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Artist & Manager Awards 2021: Elton John, David Furnish and Little Simz among winners

Elton John, David Furnish, Little Simz and Mogwai were among the big winners at last night’s Artist & Manager Awards 2021, which took place at London’s Bloomsbury Top.

Returning for its first in-person outing since 2019, the Artist & Manager Awards, co-founded by the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) and the Music Managers Forum (MMF), saw over 700 artists, manager and music industry figures turn out to celebrate the biggest achievements of the past 12 months.

Elton John and David Furnish took to the stage to receive the Artist & Manager Partnership Award, with the legendary artist giving an impassioned speech on the importance of nurturing and supporting the artists and managers of tomorrow. Their award was presented by Rina Sawayama, who was crowned as 2021’s Breakthrough Artist on the night.

Other artists honoured included Little Simz (Artist of the Year, Mogwai (Pioneer) and BICEP, who shared their award for Innovation with their management team This Is Music.

Amy Morgan (September Management) was named Manager of the Year for her incredible record-breaking work with Glass Animals, and Grace Ladoja MBE (Metallic Inc) received the Entrepreneur Award in recognition of her bridge-building between music scenes in the UK and Nigeria. Kayleigh Thorpe (Little Runaway Management) was revealed as the 2021 Breakthrough Manager for her work with Gerry Cinnamon.

The FAC and MMF also celebrated a number of big industry success stories, with The Black Music Coalition receiving their award as Industry Champions from Alex Boateng (co-president 0207 Def Jam), Joe Kentish (president, Warner Records UK) and Taponeswa Mavunga (director of Africa, Sony Music UK). Karma Artists, also celebrating their 10th anniversary, scooped the Writer / Producer Manager award, while YMU Music Group were presented with the Team Achievement Award by Kurupt FM’s Chabuddy G for their range of inclusion initiatives, including a Mental Health and Well-Being programme for clients and staff. 

The night also saw performances from Wes Nelson & Hardy Caprio, The Anchoress and Lucy McWilliams. The ceremony was hosted by Capital FM’s Roman Kemp.

Commenting after the Awards, Annabella Coldrick, chief executive, Music Managers Forum and David Martin, CEO, Featured Artists Coalition said: “Coming together again with friends and colleagues feels such a hugely positive and symbolic step forward. Tonight’s Awards was about celebrating music, talent, innovation and camaraderie across the artist and management community - whether that’s individuals at the start of their careers, survivors and legends, or those still standing after decades.”

The full list of winners reads as follows:

  • Artist & Manager Partnership (sponsored by PPL): ELTON JOHN & DAVID FURNISH (ROCKET ENTERTAINMENT
  • Artist of the Year (sponsored by Amazon Music): LITTLE SIMZ
  • Manager of the Year (sponsored by YouTube Music): AMY MORGAN (SEPTEMBER MANAGEMENT)
  • Breakthrough Artist (sponsored by Spotify): RINA SAWAYAMA
  • Breakthrough Manager: KAYLEIGH THORPE (LITTLE RUNAWAY MANAGEMENT)
  • Entrepreneur: GRACE LADOJA MBE (METALLIC INC)
  • Pioneer: MOGWAI
  • Innovation (Sponsored by TikTok): BICEP and THIS IS MUSIC
  • Industry Champions: THE BLACK MUSIC COALITION
  • Writer / Producer Manager: KARMA ARTISTS
  • Team Achievement: YMU MUSIC GROUP