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AIM AWARDS '19: ALL THE WINNERS

British rapper Dave and punk band IDLES were the big winners at Tuesday night's AIM Independent Music Awards in London, while Partisan was named Best Independent Label and Allen Kovac was honored as an Innovator with a video tribute from Sir Richard Branson.

Dave, who is developed and managed by Neighbourhood, claimed Best Independent Album for his #1 debut, Psychodrama, and Best Independent Track for #1 "Funky Friday" f/Fredo.

Partisan-signed band IDLES took home Best [Difficult] Second Album for Joy as an Act of Resistance as well as UK Independent Breakthrough after a hugely successful year that has seen them being awarded an IVOR, nominated at the BRITs, and embark upon a worldwide tour that culminates with a date at London's 10k capacity Alexandra Palace in December.

Hosted by Lauren Laverne at Camden’s Roundhouse for the first time, Partisan was honored for a roster that also includes fellow award nominees Fontaines D.C as well as Cigarettes After Sex and John Grant

IMPALA Executive Chair Helen Smith presented Eleven Seven Music and 10th Street Entertainment CEO Kovac with his award. Branson met Kovac in the early '90s when he was pushing Virgin Records to allow his management client Meat Loaf to upload one of the first songs to the then fledgling internet.

"Allen has innovated and tested the limits of marketing and social media and ticketing and streaming and sales reporting, which must make him feel as old as I am,” Branson said in the video­­. “He has worked at benefiting the independent community and leveling the playing field between independents and the majors, plus encouraging the fair valuation of music by tech giants.

"Whether it was Steve Jobs with the iPod and iTunes, Daniel Ek with Spotify or Amazon with smart speakers and in-car technology with Alexa, Allen has been ahead of the curve—collaborating, consulting and promoting new tech to the industry. From Soundscan to DDB Needham, Allen has brought data and branding closer to music. He never tires."

Branson mentioned the Kovac-produced Netflix movie, The Dirt, which tells the story of Mötley Crüe, and his next major project with Nikki Sixx, TheHeroin Diaries musical. "I hope that The Heroine Diarie will de-stigmatize addiction and do for the opioid crisis what Rent did for HIV and AIDS."

Upon receiving the award, Kovac noted how far the independent music sector has come over the last 20 years. “Independents had 14% of the global market share when AIM started, today we’re 40%.”

Glassnote signing Jade Bird won International Breakthrough, Freya Ridings (Good Soldier) picked up the PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist and Scottish artist Gerry Cinnamon, who is repped by Andy Cook at CAA, was the Best Live Act.

Beggars Group CEO Martin Mills presented outgoing Merlin CEO Charles Caldas with his Indie Champion gong, saying: “We owe him enormous thanks from our hearts—and our pockets.”

Caldas, who will step down from Merlin at the end of this year, responded, “Somehow those initial two years have turned into 12. It’s been an extraordinary journey and we have taken great strides to change the value of the independent community. Merlin still has a lot to do in that mission and I believe it will continue to do that long after I leave."

Finally, Johnny Marr won the Pioneer Award, Debbie Harry was honored for her Outstanding Contribution to music and the One to Watch was Domino signing Georgia.

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