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When I was a medical student, a friend of mine lived downstairs from a band he thought was a little wild called the Kinks. At the time it was hard to imagine we would be listening to their music forty years later, but the Kinks went on to create marvellous songs like "Lola" and "You Really Got Me," "Waterloo Sunset" and "Autumn Almanac".

Lead songwriter Ray Davies' "wistful tales of love and longing, set to raucous rock riffs and melodic pop tunes," as the BBC puts it, made the Kinks one of Britain's most popular bands, and became a big part of the British wave of music that flooded airwaves on both sides of the Atlantic.

Yesterday, Broadcast Music Inc, a nonprofit group of 300,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers, feted Davies, who started the Kinks with his younger brother. BMI's Icon award recognised Davies' contributions and influence on generations of songwriters.

Davies, who has also received a CBE from the Queen, accepted his award with a graceful nod to his bandmates, saying they had always been an inspiration to him.