Universal Music UK’s Selina Webb and songwriter Carla Marie Williams awarded MBEs in New Year Honours list; Don Black, Paul Burger and more also recognized

Selina Webb (L) and Carla Marie Williams (R) are both awarded MBEs in the latest UK Honours list

The UK’s 2024 New Year Honours list has been announced – with several music industry figures recognized.

Selina Webb, EVP of Universal Music UK, has been awarded an MBE for services to the music industry, neurodiversity, and charity.

Webb has served Universal Music UK and/or its labels for 25 years.

She joined the company in 1998 as Director of Press at Polydor Records, having previously been Editor of UK trade paper Music Week.

Webb then stepped up in 2010 to become Senior Director of Communications for Universal Music UK, before being promoted again to EVP in 2016.

Working closely with Universal Music UK Chairman & CEO, David Joseph – to whom she reports – Webb has spearheaded a number of key initiatives at Universal focusing on issues including well-being and neurodiversity.

Alongside EMI Records co-President, Rebecca Allen, Webb headed up the program for the 2021 BRIT Awards, a ceremony that saw awards collected in person – and mid-pandemic – by stars including Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, Arlo Parks, and Haim.

In November 2022, Webb was presented with the Outstanding Contribution award at Music Week’s Women In Music event in London, where David Joseph said of her: “Selina is very much the company’s conscience… In our band, she’s the drummer, she sets the tone and rhythm of what we do.”

Sir Lucian Grainge, CEO and Chairman of Universal Music Group, called Webb “loyal, passionate, [and] thoughtful” in a video tribute at that event.

Elsewhere on the 2024 New Year Honours list, Carla Marie Williams – celebrated songwriter and founder/CEO of Girls I Rate – is awarded an MBE for services to music.

Williams has written or co-written songs including Beyoncé’s Freedom, Naughty Boy/Beyoncé’s Runnin, and Britney Spears’ Private Show.

She has also written for artists including Craig David, Kylie Minogue, and Sean Paul.

In 2016, Williams was nominated for two Grammy Awards for her work on Beyoncé’s Lemonade album.

Girls I Rate, founded by Williams in 2016, says it “pushes for change and creates opportunities for young women in the music and entertainment industry”.

Another songwriter recognized in the latest UK New Year Honours is Don Black – the famed lyricist behind tracks recorded by the likes of Matt Monro, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Meat Loaf and many more.

A collaborator of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Black is perhaps best known for the lyrics he penned for several of John Barry’s classic James Bond theme songs – including Diamonds Are Forever, Thunderball, and The Man With The Golden Gun.

Black is awarded a CBE in the latest New Year’s Honours, having already been awarded with an OBE.

Speaking of Bond themes… the singer behind Diamonds Are Forever (and many other classic hits), Dame Shirley Bassey, has been made a Companion Of Honour in the latest Honours list.

Other music industry figures honored today (December 30) include singer/songwriter Leona Lewis (OBE), Glastonbury festival founder Michael Eavis (knighthood), Jazz Re:freshed CEO Yvette Griffith (OBE), and Global Radio founder and President, Ashley Tabor-King (CBE).

Meanwhile, Paul Burger – founder of Soho Artists and former President of Sony Music EMEA – is awarded an OBE for services to the Music Industry and to Charity.

Across more than 40 years in the music business, Burger has also been a Director of The BRIT Trust, The Music Managers Forum, and The BPI.

He recently stood down from his role as a Non-Exec Director at UK-listed Hipgnosis Songs Fund.Music Business Worldwide