Outgoing Merlin CEO Charles Caldas is to be honoured with the Indie Champion Award at next months AIM Independent Music Awards.
During his 12 years as CEO, Merlin’s membership has grown to include over 850 members in 63 countries.
Previous winners have included Warp co-founder Steve Beckett, XL Recordings’ Richard Russell and NTS founder Femi Adeyemi.
Caldas said: “Working on behalf of so many members of AIM, alongside their global Merlin member compatriots, has been a privilege. To have that work recognised in this way by an organisation that has been such a trailblazer in advocating for UK independents and such an important and valued supporter of Merlin since its launch, is humbling, and a true honour.”
Meanwhile, Eleven Seven Music and 10th Street Entertainment CEO Allen Kovac will take home the Innovator award, presented in association with Amazon Music. He has worked with artists including Mötley Crüe, Duran Duran, Meat Loaf and Blondie. Debbie Harry will also be honoured at the awards.
Kovac said: “Technology and innovation have the same impact as hearing great music for the first time, and asking technology experts how their products work has created new opportunities for my artists. This award belongs to the experts who have given me new adventures that led to new endeavours, that I’ve brought to our independent community. The main challenge isn’t technology, but clinging on to our old culture.”
Previous winners including electronic artist Sophie and grime label and collective Boy Better Know.
Nominees for the publicly voted Best Live Act award in association with Songkick have also been revealed. Following 35,000 votes, nominees include AJ Tracey, Calpurnia, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Gerry Cinnamon and Idles. The winner — the act with the most amount of votes — will be announced on the night of the awards.