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AIM AWARDS 2016—ALL THE WINNERS AND MORE

Tuesday night’s AIM Awards in Blighty celebrated some of the best labels, artists and execs from the U.K.’s independent sector in 2016, with XL boss Richard Russell delivering a thoughtful acceptance speech. However, we couldn’t help but notice a significant slight...

With a #2 album thanks to Christine and the Queens' Chaleur Humaine and a five-week run at #1 with Major Lazer, Justin Bieber & MØ’s “Cold Water,” Emmanuel de Buretel's Because Music was the frontrunner for Independent Label of the Year. But the gong instead went to Brett Gurewitz’s L.A. imprint Epitaph/ANTI; insiders say the decision was made by a judging panel that largely consists of rock fans who wanted to celebrate Epitaph’s 20th birthday. Quite rightfully, Because did emerge victorious elsewhere, taking home Independent Breakthrough of the Year for Christine (who was later seen tearing up the dance floor at the afterparty).

Adele
was awarded Independent Track of the Year for “Hello.” However, she was touring in the U.S., so out of town. And Independent Album of the Year went to Brit rapper Little Simz for debut A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons, which was self-released via Age 101 Music.

Blur
frontman Damon Albarn presented Richard Russell with the Pioneer Award, introducing the exec and producer as “a creative brother of mine and a genius.”

Russell paid tribute to fellow “pioneers” the late Gil Scott-Heron and Bobby Womack, Jack White, M.I.A., Giggs, Dizzee Rascal, Wiley, Liam Howlett, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Albarn, and the "groundbreaking" Adele.

“I’ve taken it upon myself to try and cultivate the pioneering spirit of all these people, and the reason I've done that is because it's always seemed like the right thing for me to do,” he explained. “If enough of that pioneering spirit has rubbed off on me that AIM think I'm a worthy recipient of this award then I'm going to take that as a sign and encouragement to keep doing it.”

Russell thanked his team at XL—label MD Ben Beardsworth, Young Turks boss Caius Pawson and everyone at Beggars Group—for supporting him over the last few years.

He continued: “I also want to thank everyone at all the other great independent labels. It's not an easy job to do, and it requires passion, commitment, belief and tenacity... I think the work AIM does is incredible so it's extremely meaningful to get this award. Thank you so much.”

South London rapper Stormzy was honoured with the Innovator Award by Beats 1's Julie Adenuga and BBC Radio 1Xtra's Twin B, who described him as “a superstar who we’ve all enjoyed watching grow and grow.” Moloko singer and solo artist Roisin Murphy got Outstanding Contribution to Music.

Best Difficult Second Album was Not To Disappear by Daughter, released by Simon Halliday’s 4AD, and the band thanked manager Matt Brown (Stay Loose) via video link. Best Small Label was Glasgow imprint Numbers, and Special Catalogue Release of the Year went to Slade for When Slade Rocked The World (BMG).

A slightly icy reception met Sigala—an act who is now on the major label side of the fence thanks to Ministry of Sound’s Sony deal—for winning the PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Act thanks to his multiple radio-friendly singles.

Jon Tolley of Banquet Records was Indie Champion and Wichita band Oscar won Independent Video of the Year for “Sometimes.” Best Live Act was Earmusic’s Japanese teenage trio Babymetal, who are promoted by Kilimanjaro’s Alan Day.

Hardest Working Artist was Darren Hayman and volunteer-led DIY festival Brainchild was named Best Independent Festival.

REVENUE CHART:
MONEYBAGG’S DOUGH
His first stop at the top (5/6a)
TOP 20: SO NICE THEY NAMED IT TWICE
Khaled gets another party started. (5/6a)
TRILLER, SOUNDCLOUD LAUNCH PLATFORM INTEGRATION
A heartwarming virtual hook-up (5/6a)
A ZHU-PHORIC NIGHT
Vaxxed and masked, Nicole ventures out. (5/6a)
BROADWAY REOPENS THE BOX OFFICE
The Great White Way begins to repopulate. (5/6a)
RHYTHM, BLUES AND THE FUTURE
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
WHO'S NEXT?
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
JUST THE VAX, MA'AM
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
WORLDWIDE GROOVE
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
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