One of the biggest events in the industry calendar, this year’s Music Week Women In Music Awards was staged at The Brewery in London with a room full of artists, top execs – including former winners – and the next generation of talent in the business.
Hosted by Radio 1 presenter Alice Levine, the event has grown significantly since launching in 2014 to become the ultimate celebration of female talent and achievement in the music industry. Music Week Women In Music was staged in partnership with UK Music, AIM and Worldwide Independent Network (WIN).
Leading execs in attendance included Universal Music UK CEO and chairman David Joseph, Sony Music UK CEO and chairman Jason Iley, First Access Entertainment CEO Sarah Stennett, Island UK president Darcus Beese and Dickon Stainer, president and CEO of Global Classics and Jazz at Universal.
The Rising Star award went to Grace Ladoja, manager of Skepta and founder/director of Metallic Inc, while the Campaigner Award was presented to Pamela McCormick, founder and director of charity and talent pipeline Urban Development.
“Pamela’s vision, as ours has been, is to greatly increase the diversity of the industry and to open up opportunities to people of all backgrounds,” said Selina Webb, EVP, Universal Music UK. The major is one of Urban Development’s industry partners.
Ray Blk, a MOBO-nominated artist and winner of the BBC Music Sound Of 2017, was honoured with the New Artist award at the ceremony. Clara Amfo, a strong supporter of Ray Blk on her Radio 1 daytime show, gave an emotional and funny speech as she was presented with the Music Champion award at Women In Music.
The Inspirational Artist Award went to Sharleen Spiteri. As well as giving a rousing speech, the Texas singer proved her star power with video tributes from the likes of Sir Paul McCartney and Thierry Henry.
There was a standing ovation for Sas Metcalfe, chief creative officer at Kobalt, who scooped the International Woman Of The Year in recognition of her success in developing the company into a publishing powerhouse in the last 15 years.
“Sas is without a doubt one of the most straightforward, no bullshit people I have ever come across,” said Alison Donald, Kobalt head of creative UK.
The Company Award: Diversity In The Workplace went to Proper Music Group.
The final award, for Outstanding Contribution, was presented to Jo Dipple, SVP, public affairs at Live Nation and former CEO of UK Music.
“She did a fantastic job as CEO of UK Music,” said current chief exec Michael Dugher. “I remember seeing the picture of David Cameron as Prime Minister taking captains of industry out to the Far East on a big delegation. Of course, most of the people in the picture were blokes, and there was Jo Dipple on the delegation banging the drum for the UK music industry. She’s done that for years and she’s done it superbly well, so she really deserves this award.”
Her spell in government meant the award prompted some high-profile testimonials including a former Prime Minister’s video message.
“Jo, I always knew you’d reach the top – you’ve come a long way from that work in Downing Street, from the Mirror to the new job that you’re doing with great distinction and now [Outstanding Contribution] for Women In Music – a great achievement,” said Gordon Brown.
Lord Mandelson, who took the opportunity to make a gentle dig at Dipple's former boss Piers Morgan, said: “Jo worked with me on my Digital Economy Bill at a time when we need a unified industry voice and a strong messenger for it.”
Partners at the awards included Tape London, Vevo, Absolute, PRS For Music, Brighter Sound, She Said So, The Ultimate Seminar, PRS Foundation, Urban Development, BULLDOG Gin and charity partner CALM.
Ahead of today’s event itself, Music Week revealed 12 new inductees to the Music Week Women In Music Roll Of Honour.
See the full list of award winners and Roll Of Honour inductees below.
Outstanding Contribution — Jo Dipple, Live Nation/UK Music
Businesswoman Of The Year — Rebecca Allen, Decca president
Inspirational Artist — Sharleen Spiteri, Texas
Campaigner — Pamela McCormick, Urban Development founder and director
Rising Star — Grace Ladoja, Skepta’s manager, founder and director Metallic Inc
Music Champion — Clara Amfo, Radio 1
New Artist Award — Ray Blk
International Woman Of The Year — Sas Metcalfe, Kobalt chief creative officer
The Company Award: Diversity In The Workplace — Proper Music
Roll Of Honour
Vick Bain, CEO, BASCA
Lara Baker, Marketing & Events Director, Association of Independent Music Ltd (AIM)
Annette Barrett, Managing Director, Reverb Music
Karma Bertelsen, Marketing Manager, Kilimanjaro Live Ltd
Suzanne Bull MBE, CEO, Attitude Is Everything
Karen Buse, Executive Director of Membership and International, PRS For Music
Leah Stockford, Senior Marketing Director, RCA
Caryn Tomlinson, SVP Communications, International Corporate Communications, Universal Music Group & Chair, EMI Archive Trust
Amber Davis, Creative Director, A&R, Warner/Chappell Music UK
Michelle Kambasha, Head of Press, Secretly Group
Gemma Reilly, Director UK Marketing, BMG
Caroline Simionescu-Marin, A&R Manager, XL Recordings