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 A HOLE LOTTA LOVE

Max Hole was the star honouree at the Music Week Awards on 4/28 in London, with the veteran exec given the Strat Award for services to the music industry, and appearing in very good health indeed.

A host of names paid tribute to Hole’s 50-year career, including Doug Morris, Lucian Grainge, Jason Iley, Rob Dickins, Irving Azoff, Scott Borchetta, Edgar Berger, David Joseph and Sting.

Chris Rea and Universal’s Andrew Kronfeld welcomed Hole to the stage, with the latter praising his passion, love of music, smarts and “wonderful sense of humour.”

Hole recalled his beginnings in the music industry, from booking The Who for £1k while at university to launching his first independent label through Decca, where he worked with the late “wonderful” Hugh Mendl. He joined Warner in 1982, working alongside Morris and Paul Conroy, before leaving for Universal in 1988, when Morris was head before Grainge took over.

“I really love them both,” said Hole of the top execs. “I think they are real friends. And even though I’ve had to retire, Universal is the clearly the number one record company in the world, and Lucian is doing a very good job of running an incredible team. I was sad that Doug Morris left Universal but I’m really thrilled that he’s running Sony, he’s done a incredible job in the last four-five years. I’m thrilled for both of them.”

The changes in the record industry over the last decade have helped Hole feel satisfied with retiring, he said, a move he made towards the end of last year after being diagnosed with encephalitis. “I’ve been ill but I’m getting a bit better,” he explained.

“I’ve traveled the world a lot in my career and I’ve loved all types of music, from classical, to heavy metal, folk and pop music, I’ve been very lucky at dealing with extraordinary artists, wonderful producers and incredible executives. Finally, I love the fact that my wife and my three sons are here tonight, I love them loads but I love them extra because they really looked after me when I was very ill. So thank you all very much.”

Max Lousada’s Warner Music U.K. cleaned up at the awards, with Ben Cook’s Atlantic taking home the A&R Award for breakout star Jess Glynne, as well as winning best Promotions Team for the eighth year running. Warner Music was also named best Sales Team for Ed Sheeran’s continued success alongside Glynne.

Polydor marketing man Olly Rice accepted best Artist Marketing Campaign for Years & Years and Sony/ATV was Publisher of the Year for both albums and singles, with Kobalt named Independent Publisher of the Year.

James Bay managers Paul McDonald and Ryan Lofthouse of Closer Artists were named Manager of the year and Jason Iley’s Sony Music U.K. was given the Catalogue Marketing Campaign gong for the million-selling Elvis Presley, If I Can Dream project.

Unsurprisingly, best Record Company went to Adele’s label, Richard Russell’s XL, while best Independent Record Company was given to Simon Raymonde’s Bella Union for success with Father John Misty and Ezra Furman.

Label or Artist Services Company was ADA after hitting #1 with albums from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Stereophonics last year.

The remaining winners were: Live Promoter: SJM Concerts; Live Music Agent: Jon Collier at CAA for Ed Sheeran; Ticketing Company: Dice; Music & Brand Partnership: Google/Abbey Road Studios for Inside Abbey Road Studios; Independent Retailer: Banquet Records, Kingston; Streaming Music Platform: Spotify; Outstanding Contribution to Charity: The BRIT School; Radio Station: BBC 6 Music; Radio Show: Dermot O’Leary, BBC Radio 2; and PR Campaign: We Are a Lot PR for the Justin Bieber campaign. 

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