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DEAN DILLON PRESENTED WITH BMI ICON HONOR

DEAN DILLON PRESENTED WITH BMI ICON HONOR

Dean Dillon, Del
BMI President Del Bryant (l.) presents Dean Dillon (r.) with the BMI Icon Award
(Nashville, Tennessee...) -- Prolific songwriter Dean Dillon joined an elite group of writers, when he was named this year's BMI Icon at last night's 61st Annual BMI Country Awards in Nashville. Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI®) bestows the honor on those who have had "a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers."

An all-star tribute from some of country's biggest stars, included Luke Bryan performing Dillon's BMI award-winning hit "Unwound." Lee Ann Womack gave an emotional rendition of "An Empty Glass," and Kenny Chesney performed the country classic "Holed Up In Some Honky Tonk." George Strait, who alone has recorded 54 of Dillon's songs, paid homage with a medley of three of his most notable Dillon-penned hits, including "The Chair," "Marina Del Rey" and "Here for a Good Time."

Dean Dillon, Jody, O'Neill
BMI's Michael O'Neill (l.) and Jody Williams (r.) with BMI Icon Dean Dillon (c.)
Dillon, who has over 90 charted singles to his credit, joins past BMI Icon honorees Tom T. Hall, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Jr., Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and others. He was inducted in to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002.
"When I heard about this award, in my head I could see those names - Kristofferson, Tom T. Hall, Bobby Braddock and Willie - and I'm thinking, 'Take all those names and put 'Dean Dillon' with them? It felt weird. But I've given my life to country music, and you have to understand, it's nice to be here, " Dillon told The Tennessean's Peter Cooper.

A native of Lake City, Tennessee, Dean Dillon hitchhiked his way to Nashville in 1973 to pursue his dreams of becoming a writer and artist. Two short years later, he caught the attention of hit producer 

Dean Dillon & artists
(l. to r.): Luke Bryan, Lee Ann Womack, Dean Dillon, George Strait and Kenny Chesney at BMI Country Awards following their respective performances of Dillon-penned hit songs
Tom Collins who had Barbara Mandrell cut three of his songs on her Friends, Lovers and Strangers album. In 1979, the same year Dean has his first #1 song, "Lying in Love With You" by Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius, he met a new artist named George Strait. Over the years, he has had songs cut by Alabama, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Vern Gosdin, Toby Keith, Keith Whitley, Lee Ann Womack and others.

When not in Nashville writing or on the road performing, Dean and his wife spend much of their time at their home in Gunnison, Colorado. Their passion for organizing and performing events for Tough Enough To Wear Pink has led to over $700,000 being raised for breast cancer awareness in their community. The money has been used to purchase a mammogram machine now used in a local hospital and helped pay for over 350 breast exams for local women.

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