Introducing… The A&R Awards 2016

People don’t get into A&R for an easy life.

The likelihood of success when investing in artists is infamously slim. The risk? Often huge.

Yet the A&R process continues to fuel music culture, while defining record labels, publishers and management companies alike.

Without it, artists would never reach their potential; fans would miss out on the records that change their lives.


The A&R Awards 2016 (TheAandRawards.com) is an all-new event taking place at London’s Park Lane Hotel on Wednesday, November 2.

Judged by a panel of respected industry experts, the UK-focused ceremony will recognise A&R achievements across individual, team and project categories.

These awards will celebrate the best in UK artist development at record labels, music publishers and management companies – and properly represent both the independent and major sectors of the market.

Music Business Worldwide is proud to be the official media partner of The A&R Awards, with an ambition to launch a US-based sister ceremony in 2017.


Individual A&Rs and executive pairings will be recognised for their accomplishments across a variety of genres including Pop/R&B, Hip-hop/Grime, Electronic/Dance and Rock/Alternative.

Team awards will include Label of the Year and Independent Label of the Year.

Plus, there’s a pair of Publisher Of The Year gongs and a Management Company of the Year prize.

David Joseph crop
“I couldn’t be more welcoming of an awards event that puts A&R front and centre.”

David Joseph, Universal Music UK

Special moments will include The Artist Loyalty Award – a celebration of a single A&R professional who has stuck by the side of an act through thick and thin.

Then there’s the big one: our first A&R Icon award – bowing down to an industry individual who has changed the game for the global music business, and whose influence continues to reverberate.

In addition, two special ‘Breaking’ awards have been created for new artist projects – one for blockbuster acts, and another for those who are bubbling under.

[Check out all the categories through here.]


It’s not just us who are excited about the big night.

David Joseph, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music UK, said: “I couldn’t be more welcoming of an awards event which puts A&R front and centre.”

Jason Iley, Chairman and CEO of Sony Music UK, commented: “A&R is the nucleus of everything great about the music business. It’s exciting to see it recognised and celebrated in this way.”

Jason Iley
“A&R is the nucleus of everything great about the music business. It’s exciting to see it recognised in this way.”

Jason Iley, Sony Music UK

Max Lousada, Chairman and CEO of Warner Music UK, said: “A&R is the lifeblood of our industry. Finding exciting new talent and helping them develop takes passion, determination and skill and it’s great to have the opportunity to recognise the amazing work of some of the people behind the artists and the music.”

Alexi Cory-Smith, EVP at BMG UK, commented: “In a market in which traditional A&R skills are having to evolve as never before, this event is a great opportunity to celebrate innovation, excellence and success.”

Austin Daboh, Music Manager at BBC Radio 1Xtra added: “From underground street sounds to high-end pop, A&R plays a crucial role in the discovery and development of talent across the music industry. I welcome any award that shines a spotlight on those that often work in the shadows.”

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 14.41.22
“A&R is the lifeblood of our industry… It’s great to have the opportunity to recognise the amazing work of some of the people behind the artists and the music.”

Max Lousada, Warner Music UK

Lohan Presencer, CEO of Ministry of Sound, said: “Real A&R, not cheque book-led ambulance chasing, is increasingly scarce in the music industry. Executives who have an ability to spot talent and help artists shape their musical output as well as their identities should be celebrated. The A&R Awards are a fantastic idea.”

And Sef Naqui, MD of London Boy Entertainment, commented: “The A&R Awards is a brilliant idea. Finally, there’s an awards ceremony that recognises some of the people behind the magic.”


Shortlists will be announced in the coming weeks, selected by Music Business Worldwide’s global network of esteemed industry allies. And then, the judging process will begin…

All information about The A&R Awards 2016 – including how to buy tickets – is available over on our official website: TheAandRawards.com

We have some fantastic sponsors yet to announce, but options are still available for those interested – please email [email protected] for more information.


The A&R Awards 2016: Full list of categories


The Breaking Artist Award

Recognising a mixture of creative, critical and commercial achievement, this award will be dedicated to those new A&R projects which may not have hit Gold or Platinum sales status, but which show real promise for a sustainable future career. This award will be won by the entire team around an A&R project – including, where appropriate, the artist, record label, publisher/s and management company.

The Breakthrough Artist Award

Recognising a mixture of creative, critical and commercial achievement, this award will be dedicated to first or second album campaigns which have surpassed Gold or Platinum UK sales status, and show real promise for the future. This award will be won by the entire team around an A&R project – including, where appropriate, the artist, record label, publisher/s and management company.


Producer Of The Year

Voted on by a wide range of A&R professionals in various disciplines, this award will mark out the true ‘A&Rs’ producer’ of the past 12 months.

Songwriter Of The Year

Voted on by a wide range of A&R professionals in various disciplines, this award will mark out the true ‘A&Rs’ songwriter’ of the past year.

A&R Administrator

A&R magic doesn’t just happen, you know. Many record labels and music publishers often have someone specifically tasked with making sure that recording studios are booked, talent is where they’re supposed to be and budgets don’t go haywire. This award is for them.

A&R Of The Year: Electronic/Dance

Recognising an A&R individual or double-act at a label, publisher or management company, this award will be judged on the development and/or signing of two songwriters / artists over the past 12 months that have gone on to enjoy noteworthy success in the genre.

A&R Of The Year: Hip-hop/Grime

Recognising an A&R individual or double-act at a label, publisher or management company, this award will be judged on the development and/or signing of at least one songwriter / artist over the past 12 months that has gone on to enjoy noteworthy success in the genre.

A&R Of The Year: Pop/R&B

Recognising an A&R individual or double-act at a label, publisher or management company, this award will be judged on the development and/or signing of two songwriters / artists over the past 12 months that have gone on to enjoy noteworthy success in the genre.

A&R Of The Year: Rock/Alternative

Recognising an A&R individual or double-act at a label, publisher or management company, this award will be judged on the development and/or signing of two songwriters / artists over the past 12 months that have gone on to enjoy noteworthy success in the genre.


Publisher Of The Year

Recognising the best music publisher involved in active A&R across two specific projects over the past 12 months – judged on critical, commercial and creative success. This award is exclusively for companies who are in direct control of less than 250k copyrights worldwide.

Publisher Of The Year

Recognising the best music publishing team involved in active A&R across three specific projects over the past 12 months – judged on critical, commercial and creative success. This award is exclusively for companies who are in direct control of more than 250k copyrights worldwide.

Management Company

Recognising the best management company involved in active artist A&R across two specific projects over the past 12 months – judged on critical, commercial and creative success. Those shortlisted will be expected to have played a role in the development of recordings.

Independent Label Of The Year

Recognising the best independent record label involved in active artist A&R across two specific album and/or EP projects over the past year. Judged on critical, commercial and creative success, the award will be voted for by an experienced and specialist panel.

Major Label Of The Year

Recognising the best major record company involved in active artist A&R across three specific album and/or EP projects over the past year. Judged on critical, commercial and creative success, the award will be voted for by an experienced and specialist panel.


The Artist Loyalty Award

A special moment: a celebration of an individual whose A&R input and loyalty has never waned throughout a successful artist’s career.

A&R Icon

A bit of hush for this one, please. Recognising a legend of music business A&R, whose professional feats have influenced generations to come.Music Business Worldwide

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