American Music in the United States


BMI is an American performing rights organization that represents approximately 300,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music. The non-profit-making company, founded in 1940, collects license fees on behalf of those American creators it represents, as well as thousands of creators from around the world who chose BMI for representation in the United States. The license fees BMI collects for the "public performances" of its repertoire of approximately 4.5 million compositions - including radio airplay, broadcast and cable television carriage, Internet and live and recorded performances by all other users of music - are then distributed as royalties to the writers, composers and copyright holders it represents.

BMI's roster of affiliated songwriters and composers is unsurpassed and includes outstanding creators in every style of musical composition: from pop songwriters to film and television composers; from classical composers to commercial jingle writers; from library music to musical theater composers; from jazz to hip-hop; from metal to meringue; classical to classic soul; from rock to reggae, and all the categories in between.

That roster includes such legendary creators as John Lennon, Chuck Berry, Dave Brubeck, David Bowie (PRS), Milton Babbitt, Willie Nelson, The Eagles, Thelonious Monk, Carlos Santana, Sir Elton John (PRS), The Neville Brothers, The Beach Boys, Aretha Franklin, Waylon Jennings, Charles Ives, The Who, John Kander & Fred Ebb, Leadbelly, Eric Clapton (PRS), John Williams, The Bee Gees, B.B. King and Antonio Carlos Jobim, to name just a few.

The current BMI honor roll also includes Janet Jackson, Michael Kamen, Faith Hill, Sting (PRS), John Adams, Joshua Redman, Jennifer Lopez, Ja Rule, Sheryl Crow, 'N Sync, Mike Post, Britney Spears, Eminem, Mariah Carey, David Yazbek, Bob Israel, Kid Rock, Elvis Crespo, Oasis (PRS), Sarah McLachlan, Steve Reich, Thomas Newman, Faith Evans, Evanescence, Snuffy Walden, William Bolcom, Shakira, and Snoop Dogg, to highlight just a handful.

BMI was founded in order to open the door to performing rights representation for songwriters and composers and to provide the business and broadcast communities with a music catalog of unique and lasting value. We continue our commitments to both the creators of music and those who bring it to the ears of the public.

Information on this page courtesy of the bmi library