Bradley clay, Member of the BMI Foundation Board of Directors and BMI Vice President, Creativeannounced that the Foundation’s annual Nashville Songwriting Scholarship will be revised and renamed The Dolly Parton Songwriters Award in honor of the legendary artist. In addition, the new program will establish The Dolly Parton Music Fund, which will endorse annual awards for emerging songwriters as well as initiatives to provide or supplement music programs in public schools, ensuring a new generation of music creators and a comprehensive education for all. The scholarships can be used as a career scholarship for studies, the purchase of instruments, recording fees or other professional expenses and are not limited to tuition fees. Foundation endowments include a principal gift of Rusty Gaston of Sony Music Publishing as well as a contribution from the country superstar Luc Combeswho donated the proceeds of the recent BMI car park partycelebrating his nine No. 1 hit songs.
“I know how personal and important songwriting is for those who have the talent and for everyone else who loves those who have it. I am proud to be part of a program that will help support songwriting in any way possible. Thanks to Sony Music Publishing, Luke Combs and everyone else who feels the same way and wants to help support it. I’ve been with BMI since I released my first song as a kid, so of course I’m very proud and honored to have a BMI Songwriters Award given in my honor,” said Dolly Parton.
The Dolly Parton Songwriters Award is an annual national competition open to aspiring songwriters. The award was established in 2015 as the Nashville Songwriting Scholarship by BMI to celebrate the company’s 75th anniversary. The award honors the musical epicenter and “songwriting capital of the world”, Nashville, Tennessee.
The revised program offers $20,000 for up to two top original song entries in one of the following genres: Americana, blues, bluegrass, contemporary Christian, country, folk and roots. Judges from past competitions have included GRAMMY-winning artist Kacey Musgraves, hit songwriter Rodney Clawson and Nashville music industry veteran Mark Brown, among others. The inaugural prize will be awarded in the spring of 2023 and applications will open in October.
For more information on the Foundation’s work, visit www.bmifoundation.org.