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THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOWBIZ

A number of respected British music industry characters were celebrated at Thursday night’s Artist and Manager Awards in Blighty, where Years & Years said a polite "fuck you" to James Bay, XL’s Richard Russell revealed the law-bending antics of Young TurksCaius Pawson and we found out the moniker by which Adele manager Jonathan Dickins is otherwise known.

The event took place at London’s swanky Troxy and was organised by the Music Managers’ Forum. Breakthrough Manager was Tobe Onwuka for his work with Stormzy, while Breakthrough Act were Polydor’s Years & Years. After (jokingly) berating Bay for swindling them out of previous awards, the trio thanked their label for being “very loving and kind” and manager Martha Kinn at Machine, who’s “a force of nature.”

Big Life’s Tim Parry remembered his late colleague Jazz Summers with his mantra: "When no one knows you, you’re a wanker. With your first hit, you’re a genius, and when you get fired you’re back to being a wanker." As such, Parry and the MMF launched a Future Genius Award to help new managers get their first hit and avoid getting fired.

The Industry Champion Award was accepted by Lucy Pullin of the FAC and ie:music’s MD Michael Loney on behalf of the late David Enthoven. Loney remembered Enthoven for the amount of help he gave to others. “He was the most loving human being many of us had the pleasure of knowing.”

XL’s Russell awarded Pawson with the Entrepreneur Award for the work he’s done under the Beggars imprint with artists including The xx, FKA Twigs and Sampha, and his lesser-known brushes with the law while organizing illegal raves. “Caius has a deep understanding of the music, the artists, and the people that make it," said Russell. "He has also got this relentless drive to get the music out there and for there to be no compromise in how that gets done. He has no restrictions, and that makes him uniquely entrepreneurial.”

Pawson used his speech to honour the acts he works with who take “far more risk than we ever do financially, and when the success comes we all profit from it.” He continued: “So thank you to all the artists in this room, and the managers, who are probably the most unqualified and self-taught people on this planet, and yet vital. In an age of corporations getting stronger, it’s vital we have the cowboys, chancers and hustlers. We are the last line of the fence before it gets too boring.”

Dirty Hit/Polydor stars The 1975 were awarded Artist of the Year for creating an exceptional and forward-thinking second album, while the Writer/Producer Manager Award went to Zita McHugh of Z Management, who started her career at the British music industry stomping ground, London Records. Meanwhile, the Dice Live Award was given to Loyle Carner.

Producer Paul Epworth praised Manager of the Year Dickins for his “gift and intuition to take artists to the highest level,” adding: “there are also few people in this industry who can take the nickname ‘Showbiz’ and actually grow out of it.” Dickins thanked his young team at September, and the “incredible” artists he works with. Adele got special mention for the phenomenal follow-up to 21 and coming through her 107-show touring cycle with “unbelievable flying colors.” Also on the list of thank-yous was Chris Morrison, who gave Dickins his first job at CMO Management, Columbia boss Ferdy Unger-Hamilton (whose nickname, which we’ll be exploiting in future, is ‘Fuh') for helping give him the confidence to launch September, “odd couple” Russell and XL MD Ben Beardsworth, and his sister and super ITB agent Lucy Dickins.

Joan Armatrading accepted the Artists’ Artist gong from BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris, and veteran promoter John Giddings welcomed Peter Rudge, aka Mad Dog, to the stage for his Peter Grant Award. Rudge’s speech—“50 years in the making”—was rather long so we won’t bore you with it here. The man received a standing ovation for his work with The Who, Rolling Stones, Roger Waters,Duran Duran, Madness, Il Divo and James.

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