Revealed: The finalists for The A&R Awards In Association with Abbey Road Studios

There are less than two months until The A&R Awards in association with Abbey Road Studios comes to London on the evening of Wednesday, November 2 – and today we can reveal the finalists.

A talented mix of independent and major professionals across labels, management and publishing have made the cut for the UK-focused awards, which take place at The Sheraton Grand Park Lane Hotel.

The ceremony will be divided into three category groups, all of which will be judged on a combination of commercial, critical and creative achievement.


First comes the ‘Breaking’ and ‘Breakthrough’ artist awards, dedicated to acts and the A&R team around them (including label, management and publishing).

  • The ‘Breaking’ Award will recognise fresh artist projects (either first album or pre-first album) who show real promise for a sustainable future career.
  • The ‘Breakthrough’ Award will recognise those artists who have already hit UK Gold or Platinum sales with their first or second album (or Platinum sales with a single), and now look ready to conquer the world.

There are also Songwriter Of The Year and Producer Of The Year prizes, recognising the most exciting UK talent over the past 12 months.


Next up, it’s the individual A&R Awards.

These will recognise creative industry executives or executive duos who have worked on multiple projects across the past year at labels, publishers and beyond.

They are segmented by genre, which requires a little further explanation: the nominees and winners of each category have done great things within these genres over the past year, but are certainly not defined by them.

That’s why it is possible for an exec to receive nominations in more than one of the four genre categories: Dance/Electronic, Hip-Hop/Grime, Rock/Alternative and Pop/R&B.

In addition, an A&R Administrator Award will be collected by an individual without whom, a label simply couldn’t operate.


Finally, the team awards.

These will include two Publisher Of The Year gongs (for UK pubs above and below a certain size threshold), Major Label Of The Year, Independent Label Of The Year and Management Company of The Year.

All categories will be voted on by a select cast of music business experts in the coming weeks.

Three special prizes will also be given out on the night:

  • The A&R Loyalty Award: Recognising an individual whose A&R input and loyalty has never waned throughout a successful artist’s career;
  • The A&R Icon Award: Recognising an individual whose momentous professional feats continue to inspire the UK A&R community;
  • The Sir George Martin Award: Recognising an individual with a proven track record of truly artist-friendly A&R – combined with commercial success – who continues to sign contemporary hitmakers today.

Platinum tables for The A&R Awards have now sold out, but Gold and Standard tables are still available to book.

All information about The A&R Awards can be found over on the official website.

We have some exciting sponsors to announce in the coming fortnight, with just a couple of packages still up for grabs.

Please email Diane@TheAandRAwards.com for more details.

And the finalists are…


The Breaking Artist Award (label in brackets)

  • Anne-Marie (Atlantic Records)
  • Blossoms (Virgin EMI)
  • Dua Lipa (Warner Bros)
  • Gavin James (Good Soldier)
  • JONES (37 Adventures)
  • JP Cooper (Island)
  • Lapsley (XL)
  • NAO (RCA)
  • Stormzy (independent)
  • Walking On Cars (Virgin EMI)

The Breakthrough Artist Award (label in brackets)

  • Catfish & The Bottlemen (Island)
  • Jess Glynne (Atlantic)
  • Laura Mvula (RCA)
  • Michael Kiwanuka (Polydor)
  • The 1975 (Dirty Hit/Polydor)
  • The Shires (Decca)
  • Sigala (Ministry Of Sound)
  • Snakehips (Columbia)
  • Tom Odell (Columbia)
  • Years & Years (Polydor)

Producer Of The Year

  • Levi Lennox
  • MNEK
  • Mike Crossey
  • Mark Ralph
  • Paul Epworth

Songwriter Of The Year

  • Camille Purcell
  • Cass Lowe
  • Nick Gale (aka Digital Farm Animals)
  • Levi Lennox
  • Jonny Coffer

A&R Administrator

  • Ashley Forbes – Virgin EMI
  • Karen Lynch – Island
  • Nicola Doherty – Parlophone
  • Sarah Vaughan – Sony Music UK
  • Paul Mitchell – Sony Music UK

A&R Of The Year: Electronic/Dance

  • Daniel Miller – Mute
  • David Dollimore & Dipesh Parmar – Ministry Of Sound
  • Elias Christidis  – FFRR Records
  • Jason Ellis – Positiva
  • Mike Pickering & Julian Palmer – Columbia Records
  • Simon Dunmore – Defected

A&R Of The Year – Hip-Hop/Grime

  • Amber Davis – Warner/Chappell
  • Buck & Trent (and Giggs) – SN1 Records
  • Caroline SM – XL Recordings
  • DJ Semtex – Sony Music
  • Richard Thomas (and Kano) – Bigger Picture Music
  • Twin B – Atlantic Records
  • Veronna James & Kane Mousah – Bugzy Malone
  • Zeon Richards – Polydor/Renowned

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

  • Anya Jones & Guy Langley – Syco Music
  • Ben Mortimer – Polydor
  • Briony Turner – Atlantic
  • Daniel Lloyd Jones – Sony/ATV
  • Danny D & Tim Blacksmith – Stellar Songs
  • Hiten Bharadia – Phrased Differently

A&R Of The Year: Rock/Alternative

  • Ben Mortimer – Polydor
  • Christian Tattersfield & Alex Gilbert – Good Soldier
  • Korda Marshall & Thomas Haimovici – BMG
  • Nick Burgess – Virgin/EMI
  • Jamie Oborne – Dirty Hit
  • Tim Dellow & Toby L – Transgressive

Management Company

  • First Access Entertainment
  • JEM Artists
  • Machine Management
  • Raw Power Management
  • September Management
  • Three Six Zero Group
  • Tileyard Music

Publisher Of The Year

  • BMG
  • Kobalt
  • Sony/ATV
  • UMPG
  • Warner/Chappell

Publisher Of The Year

  • Bucks Music
  • Downtown Music Publishing
  • Spirit B-Unique
  • Good Soldier Songs
  • Imagem Music UK
  • Stellar Songs

Major Label Of The Year

  • Atlantic
  • Black Butter
  • Columbia
  • Island
  • Parlophone
  • Polydor
  • Virgin EMI

Independent Label Of The Year

  • Because Music
  • Bella Union
  • Boy Better Know
  • Cooking Vinyl
  • Dirty Hit
  • Transgressive
  • XL Recordings

Music Business Worldwide

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