Courtesy of Helen Maybanks
Sir Tim Rice, the lyricist who brought us “Hakuna Matata” and put words to many popular Broadway hits, will receive a special award next month. Music rights organization, BMI, will honor his contributions to music with their prestigious Icon Award, which is given to songwriters who have had an “indelible influence on generations of music makers.” Previous recipients of the award include Van Morrison, Ray Davies, Bryan Ferry, and Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon.
The 69-year-old lyricist is best known for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber in the theatre. Many of these works were smash successes in the 1960s and 1970s, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Evita, and Jesus Christ Superstar. He also wrote lyrics for The Lion King, Aladdin, The Road to El Dorado, and the stage version of Beauty and the Beast. Other notable successes include his work with ABBA duo Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson on the musical, Chess, and his collaborations with Sir Elton John on Disney’s wildly successful stage version of The Lion King.
Despite his amazing repertoire, he remains humble and discerning about his work. “I have a fear of doing stuff that’s not very good and being remembered for that,” he expressed openly. “Sir Tim Rice’s extraordinary creativity has given the world some of the most beloved songs of the past 50 years, sheer musical poetry that has thrilled audiences in films, musical theatre and on chart-topping recordings,” said BMI President and CEO Michael O’Neill. “He is one of our era’s most admired and respected lyricists, a leading author and sought-after commentator.”
Sir Tim was also recognized at the Olivier Awards last year for his outstanding contribution to musical theatre. Aside from his successes on Broadway, Sir Tim is known for his passion for cricket, as well as his many radio and television appearances. He will receive the Icon Award at a gala dinner on October 13 at London’s Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane. As he once wrote in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, “We all dream a lot – some are lucky, some are not. But if you think it, want it, dream it, then it’s real.”