UK music industry leaders and artists have been recognised in the New Year Honours List 2023. The recognition is for incredible public service of individuals.
There are knighthoods for Queen’s Brian May (for services to music and charity) and Robin Millar, founder and group chair, Blue Raincoat Chrysalis Group. Sir Robin Millar, to use his new title, receives the knighthood for services to music, people with disabilities, young people and charity.
Geoff Taylor, who’s interviewed in the latest issue of Music Week, is departing the trade body at the end of 2022 after more than 15 years in charge. The BPI, BRITs and Mercury Prize boss is recognised with an MBE for services to music.
Geoff Taylor said: “Music has been my life, so to be recognised for services to music means a great deal to me. It’s an award really to the whole BPI team, who work every day to protect and value music. I’m looking forward to announcing next steps soon and to continuing to play a role in this fascinating business.”
YolanDa Brown, a TV and radio presenter, musician and educator alongside her role at the BPI, is awarded an OBE for services to music, music education and to broadcasting.
YolanDa Brown said: “I am really honoured to receive this award. My career continues to be eclectic and doesn’t fit in a box, so I am grateful to everyone who continues to walk with me as a musician, broadcaster or campaigner for children and their access to music education. I dedicate this honour to my Grandma, who passed away recently and taught me faith, belief, and resilience, and also to my daughters as they fill the world with love on their journey.”
We couldn’t be more thrilled that both Geoff and YolanDa have had their enormous contributions to music recognised
Speaking on behalf of the BPI, COO MJ Olaore said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled that both Geoff and YolanDa have had their enormous contributions to music recognised with these wonderful honours.
“Anyone that has known Geoff or worked with him these past 15 years cannot fail to have been impressed by his total commitment to the BPI’s members and more widely to promoting British recorded music and the artists it supports at home and around the world.
“We have only recently begun our relationship with YolanDa, but already we can see how her talent and energy simply shines through and that she is driven by an incredible passion to draw on the power of music to bring about meaningful change, not least to improve access to music education for children.
“We congratulate Geoff and YolanDa in the knowledge that these deserved awards will only spur them to achieve even more in doing all they can to promote British music and support future talent.”
Peter Leathem, longstanding CEO of PPL, is recognised with an OBE for services to the music industry.
Peter Leathem said: "To be awarded an OBE for services to music is an enormous honour. I am so proud to lead PPL, which plays such an important role for the 165,000 performers and recording rights-holders that we pay each year, as well as supporting talent development, artist welfare and music education via the funding of many organisations and initiatives. Music brings so much to the UK culturally and economically, with the UK punching above its weight on the world stage.
“However, I am acutely conscious that for many of our incredibly talented performers it can be a tough existence. So I am delighted that PPL is able to provide the support that it does, and I have been very pleased to be able to support charities that also do great work, such as BAPAM (the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine), the healthcare charity for performers, actors and dancers, of which I am the chair.”
UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin added: “Peter thoroughly deserves this honour for his tireless work in standing up for music rights, pioneering new developments and championing collaboration, leading the way for record-breaking revenues for music creators and companies through PPL. He has also shown outstanding leadership by supporting diverse future talent at PPL and as Chair of the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine, he has ensured the power of music plays a key role in health and wellbeing outcomes.”
Also in the 2023 Honours List, Oscar-nominated composer George Fenton is awarded a CBE for services to music.
Janet Kay, actor and singer of 1979 hit Silly Games, is awarded an MBE.
Arit Eminue, founder and director, DiVA Apprenticeships, is awarded an MBE for services to Further Education in the creative industries. Eminue is on the BPI Equity and Justice Advisory Group.
Frank Skinner, Absolute Radio broadcaster and comedian, receives an MBE for services to entertainment.
Awarded a British Empire Medal, DJ Spoony (Jonathan Joseph) is recognised for services to charities through music during Covid-19.