NASHVILLE, TENN. (June 16, 2022) – This week Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI®) presented its 2022 BMI Christian Awards, honoring the prolific musical career of BMI Icon Award recipient Steven Curtis Chapman and the Christian Songwriters, Song, and Publisher of the Year. During this annual event, Essential Music Publishing (EMP) was named Publisher of the Year along with Ethan Hulse being named Songwriter of the Year for the fourth consecutive year in a row, and “There Was Jesus” was named 2022 BMI Christian Song of the Year.

“What an incredible honor for EMP to be recognized as BMI Publisher of the Year,” shares Holly Zabka, Sr. Vice President for Essential Music Publishing and Head of Creative for Provident Label Group. “It’s a testament to the amazing roster of writers we get to champion, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to see their hard work recognized. I am grateful to our entire publishing team that continually serves our writers with great care and dedication.”

EMP received 11 of the 25 most-performed songs of the year (listed below). The Song of the Year, “There Was Jesus,” was written by Casey Beathard, Jonathan Smith, and Zach Williams. This popular track was recorded by Dolly Parton and Zach Williams and was the most performed Christian song of the year, and it also won the 2021 GRAMMY Award for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song. Songwriter of the Year, Hulse wrote Andrew Ripp’s “Jericho,” Jeremy Camp’s “Out of My Hands,” and CAIN’s “Rise Up (Lazarus).” Hulse first signed his publishing deal with EMP in 2016 and has since then become one of the genre’s most sought-after writers.

In addition to the Song Awards and honors, Provident artist Ben Fuller performed his song,” Who I Am,” and CAIN performed a musical tribute to Steven Curtis Chapman during his BMI Icon presentation as they sang “Great Adventure” and “I Will Be Here.”

Essential Music Publishing – BMI Song Awards (*EMP Writers)
“Alive & Breathing”
Ellie Limebear*, Matt Maher*
Jake Henry*, Jeff Pardo, Micah Tyler*
“Battle Belongs”
Phil Wickham*
“Famous For (I Believe)”
Chuck Butler*, Krissy Nordhoff, Jordan Sapp, Taren Wells*
“Graves into Gardens”
Chris Brown*, Steven Furtick*, Tiffany Hudson*
Ethan Hulse*, Andrew Ripp*
“Less Like Me”
Mia Fieldes*, Zach Williams*
“Out of My Hands”
Jeremy Camp, Ethan Hulse*, Jeff Sojka
“Peace Be Still”
Hope Darst, Mia Fieldes*, Andrew Holt
“Rise Up (Lazarus)”
Ethan Hulse*, Nick Schwarz*
“There Was Jesus”
Casey Beathard, Jonathan Smith*, Zach Williams*

About Essential Music Publishing: EMP is a full-service music publishing company providing publishing rights management and administration, licensing, royalty collection, and payment on behalf of their award-winning songwriters and catalog administration clients. In just a few short years, EMP has become a vital creative community that empowers songwriters whose songs impact the world in various media and multiple genres.
Essential Music Publishing has more than 15,000 copyrights and 60+ No. 1 songs, including “You Say” recorded by Lauren Daigle, which also went No. 1 on the Mainstream Adult Contemporary Top 40 Chart, Cory Asbury’s “Reckless Love,” Zach Williams’ “Chain Breaker,” “Only Jesus” by Casting Crowns, and “Known” by Tauren Wells, among many others.
EMP is responsible for developing the Essential Worship imprint and church marketing platform representing hundreds of worship songs to the church, including “Great Are You Lord,” “The Blessing,” “King of Kings,” “Reckless Love, “O Come to the Altar,” “Tremble,” “Glorious Day,” as well as worship/church platforms Elevation Worship, Vertical Worship, one sonic society, Red Rocks Worship and others.
Essential Music Publishing is under Provident Entertainment, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. Find out more at

About Provident Entertainment: Provident Entertainment, a Sony Music Entertainment company, includes Provident Label Group, RCA Inspiration, Essential Worship, Essential Music Publishing, Provident Films, Essential Sound, and Essential Artist Services. As a faith-based entertainment industry leader, each of Provident Entertainment’s entities strives to produce products that engage faith-minded audiences with positive messages.
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