Preview: Ivor Novello Awards 2009

By on Wednesday, 20th May 2009 at 1:14 pm

ColdplayNext week, one of the most respected awards ceremonies in the UK music calendar takes place in London. Yes, it’s the Ivor Novello Awards. Now in its 54th year, the awards celebrate the best in British music, and whilst not as widely publicised as, say, The Brit Awards or the Mercury prize, they’re just as coveted by the winners.

This year’s awards feature Elbow, Duffy and Coldplay (pictured right) all nominated for numerous awards. Like the Mercury prize, there are also a few unknowns thrown in for good measure – this year, The Leisure Society are nominated for the prize of “Best song musically and lyrically”, alongside The Last Shadow Puppets’ (pictured top) “My Mistakes Were Made For You” and Elbow’s “One Day Like This”.

The first awards were held on 11th March 1956, to recognise entries released in 1955, at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. It was hoped that they would not only celebrate British writing talent, but boost the Songwriters Guild’s campaign for British music; at the time of the Awards’ inception, only around 20% of music broadcast by the BBC was British. In 1974, the Performing Right Society became the main sponsor of the Ivors and has remained a valued supporter ever since. Named after the famous Welsh composer, singer and actor Ivor Novello, he was author of the immortal line “Me Tarzan, you Jane” for the film “Tarzan the Apeman”, amongst other famous credits.

Previous winners of the Ivors reads like a who’s who of famous stars – Amy Winehouse (pictured top), Led Zeppelin, Oasis, Spice Girls, The Beatles, Pet Shop Boys, The Bee Gees, Pink Floyd, oh, and The Darkness have all won awards, which are split into three categories

  • Nominated categories. These are judged by a jury made up of songwriters and composers of writers and acknowledge achievement in the previous calendar year. They include Best Song Musically and Lyrically, the Album Award and Best Original Film Score
  • Statistical categories. These include Best Selling British Song and PRS for Music Most Performed Work. The recipients are decided by sales/download figures and statistics for ‘performance’ according to PRS for Music data. This is a combination of radio play, live and general usage.
  • Gift of the Academy categories. These are decided by the Ivors Committee and recognise achievement over a longer period. Categories include Lifetime Achievement, Outstanding Song Collection, The Ivors Classical Music Award and The Ivors Inspiration Award.

So, if you ever were a bit hazy about the awards, you now have no excuse with the amount of information you’ve got there!

The Ivors presented by BASCA in association with PRS for Music take place on Thursday 21st May at London’s Grosvenor Hotel.

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