Held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Friday (July 6) and hosted by presenter Edith Bowman, the 43rd annual ceremony raised a fabulous £705,000 for music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins.
Waters and Plant were honoured for their contribution to music and will be presented with the Nordoff Robbins O2 Silver Clef Award and the Integro Outstanding Achievement Award respectively. Stereophonics picked up the American Express Icon Award, while Ellie Goulding was awarded the Liz Hobbs Best Female Award and George Ezra took home the AEG Presents Best Male Award.
Other acts receiving awards included The Script, who were presented with the Raymond Weil International Award and Michael Ball & Alfie Boe, who received the PPL Classical Award. Rudimental were awarded the Bose Innovation Award. Jorja Smith collected the Amazon Music Best Newcomer Award and the Sky Best Group Award was awarded to Bastille. Harry Styles also won a public vote for Best Live Act, sponsored by Ticketmaster and Live Nation.
Here, Music Week looks back at some of the most memorable moments from a star-studded afternoon.
Roger Waters had a busy Friday, collecting the charity event's biggest honour, the O2 Silver Clef Award, from Brian Eno, prior to headlining the opening night of the nearby British Summer Time Hyde Park. “Checking the history books, Pink Floyd did the very first free concert in the park in 1969 so that’s a great memory,” said Waters. “Well done Nordoff Robbins for the great work that you do with the children who need the help of music as a healing force in their lives.”
Having collected The Strat at the Music Week Awards at the same venue in April, Warner Music Group's CEO, recorded music, Max Lousada was on presenting duties this time around to hand over the Outstanding Achievement Award to Robert Plant.
“We all know the iconic records that Led Zeppelin made during just 12 years together,” said Lousada. “What’s even more extraordinary is that they’re just one facet of Robert’s career. Over the last six decades - as a musician, a songwriter, a performer - he’s never stopped moving. That’s what makes Robert such a vital, artistic force who continues to evolve, influence and inspire.
“With nothing left to prove, he approaches each new chapter like he’s got everything left to discover. He simply refuses to settle. I discovered that for myself the first time I met Robert. He was playing me an album he’d just finished, Lullaby and The Ceaseless Roar, his first record in four years. I couldn’t wait to hear it. But Robert wouldn’t let me press play until the conditions were just right. He even had us close all the curtains. Here was someone who cared deeply about sound, about atmosphere, about being fully present in the moment. Someone who lives by the simple truth that being great – and staying great – means you never stop caring, never stop striving.
“When I’m playing someone new music, I often think about that moment. And the reverence Robert has for music and its power to move and connect us. I’ve no doubt that belief is also at the heart of his support for Nordoff Robbins. There’s a lyric on his latest album that I think sums Robert up: ‘All that's worth doing, is seldom easy done.’ So, thank you, Robert, for never doing what’s easy – and for always taking the road less travelled.”
Making a good impression
Poking fun at the four-hour running time, the actor and one-hit wonder (Brydon hit No.1 in 2009 with the Comic Relief single Barry Islands In The Stream) joked: “’I’ve been to a lot of award ceremonies in my time but I’ve got to say, hand on heart, this is the longest.”
Brydon presented fellow Welsh heroes Stereophonics with the Icon Award (after declaring Kelly Jones to be the lovechild of Al Pacino and Tom Jones), prior to accepting the frontman’s challenge of impersonating “Al Pacino reading The Gruffalo” to raise a further £1k for Nordoff Robbins.
Rewriting the script
A visibly moved Danny O’Donaghue took the opportunity to pay tribute to the work of Nordoff Robbins when picking up the International Award with The Script. “It just feels stupid for us being up here accepting awards when the people who deserve it are the music therapists themselves,” he said. “There is a special place in heaven reserved for you people.”
Wow, @TheScript_Danny just got our music therapists to stand up for a round of applause, as the people who really deserve an award! Thank you @thescript, were incredibly touched. pic.twitter.com/9U40FYZGlK— Nordoff Robbins UK (@NordoffRobbins1) July 6, 2018
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when former major label exec Mervyn Lyn addressed the audience to detail Nordoff Robbins’ work with his daughter Sia, who has epilepsy and cannot speak, but responds to music therapy. "Sia gets to be independent and expressive and what she offers in the session is recognised as meaningful communication,” he said, in a poignant reminder of what the day was all about.
Incredibly moving speech from Mervyn, whose daughter Sia has epilepsy, and cannot speak, but remembers and responds to music and comes to @NordoffRobbins1 #musictherapy sessions #O2SilverClefs pic.twitter.com/GchIs8nWf8— Nordoff Robbins UK (@NordoffRobbins1) July 6, 2018