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JAMES BAY, ADELE WIN AT IVOR NOVELLOS
5/20/16

James BayWayne HectorJamie LawsonDamon Albarn and Adele were among the winners at the 61st Ivor Novello Awards in London Thursday.

Adele, absent as she’s on tour, sent in a short video message. She won Songwriter of the Year, which manager Jonathan Dickins accepted before “pissing off the stage to deliver the award to Lisbon.”

SYCO President Sonny Takhar presented the International Achievement Award to Hector, whose songs have notched up 380m record sales during his 20-year career. Nicki MinajWestlifePaloma FaithBlueJason DeruloOlly MursOne Direction and Jess Glynne are just some of the names he’s worked with.

“You are a shining example of what’s possible for every young British songwriter around the world,” said Takhar, who introduced Hector to the stage as “my friend and guardian angel.”

Hector thanked the three women in his life: “my mum, the hardest working person I’ve ever known and the person that taught me you can have a life or an existence. My manager Jackie Davidson, who has been with me for 25 years and will always be. And my wife Jasmine, who makes me very happy and has inspired a lot of songs.”

“Hold Back The River,” written by Bay and Iain Archer, won PRS Most Performed Work thanks to its worldwide success. Bay thanked his publishers, Spirit B-Unique and Kobalt, and everyone at Republic and Virgin EMI.

Lawson’s  “Wasn’t Expecting That,” published in the U.K. by Imagem Music, topped the man who signed him to Gingerbread RecordsEd Sheeran, for Best Song Musically and Lyrically. “I wouldn’t be here at all without a 24-year-old ginger kid who decided to sign me and put this song out to the world,” said Lawson. “Ed Sheeran, I am forever grateful for that, and to Tim Smith, my manager, Atlantic, [Sheeran’s manager] Stuart Camp and Sony/ATV

“I get messages from people all around the world for this song, saying how much it means to them, how it has affected them and how it helps them. I’d like to dedicate this award to them, it’s an honour to sing it.”

Creation Records’ founder Alan McGee presented the Inspiration Award to Manchester band Happy Mondays, whose acceptance speeches were typically incoherent. The Album Award went to Darling Arithmetic by Conor O’Brien, performed by Villagers and published by Domino

Best Contemporary Song was “All My Friends” by James CarterOliver LeeCass Lowe and Chance the Rapper, published in the U.K. by Guy Moot’s Sony/ATV.

PRS for Music Outstanding Contribution to British Music was given to Portishead by British exec Ferdy Unger-Hamilton, who signed the band in 1992. “It was bloody difficult at times to get them to do anything you wanted them to do,” he said, “but what they do, they do so well you don’t really worry about the end result.”

Lifetime Achievement went to Blur and Gorillaz mastermind Albarn, who said: “True songwriters are people who are able to release themselves from something that’s really affected them by writing a song about it. 

“Some of us see it as going to church, for some of us it’s going to work, but at the end of the day if you’re not connected to the spirit you’re not making true music.”

The PRS Special International Award went to Bryan Adams, who was welcomed to the stage by Ray Davies of The Kinks. (Adams’ opened for the band when he was 22).  Co-writer Jim Vallance and manager Bruce Allen, who Adams has been working with for nearly 40 years, got a special mention in his thank you speech.

Outstanding Song Collection went to Scottish rockers Simple Minds and the Classical Music Award went to veteran composer and conductor Oliver Knussen.

Best TV soundtrack was London Spy, composed by Keefus Ciancia and David Holmes and published in the U.K. by Sony/ATV and Kobalt. Best Original Film Score was for Ex Machina, composed by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury and published in the U.K. by Universal Music Publishing.