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-- Bono

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U2 Honors Grainge at MITs

Billboard, November 03, 2008
By: Andrew Paine

 

U2 was among the artists saluting Universal Music Group International chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge at the Music Industry Trust's Award ceremony at London's Grosvenor House Hotel.

Universal-signed pop acts Mika and Take That performed at the ceremony tonight (Nov. 3), along with jazz-pop singer Jamie Cullum and indie-rock band Razorlight, which released its new album Slipway Fires (Vertigo/Mercury) today. Artists among the 1,200 guests included Girls Aloud, Sugababes, The Fratellis, The Feeling, Snow Patrol, members of ABBA, Ray Davies, Lulu and James Morrison.

The MIT award was presented to the Universal boss by all four members of U2. UMG chairman/CEO Doug Morris was also present.

Bono joked about U2's failure to release a new album this year, commenting that Grainge provides "cuddles" for the band "when we get stressed out and we haven't got the hits and we missed Christmas."

Tributes on film were made by personalities from the world of business and musicians including Mariah Carey, the Pussycat Dolls, Michael Winner, Elton John, Bob Geldof, U2 manager Paul McGuinness and Girls Aloud.

In his acceptance speech Lucian Grainge said: "This recognition is an honor, and I'm delighted to be able to share it with the many artists, colleagues and friends who have been at the center of my professional and personal life for the past 30 years. I'm proud that music is the only industry I have ever worked in. Music has given me opportunity and fulfillment beyond measure, and I'm grateful for that."

Grainge also talked about his career in A&R at MCA Records in the 1980s, adding that "I was a talent scout then, and I'm a talent scout now."

Previous winners of the award include Sir George Martin, Harvey Goldsmith and the late Ahmet Ertegun, and artists and musicians including Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Kylie Minogue and Peter Gabriel.

Grainge is marking his thirtieth anniversary in the music industry, having worked with artists including Eurythmics, U2, Sir Elton John, Take That, Metallica, Snow Patrol, Amy Winehouse, Mika and Duffy, the biggest U.K. debut artist this year.

Grainge has also been invited by culture secretary Andy Burnham to take part in the "Creative Britain" conference next October, acting as an ambassador for British talent.

Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy and the BRIT School, the two charities that are supported by the annual Music Industry Trusts' Award, received a record-breaking 568,593 ($897,577) from this year's event. It was sponsored by mobile manufacturer Nokia, London-based media investment firm Ingenious Media and U.K. collecting societies PPL and PRS.



© Nielsen Business Media, Inc., 2008.

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