Songs by The Police, Queen and Rolling Stones honored with BMI London Awards

Songs by The Police, Queen and Rolling Stones honored with BMI London Awards
Courtesy of BMI

Members of The Police, Queen and The Rolling Stones were among the honorees today at the 2021 BMI London Awards, given out annually by the music-rights management and licensing company BMI.

Part of the ceremony was dedicated to the presentation of the Million-Air Awards, which recognize the songwriters of iconic songs that have been broadcast on TV and radio more than a million times in the U.S.

At the top of this list is Sting for writing The Police’s “Every Breath You Take,” which was honored for amassing 16 million performances.  That makes it the most-played song of all the tunes for which BMI administers the rights.

The honorees in the eight-million-plays category were the writers of Queen‘s “Another Bites the Dust” and “We Will Rock You,” composed, respectively, by John Deacon and Brian May; The Rolling Stones‘ “Honky Tonk Women,” penned by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards; and Steve Winwoood‘s “Higher Love,” which Winwood co-wrote with Will Jennings.

The songwriters recognized for tunes with seven million performances were Elton John for “Bennie and the Jets” and his Kiki Dee duet “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”; Gerry Rafferty for “Baker Street; Sting for The Police’s “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” and his contribution to Dire Straits‘ “Money for Nothing”; Paul McCartney for “Live and Let Die”; Freddie Mercury for Queen’s “We Are the Champions”; and ex-Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden for co-writing his old band’s hit “Here I Go Again.”

As for the six-million-play honorees, they included Elton for “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues,” and former Yes members Trevor Rabin and Jon Anderson for “Owner of a Lonely Heart.”

To check out a full list of BMI London Awards winner, visit

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