US music organisation BMI has honoured Van with his fifth Million-Air Award for the song Brown Eyed Girl, which has received 11 million plays. The award was presented to Van on 13 October at the UK BMI Awards, held at the Dorchester Hotel, London. The Million-Air award is given to musicians who have achieved over one million US broadcasts of a song. Van has also achieved this award for Have I Told You Lately, Gloria, Domino and Wild Night for multi-million airplays in the US. BMI stated that the 11 million milestone has firmly established Brown Eyed Girl with the esteemed title as one of the ‘Top 10 Songs of All Time on US radio and television.’
BMI also awarded Nile Rodgers (pictured with Van) the song of the year for ‘Get Lucky’ featuring Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams. In 2004 Van received the BMI Icon award for outstanding achievements in music and was acknowledged for his ‘enduring influence on generations of music makers’. That same evening, jazz clarinettist Acker Bilk received the accomplishment of over four millions plays for his song Stranger on the Shore.
BMI is a non-profit organisation supporting and protecting the rights of musicians and ensuring that artists receive the benefits of their music being published and broadcast.