Peter Leathem, YolanDa Brown, Geoff Taylor and Robin Millar named in UK New Year’s Honours List

L-R: Peter Leathem, YolanDa Brown, Geoff Taylor

A range of influential UK music industry figures have been named in the 2023 New Year’s Honours List – the first to ever be issued by King Charles III.

Peter Leathem, CEO of PPL and a 20-year veteran of the organisation, is granted an OBE for services to the music industry.

Said Leathem: “To be awarded an OBE for services to music is an enormous honour. I am so proud to lead PPL, which plays such an important role for the 165,000 performers and recording rights-holders that we pay each year, as well as supporting talent development, artist welfare and music education via the funding of many organisations and initiatives. Music brings so much to the UK culturally and economically, with the UK punching above its weight on the world stage.

“However, I am acutely conscious that for many of our incredibly talented performers it can be a tough existence. So I am delighted that PPL is able to provide the support that it does, and I have been very pleased to be able to support charities that also do great work, such as BAPAM (the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine), the healthcare charity for performers, actors and dancers, of which I am the chair.”

Another UK music industry institution, the BPI – the trade body which represents major and independent record companies – sees two of its senior figures recognised in the list.

Geoff Taylor, the outgoing CEO of the BPI, who’s led the org for the past 15 years – as well as heading up the BRIT Awards and Mercury Prize – is honoured with an MBE for services to music.

And YolanDa Brown, a broadcaster, musician and educator – who was recently named as the new Chair of the BPI – is awarded an OBE for services to music, music education and to broadcasting.

Said Taylor: “Music has been my life, so to be recognised for services to music means a great deal to me. It’s an award really to the whole BPI team, who work every day to protect and value music. I’m looking forward to announcing next steps soon and to continuing to play a role in this fascinating business.”

Said Brown: “I am really honoured to receive this award. My career continues to be eclectic and doesn’t fit in a box, so I am grateful to everyone who continues to walk with me as a musician, broadcaster or campaigner for children and their access to music education. I dedicate this honour to my Grandma, who passed away recently and taught me faith, belief, and resilience, and also to my daughters as they fill the world with love on their journey.”

Elsewhere on the honours list, Robin Millar – founder and group chair of Blue Raincoat Chrysalis Group – is knighted for services to music, people with disabilities, young people and charity, and so becomes Sir Robin Millar.

As a producer and musician, Millar has worked with artists including Sade, Randy Crawford, Everything But The Girl, Fine Young Cannibals, Big Country, Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, Sting, The Grateful Dead and many others.

Also knighted today, this time for services to music and charity: Queen songwriter and performer Brian May (now Sir Brian May).

Meanwhile, DJ Spoony (aka Jonathan Joseph) is awarded a British Empire Medal, for services to charities through music during Covid-19.

Oscar-nominated composer George Fenton is awarded a CBE for services to music, and Janet Kay, performer of 1979 track Silly Games, is awarded an MBE.Music Business Worldwide