My 10 million radio plays Brown Eyed Girl
Published 05/10/2011 | 08:19
Van Morrison was last night honoured for entering an elite group of music stars as his hit Brown Eyed Girl achieved 10 million plays on US radio.
The singer, whose chart career stretches back to the mid 1960s, joins Sting in the small club of stars who have enjoyed such airplay success.
Belfast-born Morrison first released Brown Eyed Girl in 1967 when the then 22-year-old's solo career was still in its infancy.
But despite continuing to be popular, he recently said in an interview: "It's not one of my best. I mean I've got about 300 songs that I think are better."
It passed nine million plays two years ago and now joins Every Breath You Take - written by Sting, which received a boost when it was used as the basis for the P Diddy track I'll Be Missing You - in the 10 million bracket.
Irish band The Script took the award for the most played song in the US by a European act in the past year with their hit Breakeven.
Also recognised at the event were rock legends Queen who were named Icons for their achievements over the past four decades.
Guitarist Brian May and Roger Taylor were guests at the awards in London's Dorchester Hotel, attended by figures from the US music industry.
The band - whose hits include Bohemian Rhapsody and We Are The Champions - are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their formation this year.
A number of rock and roll greats also received airplay recognition tonight. Eric Clapton's Layla - recorded under the name Derek And The Dominoes - has amassed eight million US plays, and his single Tears In Heaven reached five million.
Several Beatles tracks passed new milestones with Michelle and Let It Be hitting six million plays and Hey Jude five million. Yoko Ono was due at the event to collect awards on behalf of her late husband John Lennon.
Spandau Ballet's True passed the four million mark with songwriter Gary Kemp collecting an award for its success.
Only 10 songs registered with BMI have ever achieved ten million plays in the US, with Every Breath You Take the only other by a UK act.
The most-played song is You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' with 13 million performances, while Stand By Me and Eagles hit Take It Easy have notched up 11 million.
Also on 10 million are Oh, Pretty Woman, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, When A Man Loves A Woman, (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay and Proud Mary.