At Hollywood music industry tributes, the honoree normally doesn't perform, instead allowing others to sing his songs for the in-crowd. Tuesday, Paul Simon accepted the tributes of singers including Brian Wilson and Joss Stones before taking the stage himself.
It was another memorably long night at the BMI Pop Awards - the performing rights organization's annual nod to pop's finest - at a swank Beverly Hills hotel.
Simon, who received the Icon award for lifetime achievement, heard Brian Wilson put across "Sounds of Silence," r&b thrush Yolanda Adams grab "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" by the throat, Stone's reggae-flavored "Mother and Child Reunion," and a couple of Maroon 5 members delivering "Homeward Bound," before the veteran songwriter himself stood at a microphone and gave forth "Slip Slidin' Away."
Simon, in black tux, had little to say to the crowd and merely thanked those that went before him, noting that of the many covers of his songs, Aretha Franklin's "Troubled Waters" stood out as among the most effective.
Earlier, pop-rockers 3 Doors Down got the vote for BMI Pop Song of the Year for "Here Without You." Hip-hop artist Lil John was crowned Songwriter of the Year at the 53rd annual ceremony, which honored the 50 pop songs that got the most radio and TV airplay of 2004.