New BRIT Award announced with its own event, Elton to win it

By | Published on Monday 22 July 2013

Elton John

Lord knows, if there’s one thing the music business needs, it’s more awards. I don’t know how anyone hasn’t spotted this before, I mean at last count there are at least seventeen days of the year when there are no ceremonies devoted to the slapping of popstars’ backs. So, well done to record label trade body BPI for spotting this glaring gap and helping to fill it with a brand new spin-off to the BRIT Awards, called the BRITs Icon.

Easily confused with the existing (though occasionally absent in recent years) BRIT Award for outstanding contribution to music, it must be stressed that the new Icon gong is a whole knew kettle of sycophancy. This gong will only ever be presented to “iconic artists whose writing, recording and performances set them apart as having made a lasting impact on the nation’s culture”. So much so, the first one will be presented to Elton John, who’s already received two outstanding contribution BRITs.

A special Icon Award event will take place in London on 2 Sep, and will see Elton perform live, including tracks from his new album ‘The Diving Board’, which by extraordinary coincidence is also coming out in September. ITV will film the bash and air it later in the month. We’re promised special guest appearances and a candid interview too, so two parts the BRITs, eight parts ‘An Audience With Elton’, I suppose. Still, sounds like a fun night out for Elton fans.

Says Christian Tattersfield, Warner UK boss and current Chair of the BRITs: “Britain leads the world when it comes to making great music. Part of this appeal is down to an incredibly diverse and vibrant music scene, with much of it coming from exciting new talent, but its foundation is undoubtedly built on a select group of artists that we now quite rightly revere as icons. Elton is amongst the greatest of these living legends, inspiring generations of fans and other artists alike with his era-defining music, and there can be few more worthy recipients of this inaugural BRITs Icon award”.

Meanwhile BPI chief Geoff Taylor added: “The BRIT Awards has recognised many exceptional artists whose music has connected with millions of fans. A few of these artists, such as Elton John, have achieved such a level of artistic creativity and originality, critical acclaim, global recognition and popular success that they deserve to be recognised as true Icons of our cultural life. With our broadcast partners ITV, our aim is to provide the ultimate tribute to these musical superheroes, which not only recognises their unique achievements but which is also spectacular entertainment”.

So, that’s the gap in the awards schedule sorted. Now if only someone would do something about the lack of trade bodies in the music sector, we could really do with some more of them. I’m thinking of launching the UK Academy For Left-Handed A&Rs, anyone in?