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Taylor Swift wins BMI's country song award for 'Love Story'; Kristofferson named 'icon'

November 11, 2009 |  8:05 am

Taylor Swift at Staples

Taylor Swift added another honor to her growing list at Tuesday night's BMI Country Awards in Nashville. Her hit single "Love Story" was recognized as song of the year by the publishing rights society, and it might be an indicator of how things will go tonight for her at the Country Music Assn. Awards, where she's going in with four nominations, including the top honor, entertainer of the year.

Having interviewed Taylor several times since she put out her debut album in 2006, I'm certain the BMI award was especially meaningful for her, because every time we've spoken she's made it clear that of all the facets of her still-unfolding career in music, songwriting is the thing she prizes the most.

You could hear it in her comment upon being handed the award: "I just want to say thank you to every songwriter and every loved one of a songwriter, thank you, because you are the reason I wanted to try Nashville," she said. "You are all my heroes."

Kris Kristofferson As for songwriting heroes, there was a big one there with Swift in the house Tuesday night: Kris Kristofferson. The 73-year-old writer of "Sunday Morning Coming Down," "Me and Bobby McGee," "For the Good Times," "Help Me Make It Through the Night" and so many others was given BMI's icon award.

The ever-humble singer, songwriter and actor said that the whole thing made him squirm, and that his longtime pal Willie Nelson, who paid tribute to him along with Vince Gill and Patty Griffin, told him beforehand how much he was going to relish making Kristofferson uncomfortable. Nonetheless, he said "I'm awfully grateful that what I love to do means enough to other people that I'm able to do it."  

-- Randy Lewis

Top photo: Taylor Swift at Staples Center in May. Credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

Bottom photo: Kris Kristofferson in a recording studio in West Los Angeles in March. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times