Osinachi Kalu Joseph has become the first African gospel music artist to win the Song of the Year at Broadcast Music, Inc., (BMI).
Way Maker written by Sinach and published by Capitol CMG was adjudged the most popular song Christian song of the year by BMI in a virtual event on Monday, 2 August 2021. The Song of the Year award is the top accolade from the US-based music company.
“What God is doing with Way Maker is being my imagination. I am only grateful he used me to bring this song to the whole world. Thank you so much, BMI for this honour. I am grateful to everyone whose heart this song has found a home. Thank you to my number one support system, my husband, you make serving God so easy for me,” Sinach said.
According to the company, the goal of the award is to celebrate and encourage songwriters and creators that bring inspiring songs to the world.
“The BMI Christian Awards is one of our favourite annual celebrations, but it is especially meaningful after the events of the last year. Throughout this time, each and every one of these extraordinary songwriters has used their gifts to uplift others,” Leslie Roberts, Assistant Vice President, Creative, BMI Nashville said. “BMI is so proud to honor the creators of the inspirational songs of hope and faith that bring comfort to so many around the world. I am hopeful that we will all be together again to celebrate in person next year.”
Past winners of the Song of the Year include Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan with their song ‘Who You Say I Am’ published by Capitol CMG Publishing and Hillsong MP Songs in 2020 and ‘Reckless Love’ written by Ran Jackson and published by Be Essential Songs and Richmond Park Publishing in 2019.
In 2020, Way Maker won the Dove Award for Song of the Year, making Sinach the first Nigerian Christian artist to win the award.
Way Maker has been covered by a number of globally acclaimed Christian music artists such as Michael W. Smith, Leeland; Christafari; Passion Worship Bank; Maranda Curtis; and Bethel Music to mention a few.
The song’s popularity was such that it was named the ‘protest anthem’ due to frequent use during the 2020 protests against police brutality in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by US police officers.
The same year many popular artists gave different renditions of Way Maker. In April 2020, two covers of ‘Way Maker’ by Michael W. Smith and Leeland were featured in the top 10 Hot Christian Songs chart. According to Billboard, It was the first time in the history of the Hot Christian songs that two versions of the same song have resided simultaneously in the top 10. Leeland’s version reached ninth on the chart, while Michael W. Smith’s version hit the third position.
In May 2020 Sinach also became the first African artist to rise to the top of the Billboard Christian Songwriters chart.
“Way Maker” also holds the top spot on the list of Top 100 songs ranked by Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI), based on use in churches.