Sting picked up a rare honor at the BMI Pop Awards on Tuesday night (May 14, 2019) for writing the most-performed song in the organization’s history.
His The Police hit Every Breath You Take recently surpassed the Righteous Brothers’ You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling as the BMI’s top song, and he was feted alongside Imagine Dragons & Martin Bandier at the 2019 Pop Awards.
“The power of this song is really undeniable,” BMI CEO Michael O’Neill told the audience at the 67th annual ceremony in Beverly Hills. “In just a couple of years, Every Breath You Take went from 13 million performances to 15 million performances.
“To put that in context, a radio station would need to play that track every day, without commercial interruption, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for 121 consecutive years to equal 15 million performances.”
Accepting the honor, Sting revealed You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling was the song that inspired him to become a songwriter.
“There’s a rare nobility to it (songwriting) that is more than just mere entertainment, and I believe it has something to do with the form of a song,” he said. “There’s something mysterious and powerful encoded inside that form, that form of verses, choruses, a middle eight and outro.
“This form somehow gives people comfort and solace in the most dire circumstances, personal, emotional, political. Whatever is encoded in that form is immensely powerful and our job as songwriters is to work within that form to create touchstones of the emotional landscape in the memories of those who listen, creating a semblance of order in apparent chaos. That’s noble and important work.”
He also performed an acoustic version of the track.
Also among the musical highlights were Imagine Dragons, who were honored with the President’s Award.
There were also wins for former Sony/ATV boss Martin Bandier, who was named the latest BMI Icon, and Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha’s Meant to Be, which was honored as the Song of the Year.