The 2022 Artist & Manager Awards took place at London’s Bloomsbury Big Top last night (November 17), with major winners including Becky Hill, Tim Burgess, Burna Boy’s manager Bose Ogulu, and Martin Hall, long-time manager of Manic Street Preachers, The Script and Wet Leg.
The annual ceremony is organised by the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) and Music Managers Forum (MMF) and celebrates creative and commercial successes across the artist and management community.
Hill was crowned Artist of the Year, presented by her manager Alex Martin and tour manager Amanda Barker, alongside music legend Nile Rodgers and Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis; while Bose Ogulu received the award for Manager of the Year from her son, the global superstar Burna Boy and Sheniece Charway, Artist Relations Manager at YouTube Music.
Hill has now amassed over 20 million followers and four billion streams on Spotify alone. As a British female solo artist, only Dua Lipa and Adele generated more plays on the platform in 2021. Winner of a BRIT Award for Best Dance Act in 2022, and widely respected as a songwriter, singer and performer, she has accumulated 13 Platinum, three Gold and three Silver records across her decade-long career.
Ogulu, meanwhile, is widely regarded as one of the world’s most entrepreneurial music managers. With deep roots in the Lagos music scene, she has overseen Burna Boy’s rise to stardom, building long-term partnerships in the UK, including collaborations with British talent such as Stormzy, J Hus, Dave, Jorja Smith, Ed Sheeran, Chris Martin, Mabel, Lily Allen, Steel Banglez, P2J, Fred Gibson and Jae5. Co-founding the Spaceship Collective in 2020, she has become a key figure in advocating for African artists to maintain greater control and ownership of their repertoire.
The lifetime achievement awards for Artists’ Artist and Managers’ Manager also recognised two highly respected figures, with Charlatans star Burgess saluted for over 30 years as a songwriter and performer, and Martin Hall for his long-term successes in music management. Burgess received his award from Brix Smith and PPL chief executive Peter Leathem, while Martin’s was preceded by a warm speech from PR guru Terri Hall and video messages from Manic Street Preachers, The Script’s Danny O’Donoghue, Wet Leg and Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer, who said: “How many managers can say that 25 years ago they were taking a new band to number one in the album charts, and here they are again, in 2022, managing a new band to number one in the album chart. That longevity speaks volumes for you Martin.”
The ceremony also featured several surprise announcements, with the founders of Groundworks - Bills, Jeffrey Owusu-Dankwa and Niall 'Louis' Bentil - receiving a special award for Team Achievement. Following a speech from Colin Batsa, President of EGA Music Group, they were joined onstage by artists Digga D, M Huncho and Potter Payper.
Awards for Breakthrough Artist and Breakthrough Manager were also revealed on the night, with the former going to Beabadoobee (presented by Primal Scream’s Simone Marie Butler and Spotify’s Ruth Collett, and collected by Chris Melian from management company Dirty Hit) and the latter to Callum Reece at One House for his successes with the likes of Eliza Rose, Sherelle, cktrl and Mwanjé. Callum’s award was presented by MMF Chair and vice chair, Paul Craig and Kwame Kwaten, with Amazon Music’s Laura Lukanz and Hazel Berry..
Elsewhere, Pete Tong and TikTok’s David Mogendorff presented Carl Cox as Pioneer, while ABBA legend Björn Ulvaeus sent a video message to Svana Gisla, Ludvig Andersson and Baillie Walsh, the show producers and director behind ABBA Voyage. They were presented with their award for Innovation by Imogen Heap and Utopia Music’s Roberto Neri.
The ongoing challenges around live music - from Brexit and the pandemic, to the crippling cost of living crisis - and its impact on the livelihoods of artists and managers were all raised in a joint opening address by the FAC’s CEO, David Martin and Annabella Coldrick, chief executive of the MMF.
“There’s no point pulling any punches. For the majority of artists, the past few years have been pretty hard,” said Martin. “We’ve had Brexit, a pandemic, and now a cost of living crisis. It’s been tough to make a living from music, and it remains tough.”
“Without addressing these issues, the next generation will really struggle to break through - and that will have ramifications for every promoter, record label, music publisher and tech company here tonight,” added Coldrick.
The ceremony was hosted by Doc Brown (aka Ben Bailey Smith) and guests also features two live performances from London-based pop-punk artist GIRLI and the hotly-tipped rapper FelixThe1st.
The full list of winners at the 2022 Artist & Manager Awards in association with beatBread is as follows:
BECKY HILL - Artist of the Year (Award sponsored by Hipgnosis)
BOSE OGULU - Manager of the Year (Award sponsored by YouTube Music)
TIM BURGESS - Artists’ Artist (Award sponsored by PPL)
MARTIN HALL - Managers’ Manager (Award sponsored by SJM Concerts)\
BEABADOOBEE - Breakthrough Artist (Award sponsored by Spotify)
CALLUM REECE - Breakthrough Manager (Award sponsored by Amazon Music)\
GROUNDWORKS - Team Achievement\
KREPT & KONAN - Entrepreneur
ABBA VOYAGE - Innovation (Award sponsored by Utopia Music)
CARL COX - Pioneer (Award sponsored by TikTok)
RED LIGHT MANAGEMENT - Writer / Producer Manager
MUSIC DECLARES EMERGENCY - Industry Champion
Photos by Paul Hampartsoumian