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Richard Griffiths and Harry Magee to receive MITs 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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“She’s one of the kindest, most supportive people”: Emma Banks collects MITs

Some 1,200 people, including hundreds of international promoters who’d flown in for the occasion, gathered at Grosvenor House Hotel in London last night to celebrate with CAA agent Emma Banks as she picked up the 2018 Music Industry Trusts (MITs) Award.

The charity event, in aid of the Brit Trust and Nordoff Robbins, saw Banks join the ranks of previous MITs recipients including Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer, Universal Music CEO Sir Lucian Grange, Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, Syco’s Simon Cowell and Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis.

Banks, announced as the recipient of the 2018 award in May, was introduced by Peter Mensch, manager of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse and Metallica, then presented her award by Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith, who paid tribute to “one of the kindest, most supportive people” he knows.

Video tributes, meanwhile, came from Smith, Kylie Minogue, Katy Perry, Tenacious D, CAA’s Mike Greek and Rob Light, Norah Jones, Kraftwerk, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire and others, while there were live performances by Florence and the Machine, Beth Ditto and Texas.

Banks, the co-head with Mike Greek of Creative Artists Agency (CAA) London, is a six-time winner of the best agent (‘second-least offensive agent’) award at the Arthur Awards, the live music industry’s Oscars equivalents. In addition to Florence, Kylie, Perry, the Chilis and Arcade Fire, Banks’s roster includes Lorde, Muse, Green Day and Haim.

“This is a cross between your wedding reception and your wake,” she joked as she took the stage to receive the award. Banks then gave a speech paying tribute to women in the music industry, using the occasion to highlight that while things are better than they were, there’s still work to do.

“I’ve come to realise how important this is for women in the industry in general”

“I started a couple of years before the MITs started [in 1992], and there weren’t women that were recognised in the industry,” she said. “It took 16 years for the MITs to recognise a woman: my lovely friend, Kylie Minogue.”

After namechecking two of her mentors – Ian Flooks, who “I don’t think ever saw me as a woman, just one of his name”, and Gail Colson, who “was a trailblazer, running Charisma Records in the ’70s, then went on to become one of the most important managers in the UK” – Banks told the packed room that she sees her MITs win as an important milestone for women in music.

“Since being honoured earlier this year, and the award being announced, I’ve come to realise how important this is for women in the industry in general,” Banks explained.

“In 2018 we look at a live music business that has so many strong female performers. […] These are women who are running their own businesses, and who are regularly part of the highest-grossing tours list. There are now more women in senior positions at labels, and management companies and talent agencies, at publishers, on the radio – across the whole music business.”

“We’ve come a really long way,” she concluded. “There’s always more to do – but I’m sure that everyone who has been around for a while will acknowledge that we’re making steps in the right direction. And all the other diversity issues that we have in this business – and it’s probably more than just the male-to-female ratio these days – will soon get addressed, I’m quite sure.”

 


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Emma Banks to receive 2018 MITs Award

Leading agent Emma Banks is to be awarded the 2018 Music Industry Trusts (MITs) Award in recognition of her contributions to the music industry in a career spanning over 25 years.

Banks, the co-head with Mike Greek of Creative Artists Agency (CAA) London, is a six-time winner of the best agent (‘second-least offensive agent’) award at the Arthur Awards, the live music industry’s Oscars equivalents. The MITs jury describe Banks, who also hosts the Arthurs, as “one of the most successful and respected talent agents in the business, representing a host of major artists and paving the way for women across the industry”.

Her CAA roster includes Katy Perry, Arcade Fire, Florence + the Machine, Kylie Minogue, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lorde and recent signings Muse, Haim and Green Day, while she is also chair of the Nordoff Robbins Silver Clef committee.

David Munns OBE, chairman of the MITs Award committee, comments: “Emma’s innate ability to work with artists, build relationships and, of course, spot the talent in the first place makes her quite unique. A trailblazer for women in the industry from the outset, she is hugely respected by promoters, colleagues, artists and competitors alike.

“A trailblazer for women in the industry from the outset, she is hugely respected by promoters, colleagues, artists and competitors alike”

“Coupled with a drive and enthusiasm rarely seen after nearly 30 years in the business, Emma is the deserving recipient of the 2018 Music Industry Trusts Award.”

The award will be presented on 5 November at a ceremony held in aid of the Brit Trust and Nordoff Robbins. Banks, the 27th winner, follows last year’s honouree Rob Stringer (Sony Music) and joins the ranks of previous recipients including Kylie Minogue, Sir Lucian Grainge, Ahmet Ertegun, Simon Cowell, Michael Eavis and Annie Lennox.

“I am overwhelmed at being honoured at the MITs this year,” says Banks. ” am rarely lost for words but when David Munns rang me to ask if I would accept the award I was honestly dumbfounded. The MITs’ roll of honour is packed with people that I admire and respect – I never expected to be added to that list, but will do my very best to be worthy of it.

“I am looking forward to a great night and to raising lots of money for the two fantastic charities that the event supports, Nordoff Robbins and the Brit Trust. See you there!”

 


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