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What is the Taylor Swift Award? Singer receives prize at 2016 BMI Pop Awards

Swift was honored with the Taylor Swift Award at this year's ceremony as well as receiving other prizes such as the pop songwriter of the year award.

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    Taylor Swift arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala in 2016.
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And the Taylor Swift Award goes to ... Taylor Swift.

At this year's BMI Pop Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., the Taylor Swift Award went to the singer herself. The prize is the second time Broadcast Music, Inc. has given an award named after a musician in its 63 years, with the first being Michael Jackson in 1990. 

Broadcast Music, Inc. is in charge of royalties for publishers and writers in the music business. The awards ceremony bestows prizes on the songwriters and music publishers whose tracks have been performed the most times during the previous year. 

BMI vice-president Barbara Cane said of Swift's prize, "She has had a profound impact, not only musically, but also through her personal conviction and commitment to create a standard that values and respects music for everyone. We felt it appropriate to award Taylor with an [honor] that is as unique and special as she is." 

In addition to the Taylor Swift Award, Swift also received the pop songwriter of the year award. Meanwhile, the Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars song "Uptown Funk" was named the pop song of the year and the BMI Icon Award went to Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, who together penned songs such as "You’ve Lost That Lovin' Feeling." 

Swift co-wrote all the songs on her most recent album, 2014's "1989," which included such hits as "Shake It Off," "Blank Space," and "Bad Blood."

The singer has received praise for her songwriting in the past, with Jon Caramanica of the New York Times writing that "1989" has "expertly constructed" songs. Alexis Petridis of The Guardian wrote of the album, "As a songwriter, Swift has a keen grasp both of her audience and of pop history." However, not all critics have embraced her transition from country to pop music as Boston Globe writer James Reed found "1989" to be a move in the wrong direction, writing of the work, "The songwriting feels generic, a departure from the personable details that have made her a unique voice."

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