(AllHipHop News) Over 20 years ago Bryan "Birdman" Williams and Ronald "Slim" Williams founded the independent record label Cash Money Records in New Orleans. What started as just a regional outfit shocked the music industry when Cash Money signed a reported $30 million production and distribution deal with Universal Music Group in 1998 that gave the company complete ownership of its master recordings.
YMCMB eventually grew to become one of the most successful Hip Hop labels in history. With artists like Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Juvenile, DJ Khaled, and The Hot Boys, Cash Money has sold over 90 million albums.
It is that impressive resume that led Broadcast Music, Inc to honor Birdman and Slim as 2013 recipients of the Icon Award at this year's BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards. The annual event, formerly known as the BMI Urban Awards, celebrates songwriters, producers, and music publishers who made an impact in music the previous year.
“Bryan and Ronald Williams’ creative and entrepreneurial acumen has resulted in over 20 years of global success for them personally, and for their enterprise, Cash Money Records," said BMI Vice President Catherine Brewton in a statement. "I’m personally thrilled to recognize two individuals I’ve seen achieve so much success in their careers. Their innate ability to cultivate talent, build and sustain a brand while composing chart-topping songs is an accomplishment worthy of the Icon designation.”
The event will be held Thursday, August 22 at the Manhattan Center in New York City. Brewton, BMI President and CEO Del Bryant, and R&B singer Ray J will serve as hosts for the evening. The awards will also stage an all-star musical tribute to Slim and Birdman.
"It's absolutely incredible to be honored in this fashion. Cash Money Records is a family first and foremost, and we share this achievement with our entire team and roster," said Birdman. "We also want to thank BMI and everybody who's ever believed in this dream that my brother and I first had over 20 years ago. We're going to keep everything going even stronger for the next 20."
Previous winners of the Icon Award include Mariah Carey, Snoop Dogg, George Clinton, and The Jacksons.