The winners of the 2021 Artist & Manager Awards were announced at a ceremony held at the Bloomsbury Big Top on 18 November. The awards were sponsored by SoundCloud.
The prestigious Artist & Manager Partnership Award was awarded to Sir Elton John and David Furnish, both of whom were there in person to pick up their award.
The award, sponsored by PPL, was made in recognition of the team’s recent successes, including 2019 biopic Rocketman, the best-selling memoir Me and this year’s No.1 single Cold Heart (Pnau Remix) with Dua Lipa and album The Lockdown Sessions. Attendees also celebrated the team’s advocacy and charity work, particularly through the Elton John AIDS Foundation, their championing of young upcoming artists and their vocal role in demanding solutions to post-Brexit touring of Europe.
Elton John's and David Furnish’s award was presented by Rina Sawayama (pictured with John and Furnish), who was awarded 2021’s Breakthrough Artist (sponsored by Spotify).
Other artists recognised on the night included Little Simz (Artist of the Year, sponsored by Amazon Music), Mogwai (Pioneer) and Bicep, who shared their award for Innovation (sponsored by TikTok) with their management team at This Is Music.
Three award categories for music management were collected by women, with Amy Morgan (September Management) receiving Manager of the Year (sponsored by YouTube Music) for her work with Glass Animals, and Grace Ladoja MBE (Metallic Inc) receiving the Entrepreneur Award, in recognition of her bridge-building between music scenes in the UK and Nigeria. Kayleigh Thorpe (Little Runaway Management) was revealed as the 2021 Breakthrough Manager for her work with Gerry Cinnamon.
In addition, The Black Music Coalition received their award as Industry Champions from Alex Boateng (co-president 0207 Def Jam), Joe Kentish (president, Warner Records UK) and Taponeswa Mavunga (director of Africa, Sony Music UK). Karma Artists won as writer/producer manager, while YMU Music Group were presented with the Team Achievement Award by Kurupt FM’s Chabuddy G for their inclusion initiatives, including a mental health and wellbeing programme for clients and staff.
Commenting after the awards, Annabella Coldrick, chief executive, Music Managers Forum and David Martin, CEO, Featured Artists Coalition, said: “Coming together again with friends and colleagues feels such a hugely positive and symbolic step forward. Tonight’s Awards was about celebrating music, talent, innovation and camaraderie across the artist and management community - whether that’s individuals at the start of their careers, survivors and legends, or those still standing after decades.”
The full list of winners is as follows:
- Artist & Manager Partnership (sponsored by PPL): Elton John and David Furnish (Rocket Entertainment)
- Artist of the Year (sponsored by Amazon Music): Little Simz
- Manager of the Year (sponsored by YouTube Music): Amy Morgan (September Management)
- Breakthrough Artist (sponsored by Spotify): Rina Sawayama
- Breakthrough Manager: Kayleigh Thorpe (Little Runaway Management)
- Entrepreneur: Grace Ladoja MBE (Metallic Inc)
- Pioneer: Mogwai
- Innovation (Sponsored by TikTok): Bicep and This Is Music
- Industry Champions: The Black Music Coalition
- Writer/Producer Manager: Karma Artists
- Team Achievement: YMU Music Group
PHOTO: Andy Willsher