IMPALA’s Outstanding Contribution Award has been presented to Keith Harris.
The award is in recognition of his remarkable career in music and his work advocating for equity and change throughout the sector.
One of the most high-profile and respected executives in the music business, Harris started out at the then independent label Transatlantic Records over 40 years ago. An artist manager and senior record label executive, Harris has also held key strategic roles in the industry including at PPL, UK Music and as chairman of the MMF, as well as his work as music consultant, currently at IMPALA and with other organisations.
Harris wrote an open letter to music industry leaders as his contribution to Blackout Tuesday in 2020, when the whole music sector interrupted its normal business for a day of reflection to respect #TheShowMustBePaused following the murder of George Floyd.
Harris joined IMPALA’s task force on diversity and inclusion as an adviser in June 2020. This work led to the publication of IMPALA’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter in October 2020, setting out a series of twelve commitments for the organisation. Last month the first annual report tracking IMPALA’s actions was published on the charter’s anniversary.
This award honours Keith’s career, both as an incredibly successful music executive and as an advocate for equity
Led by Harris’ advice, IMPALA has been able to produce guidance for members, a twice-yearly training programme, as well as surveys to measure best practices and start building a picture of the sector’s diversity. IMPALA’s programme also includes a range of other measures, designed to promote equity, diversity and inclusion across the European independent music sector.
IMPALA executive chair Helen Smith said: “This award honours Keith’s career, both as an incredibly successful music executive and as an advocate for equity. His work as advisor to IMPALA’s inclusion and diversity task force has proved invaluable. Keith's advice will help the European independent music sector move towards a more balanced future.”
Keith Harris said: “I am delighted and very flattered to be acknowledged with this award, but the push for equality is obviously about much more than awards for individuals, and what delights me even more is to see the efforts that are being made throughout the industry to bring about fairness and equality right across the board.”