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‘My career doesn’t fit in a box’: New BPI chair recognised in New Year’s Honours

New BPI chair YolanDa Brown OBE DL and departing chief executive Geoff Taylor have been recognised in the New Year’s Honour’s list on account of their services to music.

Taylor, who stepped down on December 31 after 15 years as chief executive of the BPI and chief executive of The BRIT Awards and Mercury Prize to pursue new career challenges, has been awarded an MBE for services to music. His successor, acclaimed artist, music education campaigner and broadcaster Brown, has been honoured with an OBE for services to music, music education and broadcasting.

Taylor joined the BPI as its chief executive in 2007. Since then, he has worked to ‘grow, promote and protect the value of British music’, working with the BPIs member labels and also through The BRIT Awards and the Mercury Prize to create an environment in which the UKs recorded music sector can thrive domestically and globally.

“Music has been my life, so to be recognised for services to music means a great deal to me,” he said. “It’s an award really to the whole BPI team, who work every day to protect and value music. Im looking forward to announcing next steps soon and to continuing to play a role in this fascinating business.”

Brown, who was appointed chair of the BPI in July of 2022, is an acclaimed creator who performs regularly as an award-winning saxophonist and as an accomplished broadcaster. She has also campaigned successfully for greater access to music education for children, including through her role as chair of Youth Music.

“I am really honoured to receive this award,” Brown commented. “My career continues to be eclectic and doesn’t fit in a box, so I am grateful to everyone who continues to walk with me as a musician, broadcaster or campaigner for children and their access to music education. I dedicate this honour to my Grandma, who passed away recently and taught me faith, belief, and resilience, and also to my daughters as they fill the world with love on their journey.”

Speaking on behalf of the BPI, COO MJ Olaore said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled that both Geoff and YolanDa have had their enormous contributions to music recognised with these wonderful honours.

“Anyone that has known Geoff or worked with him these past 15 years cannot fail to have been impressed by his total commitment to the BPI’s members and more widely to promoting British recorded music and the artists it supports at home and around the world.

“We have only recently begun our relationship with YolanDa, but already we can see how her talent and energy simply shines through and that she is driven by an incredible passion to draw on the power of music to bring about meaningful change, not least to improve access to music education for children.

“We congratulate Geoff and YolanDa in the knowledge that these deserved awards will only spur them to achieve even more in doing all they can to promote British music and support future talent.”