Ed Sheeran & Johnny McDaid Win European Song of the Year at 2022 BMI London Awards

BMI honored Ed Sheeran and Johnny McDaid with the European song of the year award for their global hit “Bad Habits” at the 2022 BMI London Awards. The private event was held at London’s Savoy Hotel on Monday (Oct. 3).

The award is given to BMI’s most performed song of the previous year by U.K. or European writers. The single spent 11 consecutive weeks at the top of the Official U.K. Singles Chart.

Accepting the award via video message, Sheeran said, “We had so much fun making the song and it has been so much fun playing the song out on the road and seeing the reactions of people all around Europe and I can’t wait to go out and do some more.”


Accepting alongside Sheeran, McDaid said, “Ed, I’m so grateful, man, for the fact that you still trust me to make music with you after over a decade of us writing songs together and I hope we have many more to come.”

Sheeran previously won the award in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The 2018 award was for “Shape of You,” which he also co-wrote with McDaid.

Sheeran was also awarded several other BMI London Awards this year, honoring 4 million performances of “I Don’t Care” and 5 million performances of “Perfect.” He was also honored in the pop songs category with “Afterglow,” co-written with David Hodges, and “Shivers,” co-written with McDaid and Kal Lavelle.

BMI honored Ellie Goulding with the BMI President’s Award. Global breakout star Tems received the BMI Impact Award. Both awards were previously announced.

Goulding was presented with the honor by BMI president & CEO Mike O’Neill. “I’ve never won anything like this before and it means so much to me,” she said. “I moved out of my home when I was 16 and I kind of started then. And I felt I had so much to lose making a living out of something that everyone told me was definitely impossible. … In the U.K. particularly, and as a woman, it’s sort of ingrained into you that ambition is a bad thing and it’s not very cool, but it shouldn’t be. Ambition is an essential ingredient for what we all do, and along with the talent and a bit of luck, for anyone who hopes of a long-lasting career, in a really tough industry actually, it’s essential, so to anyone who’s on their way there, please don’t listen to those people who have anything to say about you wanting bigger and better because you deserve it. … In a world now that needs urgent action, in a country that demands empathy, may music play its part in empowering others to begin.”

Goulding performed her singles “Woman” and “New Heights,” from her 2020 album Brightest Blue, accompanied by a pianist and backing vocalists.  

Upon being presented with the BMI Impact Award, Tems said simply, “I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for this award… I’ve come a long way and I’m so grateful.”

Among the multiple Million-Air awards presented throughout the evening were Tom Barnes and Sam Roman for 4 million performances of “Someone You Loved” performed by Lewis Capaldi; and Sam Smith and Normani for “Dancing With a Stranger.” With 6 million performances, Stig Anderson, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus were honored for “Dancing Queen” as performed by ABBA. Elton John was honored with three BMI London Awards, honoring 7 million performances of “Rocket Man,” 6 million performances of “Tiny Dancer” and in the pop songs category with “Cold Heart (Pnau Remix),” co-written with Andrew Meecham and Dean Meredith.

The event was hosted by O’Neill and Shirin Foroutan, BMI’s vice president, creative, Europe.

Alongside the BMI President’s Award, BMI Impact Award, Million-Air Awards and European Song of the Year, awards for pop, dance, film, television and cable and streaming were also presented throughout the ceremony.  A complete list of 2022 winners will soon be available here.

Paul Grein