Simon Cowell will collect the prestigious A&R Icon prize at the A&R Awards in LondonThe UK-focused event, presented by Music Business Worldwide in association with Abbey Road Studios.The A&R Icon award, recognizes an individual who is considered a legend of music business A&R – and someone 'whose professional feats will influence generations to come'.There can be no doubt that Cowell more than fits the bill.
Acts associated with the London-born exec and/or his company, Syco, have sold more than 500 million records worldwide during his career to date. They include everyone from One Direction to Fifth Harmony, Leona Lewis, Little Mix, Il Divo, Camila Cabello, Labrinth, James Arthur and Susan Boyle. The father of record-breaking TV formats such as X Factor and Got Talent, Cowell began his music industry career in the A&R department of EMI Music Publishing in the 1980s, before joining BMG. There, he broke one of Britain's biggest-selling artists of the 1990s, Robson & Jerome, who were stars of UK TV drama series Soldier Soldier. It wouldn't be the last time that Cowell would masterfully combine the power of television with pop music. Cowell broke boyband Five at RCA, then, via his own label at BMG, S Records, broke Westlife – who sold more than 50m records. He then created Syco Entertainment as part of a new deal with Sony Music in 2004.His story from that point on is very much public property.
Cowell fronted Pop Idol in the UK, then American Idol for eight years – which produced the likes of Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. He also created Syco's own TV properties in X Factor and Got Talent, which have since launched more global superstars than any other talent shows in history.
Artists discovered by X Factor have racked up more than 250 No.1s, and 450 Top 10 records.
Cowell's A&R influence doesn't just touch Anglo-American repertoire, either: in 2015, he teamed up with Univision to create TV show La Banda. The winning group, CNCO, is now the biggest Latin boyband in the world.
Those offering Cowell applause and commendation for his A&R Icon award say it all.
Rob Stringer, CEO, Sony Music Entertainment: “Simon is so omnipresent in pop culture over the past 20 years that it is sometimes overlooked that he is originally and primarily a truly great A&R executive. His track record is up there with the best A&R people of all time if you look at the number of hits he has produced, so I am thrilled he is getting deserved recognition with this particular award.”
Camila Cabello: “Simon knows what makes something connect to another person. He knows if you sing songs that have nothing to do with you or your artistry, people can tell. The most important thing to him is that the music and the artist connect and it all makes sense.
"He knows it’s not just about the song, it’s about the person and their story. He’s been a really great mentor for me over the years and has seen me grow up. That’s the most important thing I’ve learnt from him; the authenticity of your artistry is what will make you connect with your fans.”
Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group: “I tried to bring Simon over to UMG on multiple occasions, and each time he left me waiting at the altar! A brilliant record maker with phenomenal instincts for crossover hits, I’m thrilled to see him being recognized for his incredible A&R talent."
Legendary songwriter Diane Warren: “Congratulations my friend! Your career as a music man is amazing. I still remember that early hit I had at your house. Unfortunately, it was a car I hit. Now let’s have some more hits – but maybe not that kind!”
Max Lousada, CEO, Global Recorded Music, Warner Music Group: "Simon is a pioneer of the idea that talent can come from anywhere, that music can go global from day one. His journey has been all about the joy of discovery, shared in real time with huge audiences of fans.
"This award gets to the true heart of his success – he’s a brilliant A&R who understands the ingredients of stardom, the importance of great songs, and the power of image. Congratulations, Simon, on this much-deserved honor."
Read on to see what the likes of Sylvia Rhone, Jason Iley, Carrie Underwood, Richard Griffiths, Louis Tomlinson, Larry Rudolph, James Arthur, Doug Morris, Steve Mac, Susan Boyle, Sir Howard Stringer and Leona Lewis have to say..
Source Coutesy: Music Business Worldwide.
Those of you who have been around from the 1960's through the 1990's will remember the vibrant live music scene in almost every starred hotel in India. Those were the days when you walked into a nightclub like 'Rendezvous' at The Taj Mahal hotel and 'Supper Club' at the Oberoi Sheraton in Mumbai to see curtains going up on a band that was the prime focus of these outlets. Every seat in these restaurants allowed an unobstructed view of the band that performed every night on resident contracts. Today all this has disappeared thanks to some ridiculously high entertainment taxes on live music. Today, non off these hotels have complete bands playing save for a few that feature small duos or solo singers. The Lodhi in New Delhi, recently listed among the world's best hotels, decided to step in and rewind to the good old days. They got Goa's premier jazz quartet 'Jazz Junction' to move to Delhi on a resident contract and the decision has paid off in terms of footfalls generated by the band. Jazz Junction featuring singer Daniella Rodrigues, pianist Tony Dias,
bassist Colin D'Cruz and drummer Angelo Colasco began playing at The Lodhi in June 2018. Four months into the contract the band generated a sizeable following, with quite a few high profile guests choosing to celebrate their special occasion at the Elan bar where the band performs. Against all odds the rewind option proved to be a huge success and hopefully other properties around the country takes the cue to trigger a whole new revival of live music.