Wednesday, November 6, 2013
– Dean Dillon was named this year's BMI Icon at Tuesday's 61st Annual BMI Country Awards in Nashville.
Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) bestows the honor on those who have had "a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers."
An all-star tribute found Luke Bryan performing Dillon's BMI award-winning hit Unwound. Lee Ann Womack gave an emotional rendition of An Empty Glass and Kenny Chesney performed Holed Up In Some Honky Tonk.
George Strait, who has recorded 54 of Dillon's songs, paid homage with a medley of three of his most notable Dillon-penned hits, including The Chair, Marina Del Rey and Here for a Good Time.
Dillon, who has more than 90 charted singles to his credit, joins past BMI Icon honorees Tom T. Hall, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Jr., Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn. He was inducted in to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002.
A native of Lake City, Tenn., Dillon hitchhiked his way to Nashville in 1973 to pursue his dreams of becoming a writer and artist. Two years later, he caught the attention of hit producer Tom Collins who had Barbara Mandrell cut three of his songs on her "Friends, Lovers and Strangers" album. In 1979, the same year Dean has his first number one song, Lying in Love With You by Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius, he met a new artist named Strait. Alabama, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Vern Gosdin, Toby Keith, Keith Whitley and Lee Ann Womack have cut Dillon's songs.