NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The annual BMI Awards honoring the songwriters and publishers behind the year’s top country songs were held Tuesday night at BMI in Nashville. 

Lainey Wilson, Hardy, Keith Urban, Jason Aldean, and Jelly Roll were among the artists-songwriters recognized at the event, while Matraca Berg received the night’s greatest honor, the BMI Icon Award.

Berg shaped the way for females in the industry, penning songs for Kenny Chesney, Loretta Lynn, and Deanna Carter. 

“She is phenomenal. She has been the voice for women and such a neat perspective in country music, you know? She says things different than anyone else does, unpredictable, but just off the stratosphere for creativity, lyric, medley. She is very tangible, her visuals for writing. That’s what I love so much,” said Carter, singer for Strawberry Wine, from the red carpet. 

“She goes deep, she goes deep. You know it’s a real challenge to do that. When you do it, you got to go face the demon; you got to face your demons and a lot of people can’t do it. She goes deep and it’s well deserved,” said Ronnie Dunn of country music duo Brooks & Dunn. 

Chesney, Wilson, and Ashley McBryde were among those who performed in Berg’s honor at this year’s BMI Awards celebration.