An Ivor Novello Award is the highest accolade in songwriting and composing. Exclusively judged by music creators and presented by The Ivors Academy, the award is the pinnacle in the careers of many songwriters and composers.
Named after the famous Welsh composer, Ivor Novello Awards have been presented by the Academy since 1956. The ceremony, now known as The Ivors with Apple Music, brings together the UK’s songwriting and composing community to celebrate and honour excellence across categories for songs, albums, film, TV and video game scores.
Since 1959 award winners have normally been announced in May. This year the winners will be announced on 2 September after the May ceremony was re-scheduled due to Covid-19.
On 21 May, a host of past winners are looking back at what it means to win the coveted award.
In 2015 Annie Lennox collected the Academy Fellowship, the highest accolade The Ivors Academy presents. Reflecting on that moment, Annie said:
“I first envisaged becoming a singer songwriter as a young ingenue, back in the early 70’s, and at that time would never have imagined it could actually be possible to pursue my musical passion over the course of many decades, songs and albums that lay ahead.
The fact that I‘ve actually been awarded a Fellowship Ivor Novello Award as a songwriter has still not quite really sunk in.
It is such a special accolade that quite honestly, I am still in a state of disbelief over it. It’s truly an honour to be in the company of so many legendary composers.”
Nine years ago, Tinie won Best Contemporary Song for his debut single Pass Out. At the same ceremony he went on to present The Ivors Inspiration Award to Dizzee Rascal. Recalling the ceremony, he said:
“It was an overwhelming experience and an unforgettable day. The Ivors is an award that truly celebrates the artistry of the artist.”
Twenty years ago Fran Healy won Best Contemporary Song for Why Does It Always Rain on Me? and collected the prestigious Songwriter of the Year Ivor Novello Award. Looking back to 2000 he said:
“For a songwriter, to win an Ivor Novello Award, especially for Best Song, it’s the only award that matters. My mum has the Best Contemporary Song Ivor and I have the other. They are also likely very good for clobbering home intruders”
US based film composer John Powell has won four Ivor Novello Awards during a career that has seen him create the iconic scores for The Bourne Identity to Shrek. His most recent Ivor Novello Award was for his music to DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon. Reflecting on what an Ivor means to him, John said:
“I’ve been really, really lucky in my career, and I try to stay grateful, especially at times like these. But thinking back to when it seemed like I was pushing that luck, it was always recognition from The Ivors that added to those moments of joyful disbelief. And wherever I may happen to live now, I’m still essentially a nerdy British kid who finds the idea of other cool British musicians and composers liking my stuff something to cherish.”
21 May also sees the launch of several playlists on Apple Music featuring winning songs, film and television scores across five award categories. Listeners can explore the most performed song of the year since 1956 (as calculated by PRS for Music); delve into the archive of film scores deemed exceptional by fellow composers and take an audio journey through the craft of songwriting as we chart the Best Songs Musically and Lyrically. https://apple.co/theivorsacademy
For the first time you can look inside the official awards ceremony brochures from The Ivors 2010 onwards. These exclusive programmes are given to guests on the day and feature bespoke profiles on award recipients, interviews with past Ivor Novello Award winners and details of each year’s nominees and award judges.
Over the coming months we’ll be publishing more from our archive including brochures from The Ivors Composer Awards and The Ivors Academy Gold Badge. Follow us on ISSUU to be the first to find out about new content.