Female songwriters in country music have come a long way in the last 30 years. One of the first women to make her presence known—and one of the most highly awarded for her talent—is Kye Fleming. Rhonda Kye Fleming moved to Nashville in 1977, and within a few months she had begun what would be an amazing 6-year presence at the top of the country charts. That was extraordinary for any songwriter, but for female songwriters in country music, it marked a new era.
Kye has won more than 42 BMI awards, including three BMI Songwriter of the Year honors, a BMI Song of the Year award, and ten Million-Air Awards. Her work has earned her a host of awards and nominations from Nashville Songwriters Association International, Academy of Country Music, Country Music Association, Dove, and The Recording Academy (presenter of the Grammy Awards). Some of Kye’s more recent career highlights include her induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009 and having the song she cowrote for Ronnie Milsap, “Smoky Mountain Rain,” designated the new Tennessee State Song in 2012.
“Kye Fleming is a rarity, a bridge between traditional and modern country music and a creative force who helped expand Nashville's reach," stated Del Bryant, BMI President and CEO. “Her songs helped redefine and revitalize a genre. A two-time BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year and three-time BMI Country Songwriter of the Year with 38 BMI Awards across multiple genres, 15 of her songs have generated more than 1 million performances each. As a modern-day pioneer, she shattered glass ceilings for women and for all songwriters who refused to be stuffed into a category, and we at BMI couldn't be prouder of her accomplishments.”
Every decade has its musical pioneers, those who have helped shape the sounds and trends of the time. Fleming can be credited with helping define the pop-country sound of the 1980s with her hits, including "Smoky Mountain Rain," "I Wouldn't Have Missed It for the World," "Sleeping Single in a Double Bed," "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool," "Nobody," "Kansas City Lights," "Give Me Wings,” and “ Roll on Mississippi,” as well as other singles sung by Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Charlie Pride, Wynonna Judd, Crystal Gayle, Suzy Boguss, and Michael Johnson.