reserved for extraordinary members of the BMI family, whose artistry has had an unparalleled impact on both music lovers and music creators.” O’Neill continued to say, “You’ve humbly said that you stand on the shoulders of musical legends. Well Terence, I hope you’ve been working out and exercising your shoulders, because there are many you will need to carry who aspire to your legacy.”

“What makes Terence truly exceptional, is the way that his riveting music makes powerful statements about American tragedies that must not be forgotten, while also encouraging all of us to heal,” O’Neill told the audience. “While music has changed your life, in turn your music has certainly changed ours.”

Blanchard received a standing ovation as he made his way to the stage to accept his award. In receiving this recognition, Blanchard joins an elite group of previous BMI Icon recipients including Alan Silvestri, James Newton Howard, Alexandre Desplat, Rachel Portman, David Newman, Thomas Newman, Danny Elfman, Harry Gregson-Williams and John Williams, among others.

“The most rewarding thing is when you work with great people and you work on great projects. [Receiving this award] was something I wasn’t expecting honestly,” Blanchard told Billboard before the ceremony. “For me it’s a very powerful thing and for them to honor me tonight in this way, I can’t even put it into words.”

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