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BMI R&B Hip Hop Awards Honors Toni Braxton And Others At Woodruff Art Center

Ray Cornelius
Toni Braxton with BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill and BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations in Atlanta, Catherine Brewton";

Multi-Grammy winning Singer-Songwriter, Toni Braxton was all smiles on the evening of September 1 on the BMI R&B Hip Hop Awards red carpet in Atlanta, GA. The “Un-Break My Heart” vocalist was honored with this year’s coveted President’s Award for her 25 years in the entertainment industry. Other honorees included fellow Atlantan, Christopher "Ludacris" Bridges and Will.i.am. 

The annual award ceremony recognizes the songwriters and publishers of the most-performed R&B/Hip-Hop songs during 2016.  The ceremony took place at the prestigious Woodruff Art Center Atlanta Symphony Hall.

Credit Ray Cornelius
Toni Braxton with her family on the red carpet

Joining Braxton on the red carpet were her famous sisters---Trina, Towanda and Traci---along with her not so little sons, Denim and Diezel. Her mother, father and brother were also in attendance while Tamar Braxton and Toni's boyfriend, Birdman, joined them inside the auditorium.

The show was hosted by Comedian, Chris Tucker alongside BMI President & CEO Mike O'Neill and BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations in Atlanta, Catherine Brewton.  The show featured performances by some of the hottest talent in the music industry. Hip-Hop heavyweight and mega Producer, DJ Khaled kicked off the show with his smash hit “All I Do Is Win” featuring Ludacris.  Kent Jones, one of the year’s most buzzed about new artists, lived up to the hype when he rocked the mic with his smash single “Don’t Mind.” The momentum kept building when Rich Homie Quan hit the stage to perform his recent singles, “Type of Way” and “Flex (Ooh, Ooh, Ooh)” while Rae Sremmurd got the crowd moving with “No Type” and brand new single, “Black Beatles.”

The second half of the evening included an array of outstanding tribute performances honoring Toni Braxton beginning with Donald Lawrence & Company performing “You Mean the World to Me” and vocal powerhouse Yolanda Adams received a standing ovation with her moving rendition of “Un-Break My Heart.” Three of the Braxton sisters, Towanda, Traci, and Trina paid homage to their sister showcasing their incredible talent on “Breathe Again” and R&B chanteuse Ledisi wowed the audience with “Seven Whole Days.” After a moving introduction by L.A. Reid, Ms. Braxton took center stage for a spectacular performance of fan favorite, “He Wasn’t Man Enough” with her sisters on backing vocals.

Throughout the evening, the 35 best-performing R&B/Hip-Hop songs in the U.S. from BMI’s repertoire of over 10.5 million musical works were named along with Top Producers Awards going to Ben "Billions" Diehl and Southside.  Top honors went to Charlie Puth and Wiz Khalifa for “See You Again” which claimed Song of the Year, Universal Music Publishing Group took home Publisher of the Year, and Metro Boomin was awarded Producer of the Year.
Click here to see more red carpet photos!

Ray Cornelius is one of Atlanta’s newest entertainment writers and media personalities. His arts and entertainment website, www.raycornelius.com spotlights the latest in “positive” African-American celebrity news and was established in 2012. Since that time Cornelius has covered a myriad of red carpet premieres, award shows and Atlanta-based films including Tyler Perry’s Temptation, The BronzeLens Film Festival, The Trumpet Awards, and The Steve Harvey’s Neighborhood Awards just to name a few. He has also interviewed a who’s who list of today’s top singers, actors and reality stars. With nearly 20 years of media experience, Cornelius has also worked as an associate producer for the Emmy-winning public affairs program, ATL Insider and with such award shows as The Soul Train Awards, The Trumpet Awards and BET Hip-Hop Awards.