Sir Lucian Grainge honoured in Cannes as Media Person Of The Year

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Sir Lucian Grainge paid tribute to his late brother, Nigel Grainge, and discussed the changing nature of the music business during an acceptance speech for his Media Person of the Year Award 2017 at Cannes Lions yesterday.

The UMG chief is the first music executive to be honoured with the award, which was presented by Cannes Lions CEO Philip Thomas at the annual conference for the advertising industry in Cannes.

Launched in 1999, the honour is given to an individual who has shaped the future of media through leadership and innovation.

Philip said: “Sir Lucian is the first music executive to be honoured since this award was first introduced, which says much about the convergence of entertainment with marketing and advertising.

 “A champion of new business models and fresh approaches, Sir Lucian is widely credited for laying the foundation that has led to the music industry’s recent return to growth after nearly a decade of decline.”

philip thomas, cannes lions

 “A champion of new business models and fresh approaches, Sir Lucian is widely credited for laying the foundation that has led to the music industry’s recent return to growth after nearly a decade of decline. 

“He’s worked with global stars that include the likes of Elton John, Jay Z, Amy Winehouse, ABBA, The Rolling Stones and Queen and during his tenure at Universal Music Group he’s transformed the company into a world leader in music based entertainment.

“Sir Lucian has been described as the great hope for the music business, has been widely praised for his risk taking and innovation, forging partnerships with a wide range of technology and media platforms including Apple, Spotify and Amazon.”

You can read Grainges acceptance speech in full below.


Thank you very much for that, and thank you Philip, I am deeply honoured for this award and also that I am the first member of the music industry to be here. That means a great deal to me and all of us.

No talent scout, no artist, no band, no label, no CEO, no creative executive ever succeeds on their own, and today I’d like to humbly thank those who made it possible for me to stand before you, including obviously, all of our recording artists and our songwriters.  

My incredible team at Universal Music including all our label heads, our A&R team, our CEO’s and our broader Vivendi family, in particular Vincent Bolloré, whose support and belief for me and us and the entire team has enabled us to achieve the kind of success and what we are trying to achieve in the transformation of this business.

As a kid who started out as a talent scout, my job has since changed in many ways. While our labels seek out great new talent, today I scout for brands and digital platforms and new forms of technology as well as great people to collectively work on behalf of our artists.

Bearing that in mind I am very proud to report that at Universal we’re engaging a completely new generation of music lovers around the world on a scale that we’ve never seen.

Our business, our connectivity, all that we do has to be about the music, and the quality of the music and the creativity is what connects all of us. That is our key focus.

At Lions, I have been incredibly inspired by what I’ve seen and the people I’ve met, by the diverse talents, even the presentations and the awards that have been given so far this evening…fabulous.

Everyone’s innovation and enthusiasm…that excites me and I’m sure it excites all of us in terms of all the things we can do together, so I thank you for that.

On one last note, I hope you don’t mind. I lost someone in my family last week and this is a big award for me, my older brother Nigel, who was a great music executive, so I’d like to dedicate this award on my behalf to my brother.

Music Business Worldwide

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