Depeche Mode’s long-time manager Jonathan Kessler is to receive the Peter Grant Award, sponsored by PPL, at the Music Managers Forum (MMF) and Featured Artist Coalition’s (FAC) sixth annual Artist & Manager Awards.
The award, which is named after the legendary Led Zeppelin manager, recognises managers who have achieved sustained success over a distinguished career.
Sponsored by Spotify, the ceremony will take place on November 14 at Printworks London. In the latest issue of Music Week, MMF chief executive Annabella Coldrick said the event is set to be “bigger and better than ever before”. The 2016 ceremony was staged at Troxy in East London.
Kessler has worked with Depeche Mode since 1986, initially as an accountant on the Black Celebration tour, before helping oversee the band’s rise to stadium status. In 1994, and still aged under 30, he became their first and only manager. Despite being an enigmatic figure in the industry, he has also worked and consulted with artists including Sting, Neil Young, Tracy Chapman, The Weeknd, A-ha, and Rod Stewart.
Depeche Mode commence a brief run of UK and Irish dates on November 15, including an O2 Arena show on November 22. The band played the London Stadium in the summer.
“I am thrilled, honoured and humbled to be considered and chosen to receive the Peter Grant Award – thank you very much to the MMF and FAC,” said Kessler. “Depeche Mode are incredibly talented musicians and performers, we’ve experienced over 30 years of history together, and it has been an honour to be a part of that journey."
“Jonathan was a unanimous choice for this year’s Peter Grant Award,” added Coldrick. “Depeche Mode have always been a watchword for pioneering independence, and under his guidance have evolved into one of the UK’s most globally successful and respected bands – a place where they remain today. We are hugely excited to celebrate Jonathan’s work and his contribution to their success.”
Peter Leathem, chief executive at PPL, commented: “Jonathan Kessler is an industry icon and a figure who is as distinctive as the band he manages. Depeche Mode are an uncompromising, maverick band who have always stayed true to their artistic vision – the fact that Jonathan Kessler has been at the management helm since the early days of their career is a testament to the relationship he has with them.”
Previous recipients of the award at the Artist & Manager Awards are Peter Rudge (2016), Jim Beach (2015), Paul Loasby (2014), Terry Blamey (2012) and John Glover (2011).
Tickets for the awards are available via the event's website.