Jars of Clay was presented the “BMI’s Most Performed Christian Song of the Year” award for “I Need You,” a song written and performed by the band’s four members, during the 2003 BMI Christian Music Awards, June 23.
Members Dan Haseltine, Charlie Lowell, Stephen Mason and Matt Odmark previously garnered a Grammy and a Dove Award for their album, “The Eleventh Hour,” which includes the prized song.
''That record came out in a season when a lot of people were listening to worship music,'' said Jars singer Haseltine. ''It didn't seem to fit with what was going on at radio, and we were excited that something so personal could do well.''
The BMI Foundation also presented three songwriters — Steven Curtis Chapman, Gerald Crabb and Kirk Franklin — with the Christian Songwriter of the Year prize. Each was recognized for writing two songs on BMI’s most performed list.
Chapman, who penned the hits, “God Is God” and “Magnificent Obsession,” said, ''BMI has always been really committed to gospel music.'' Chapman won the songwriter award in 2001.
Crabb was recognized for Southern Gospel songs, “the Healer” and “Don’t You Wanna Go?” During the dinner, Crabb noted that the recent country radio success of Randy Travis' gospel-themed Three Wooden Crosses single illustrates the extent to which sacred messages are finding a way into the secular mainstream.
Franklin, who was unable to attend the ceremony, was celebrated for the rhythmic gospel He Reigns and the contemporary gospel song Hosanna.
Other “2003 BMI Citations of Excellence” were awarded to:
• Back in His Arms, Again: Mark Schultz; Mark Schultz Music; Mark Schultz / Word Records.
• Bonded: Chad Chapin, Michael Tait; CEC Animal Music; Out of Twisted Roots Music; River Oaks Music Company; Michael Tait / ForeFront Records.
• Breathing: Ron Aniello, Jason Wade; Aniello Music; EMI-Blackwell Music Inc.; G-Chills Music; Songs of DreamWorks; Lifehouse / DreamWorks.
• Broken: Kevin Dorr, Paul McCoy, Patrick Quave, Eric Weaver; Cracker Rhythm Music; Dwight Frye Music Inc.; Uproot Publishing; 12 Stones / Wind-Up Records.
• Closet Religion: Dottie Peoples; Dottie Peoples Publishing; International Atlanta Music; Dottie Peoples / Atlanta International Records.
• Different Now: David Hackley, Lee Jerkins, Lisa Kimmey; Rooted Deeply Music; Out of Eden / Gotee Records.
• Don't You Wanna Go?: Gerald Crabb; Crabb's Song Music; Crabb Family / Family Music Group.
• Fly: Dan Haseltine, Charlie Lowell, Stephen Mason, Matt Odmark; Bridge Building Music Inc.; Pogostick Music; Jars Of Clay / Essential Records.
• God Is God: Steven Curtis Chapman; Peach Hill Songs; Sparrow Song; Steven Curtis Chapman / Sparrow Records.
• God's Got a Blessing (With My Name On It!): Norman Hutchins; J. Robersongs Music; MWP Publishing; Norman Hutchins / JDI Records.
• He Reigns: Kirk Franklin; Kerrion Publishing; Lilly Mack Music; Kirk Franklin / GospoCentric.
• Holla: Paul Allen; Dushon's Music; Songs of Universal Inc.; Trin-I-Tee 5:7 / GospoCentric.
• Hosanna: Kirk Franklin; Kerrion Publishing; Lilly Mack Music; Kirk Franklin / GospoCentric.
• I Believe: Percy Bady; Bad Bady Music; Marvin Sapp / Verity Records.
• I Need You: Dan Haseltine, Charlie Lowell, Stephen Mason, Matt Odmark; Bridge Building Music Inc.; Pogostick Music; Jars Of Clay / Essential Records.
• I'm Not What I Was: Mark S. Mathes; Lonesome Bend Publishing; Gold City / Daywind Records.
• Irene: Toby McKeehan; Achtober Songs; River Oaks Music Co.; tobyMac / ForeFront Records.
• J Train: Toby McKeehan; Achtober Songs; River Oaks Music Co.; tobyMac / ForeFront Records.
• Magnificent Obsession: Steven Curtis Chapman; Peach Hill Songs; Sparrow Song; Steven Curtis Chapman / Sparrow Records.
• Rejoice: Bob Herdman, Will McGinniss, Mark Stuart; Flicker U.S.A. Publishing; Up In The Mix Music; Audio Adrenaline / ForeFront Records.
• Safe Thus Far: Kyla Rowland; Christian Taylor Music; Hoskins Family / Daywind Records.
• Sing Alleluia!: Marc Byrd; Blue Raft Music; Meaux Mercy Publishing; River Oaks Music Co.; Jennifer Knapp with Mac Powell and Nichole Nordeman / Essential Records.
• Soon We Will See: Rodney Griffin; Songs of Greater Vision; Greater Vision / Daywind Records.
• Thank You: John A. Croslan II; Cross the Land Publishing; Yolanda Adams / Elektra Records.
• The Healer: Gerald Crabb; Christian Taylor Music; Crabb's Song Music; Talley Trio / Horizon Records.
• With All of My Heart: Joseph Priolo; Joe P Music; ZOEgirl / Sparrow Records.
• You Are The Way: Marc Byrd; Blue Raft Music; Meaux Mercy Publishing; True Vibe / Essential Records.
The non-profit BMI Foundation has been dedicated to encouraging the “creation, performance and study of music through awards, scholarships, internships, grants, and commissions” since 1985.