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Keith Urban honoured for philanthropic work at BMI Country Awards

Keith Urban was honoured for his philanthropic work at the Bmi Country Awards on Tuesday night (07Nov17).
The 50-year-old singer has raised millions for the Country Music Hall of Fame while also donating to music education programs. In an emotional speech to the songwriters and artists in the audience at the star-studded event in Nashville, Tennessee, Keith explained that he felt lucky to be a singer considering he had struggled with addiction for many years.
“This is really a beautiful honour,” he said as he accepted the BMI Champion Award. “I’m a very flawed individual who has been given many chances over and over again to get my (life) together and I have people who have stood by me. Every piece of gratitude … I have been in this town for 25 years now, and in that 25 years, I’ve been in three rehabs. I have people who stood by me because they believed in me and that gave me the chance to give back. I just love playing music. I love writing songs. I love making records. I’m passionate about it.”
Keith, who was born in New Zealand and grew up in Australia, also credited the community of country music fans Down Under who helped his family when their house burned down for inspiring his philanthropic attitude.
“I have always wanted to give back,” he said.
Meanwhile, country songwriter Bob DiPiero was given BMI’s prestigious Icon Award, and admitted he was blown away by the honour.
“Those of you who know me know that I’m never stuck for something to say,” he told the audience. “It’s been so wonderful. I can’t thank you enough. Music has saved my life. Music has taken me places that I couldn’t dream of. I’ve been in Nashville a long time … but when I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan that was it for me. ‘Whatever that is, I want to do that.'”
Other winners during the evening included Ross Copperman, who was named BMI Songwriter of the Year for the second time, while H.O.L.Y. was named Song of the Year.
Performances came from Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn and Maren Morris, who performed Keith’s song But For the Grace of God accompanied by a band of high school musicians performing on guitars that he had donated to their school.

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