The ex-Civic Halls manager and Glastonbury booker join the 3,400-capacity Wolverhampton venue
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The Modest! Management co-founders, who guided One Direction to global stadium success, will jointly receive the 2019 Music Industry Trusts Award
By Jon Chapple on 03 Jun 2019
Veteran artist managers Richard Griffiths and Harry Magee, co-founders of Modest! Management (the Spice Girls, Little Mix, One Direction), are to be jointly awarded the prestigious Music Industry Trusts (MITs) Award 2019, organisers announced today.
The 28th MITs Award ceremony – held on 4 November, once again in aid of Nordoff Robbins and the Brits Trust – will see Magee and Griffiths join the ranks of previous MITs honourees including Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer, Universal Music CEO Sir Lucian Grange, Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, Syco’s Simon Cowell, Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis and, most recently, CAA agent Emma Banks.
Griffiths, whose career spans live music, publishing, recording and artist management, has worked with talent including AC/DC, Ultravox, Jane’s Addiction, Oasis, Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, Westlife, Enrique Iglesias and Linkin Park over 40-plus years.
In 1974 he founded Headline Artists, becoming the first international agent for AC/DC. Three years later, as A&R for Island Records, he signed Buggles, whose hit ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ was the first no1 in the label’s history.
In the ’80s he managed Ultravox and later founded the US division of Virgin Music. After a spell leading New York-based Epic Records as president, he returned to the UK, holding executive posts at BMG Entertainment and, alongside Simon Cowell, signing Westlife to RCA.
“It is such an honour to be receiving this amazing award”
Leaving BMG in 2001, Griffiths set up the UK arm of US management powerhouse the Firm, where he and Magee worked with Enrique Iglesias and Linkin Park, among others.
Magee, meanwhile, has worked with a succession of British and American stars, including Berlin, Lisa Stansfield, Whitney Houston, Yazz, Sting, Sheryl Crow, Westlife, Eurythmics and Foo Fighters.
After founding the indie Wire Records, Magee’s major-label experience began in 1989 as BMG’s Arista’s head of marketing, where he helped break Lisa Stansfield and delivered British success for Arista’s American stars, including Houston.
He returned to BMG in 1998, after having led Big Life Records and then A&M Records as managing director, being appointed MD of RCA Records. At BMG he helped broker the relationship with Cowell and acts including Westlife and Five, and steered the label’s accomplishments with Natalie Imbruglia, Foo Fighters and Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart as they reformed Eurythmics.
He co-founded the Firm in UK with Griffiths, before the pair established Modest! in 2003.
“Honouring two artist managers is a first for the MITS and we’re proud for them both to join the illustrious recipients list”
Modest! Management’s current roster includes the likes of Niall Horan, Little Mix, Olly Murs, Alison Moyet and the Spice Girls. It represented Horan’s former band, One Direction, from 2010, guiding the group towards 75 million in album sales and worldwide sell-out stadium tours before their split in 2016.
David Munns OBE, chairman of the MITs 2019 Award committee, comments: “Richard and Harry have been at the forefront of the British music industry for over forty years. Individually, and as the founders of Modest!, they have continually set the benchmark in management and have led countless artists to huge success.
“Honouring two artist managers is a first for the MITs and we’re proud for them both to join the illustrious recipients list. We look forward to a fantastic awards night on 4th November.”
“It is indeed a great honour for Richard and I to be given the MITs Award and to have the opportunity to highlight two exceptional charities in the Brit Trust and Nordoff Robbins,” comments Magee. “We proudly look forward to November 4 for some fun and fundraising.”
Griffiths adds: “It is such an honour to be receiving this amazing award together with my great friend and partner Harry Magee. To help raise money for these two wonderful charities is an honour and a privilege.”
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