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
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.
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
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, Kenn
y Chesney, Vern Gosdin, Toby Keith, Keith Whitley, Lee Ann Womack and others.
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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