Music Week Awards 2021 finalists revealed

Music Week Awards 2021 finalists revealed

It’s the news the industry has been waiting for! After receiving a record number of entries, we are delighted to reveal the category shortlists for the Music Week Awards 2021.

After our 2020 ceremony was cancelled due to the pandemic – though trophies were still handed out to the winners! – the Music Week Awards is set to return in style on September 14 at Battersea Evolution in London and will, of course, follow all the latest government advice and regulations to ensure a safe event.

The biggest and best night in the music industry calendar, the Music Week Awards 2021 will see everyone from the major and independent labels and publishers to streaming giants like TikTok, Spotify, Amazon, YouTube and Apple Music, plus the nation’s favourite broadcasters and radio stations, compete for glory.

A total of 26 trophies are up for grabs this year, including The Strat – the special Music Week Award in recognition of a pioneering exec, which has previously been won by Max Lousada, Darcus Beese and Sarah Stennett and many more legendary figures.

The nominations revealed today have set up some epic battles on the night.

Last year, the big news was a double win for Polydor Records with co-presidents Ben Mortimer and Tom March seeing the label retain its Record Company title and bag the A&R Award. The Universal label will be defending its crown in the Record Company category in a highly competitive field, with Atlantic, Black Butter, Columbia, Decca, EMI, Island, Ministry Of Sound, RCA and Warner Records all in the running.

The A&R category, meanwhile, will see them fend off challengers from Columbia, Island, Ministry Of Sound, Partisan, Transgressive, Universal Music Publishing Group, Virgin Music UK (formerly Caroline International), Warner Chappell Music UK and Warner Records.

BBC Radio 6 Music are also back to try and keep hold of Radio Station title, while EMI will see if they can once again secure the Promotions Team honour, with Atlantic, Columbia, Decca, Island, Listen Up, Plugged In PR, Polydor, RCA, Virgin Music UK, Warner Records and Your Army snapping at their heels.  

This year’s Publisher Of The Year list sees Sony Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group and Warner Chappell face off against Downtown Music UK and Kobalt Music Publishing. Last year’s inaugural winner of Independent Publisher Of The Year, Reservoir, is among the nominees once again, up against Concord, Sentric Music Group and more.

In recognition of the live industry hiatus caused by the pandemic, the 2021 Music Week Awards will not include Ticketing Company, Live Music Promoter, Live Music Agent and Festival Of The Year – all of which are slated to return in 2022. We are, however, marking the arrival of three brand new categories for 2021

Talent Agency Of The Year will recognise creative and commercial achievement over the course of last year and will see CAA, MBA Live, Primary Talent International, UTA and WME go head to head.

Due to the overwhelming response to the category, Music Week has decided to separate the previous, newly-announced Live Music Innovation Of The Year category into two to better reflect the scope and breadth of the entries. The new awards will be Live Music Innovation Of The Year (Platform) and Live Music Innovation Of The Year (Live event/series).

The Live Music Innovation Of The Year Platform Award will reflect the platforms and commercial innovations that have helped keep the live music sector running, from Driift and Dice, to LIVENow, Liverpool Sound City and more. The Live Music Innovation Of The Year Event/Series Award will reflect and celebrate the creative breakthroughs made in live event(s)/livestreams, with Tap Music, Defected Records, BBC Radio 1Xtra and more featuring on a star-studded shortlist.

The popular Grassroots Venue: Spirit Of The Scene award will be handed out in acknowledgement of the key community role many grassroots venues have played during the pandemic.

Confirmed sponsors for the Music Week Awards include association partners ERA and the Music Venue Trust, PPL (category sponsor) and social media sponsor MQA.

Tickets for this year's event are already selling fast – click here to make sure you don’t miss out on the best night out in the industry.

Click here to see last year’s winners.

The full list of finalists so far confirmed is below.

Accountancy Firm Of The Year


CC Young & Co

Gelfand Rennert And Feldman

Harris & Trotter LLP


MSE Business Management LLP

Thomas St John



Columbia Records

Island Records

Ministry Of Sound

Partisan Records

Polydor Records

Transgressive Records

Universal Music Publishing Group

Virgin Music UK (formerly Caroline International)

Warner Chappell Music UK

Warner Records


Artist Marketing Campaign 

AC/DC, Columbia Records

Michael Ball & Alfie Boe, Decca Records

Dua Lipa, Warner Records

Headie One, Relentless Records

Gorillaz, Parlophone

Joel Corry, Atlantic

Kylie Minogue, BMG

Little Mix, RCA

Rina Sawayama, Dirty Hit

Shygirl, Because Music

Yungblud, Polydor

Young T & Bugsey, Black Butter


Catalogue Marketing Campaign 

Bob Marley, UMC

Donna Summer, Demon Music Group

George Michael, Sony Music Commercial Group

Mariah Carey, Sony Music Commercial Group

Neil Diamond, EMI

Oasis, Big Brother/Ignition

Prince, Rhino

The Rolling Stones, Polydor Records

Shakin’ Stevens, BMG


Grassroots Venue: Spirit Of The Scene

Broadcast, Glasgow

Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Clapham Grand, London

The Globe, Newcastle

The Mill, Bradford

The Sugarmill, Stoke

Trinity Centre, Bristol

Windmill Brixton, London


Independent Publisher Of The Year

Concord Music Publishing



Sentric Music Group

Warp Publishing

Wise Music Group

Young Songs


Independent Record Company

Because Music

Chess Club Records

Dead Oceans

Defected Records

Dirty Hit

Earache Records

Modern Sky UK

Partisan Records

Stones Throw Records

Transgressive Records


Independent Retailer

Banquet Records, Kingston

Crash Records, Leeds

Drift, Totnes

Eel Pie Records, Twickenham

Resident Music, Brighton

Wax And Beans, Bury


Label/Artist Services Company

Absolute Label Services



Cooking Vinyl


Ingrooves Music Group

Integral UK

The Orchard

Virgin Music Label & Artist Services (formerly Caroline International)


Law Firm Of The Year

Hamlins LLP

Harbottle & Lewis LLP

Irwin Mitchell LLP

Reed Smith LLP

Simons Muirhead & Burton

Van Straten Solicitors


Live Music Innovation Of The Year (Event/Series) - Special Award For 2021

1Xtra Live 2020, BBC Radio 1Xtra

Back To Mine, Sony Music – 4th Floor Creative Group

Defected Virtual Festival, Defected Records

Independent Venue Love Series, Frank Turner/Xtra Mile Recordings

Notting Hill Carnival, Notting Hill Carnival

Homegrown, DHP Family

Prime Day Live, Amazon

Radio 2 Live At Home, BBC Radio 2

Tap Music livestreams (Dua Lipa, Ellie Goulding, Dermot Kennedy), Tap Music

The Legacy Series: Fashion x Music, YouTube Music

The Streets – None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Live Alive, Island Records/Mercury Studios/Magus Entertainment

United We Stream, Live Nation


Live Music Innovation Of The Year (Platform) - Special Award For 2021

Barclaycard Share The Stage





Liverpool Sound City

Music Glue


Manager Of The Year 

Moe Bah & Kilo Jalloh, 2K Management

Allison Main & Polly Bhowmik, A&P Artist Management

Peter Loraine, Fascination Management

Michael Adex, Northern Quarterz Limited

David Furnish & Rachael Paley, Rocket Entertainment

Jada Pollock, Starboy Entertainment

Amy Morgan, September Management

Ben Mawson & Ed Millett, Tap Music


Music & Brand Partnership

Ashnikko x Beats By Dre – Parlophone / WMX / Various Artist Management / Beats By Dre 

Koffee x H&M Holiday 2020 – Columbia Records UK / 4th Floor Creative / Levels

Leigh-Anne Pinnock/ASOS – RCA / 4th Floor Creative / Modest! Management

Lewis Capaldi x Samsung Galaxy S20 – Paradigm Agency / Universal Music / BMG / Samsung / Taylor Herring

Loyle Carner x Eric Cantona x FIFA 21 – Universal Music Globe / Spindle/ 160Over90 / EA Sports

Mabel x Kangol & H&M – Universal Music Globe / Metallic Management

Samm Henshaw x Samsung – BMG / Leland Music / Mother London / Kobalt / Warner Chappell / Jackie Davidson Management / AWAL

Take That x Compare The Market – YM&U Group / / IE Management / Compare The Market / Attachment London / VCCP / Exposure / Nordoff Robbins / Wavemaker


Music Consumer Innovation 

Amazon Music, x The 1975

Deezer, Country Selector

PIAS, Love Record Stores

Spotify, Notting Hill Carnival Sounds

TikTok, TikTok Music

Vampr Inc., Vampr


PR Campaign

Arlo Parks, All Stripes

Biffy Clyro, Warner Records UK (now APPR & MoKho PR)

Bring Me The Horizon, We Care A Lot PR

Dua Lipa, Satellite414

Gary Barlow, DawBell

Haim, Polydor

Hayley Williams, Atlantic Records

Headie One, Outside

KSI, Carver PR

Kylie Minogue, Murray Chalmers PR (MCPR)

Pa Salieu, August

Unknown T, Imran Malik Publicity


Promotions Team Of The Year

Atlantic Records

Columbia Records

Decca Records

EMI Records

Island Records

Listen Up

Plugged In PR

Polydor Records

RCA Records

Virgin Music UK (formerly Caroline International)

Warner Records

Your Army


Publisher Of The Year

Downtown Music UK

Kobalt Music Publishing

Sony Music Publishing

Universal Music Publishing Group

Warner Chappell Music


Radio Show

Capital Xtra Breakfast with Yinka and Shayna Marie, Capital Xtra

Capital Xtra - Homegrown with Robert Bruce, Capital Xtra

Clara Amfo, BBC Radio 1

Danny Howard, BBC Radio 1

Future Sounds With Annie Mac, BBC Radio 1

Introducing In Kent With Abbie McCarthy, BBC Radio Kent

Kerrang! Radio Breakfast Sophie K, Kerrang! Radio

Lauren Laverne, BBC Radio 6 Music

Steve Lamacq Show, BBC 6 Music

The Matt Wilkinson Show, Apple Music Radio

The Skin Show, Absolute Radio


Radio Station

Absolute Radio

BBC Radio 1

BBC Radio 2

BBC Radio 6 Music

Capital Xtra

Kerrang! Radio


Planet Rock


Record Company

Atlantic Records

Black Butter

Columbia Records

Decca Records

EMI Records

Island Records

Ministry Of Sound

Polydor Records

RCA Records

Warner Records


Sales Team

[Integral] UK

Lasgo Chrysalis Ltd

Proper Music Group

Republic Of Music

Sony Music UK

The Orchard

Virgin Music UK (formerly Caroline International)

Warner Music UK


Sync Of The Year

Celeste – A Little Love

Featured In: John Lewis Christmas Campaign

(Label: Polydor/Universal Music Globe / Publisher: Warner Chappell Music UK/Reservoir / Agency: Adam&Eve DDB / Music Supervisor: Leland Music)


Dreya Mac – Singin' In The Rain

Featured In: Burberry Festive

(Label: Dreya Mac / Twenty Below Music Ltd / Publisher: Sony Music Publishing / Agency: Burberry / Music Supervisor: Twenty Below Music)


Griff – Love Is A Compass

Featured In: Disney Christmas Advert 2020

(Label: Warner Music Group / Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group / Agency: Disney)


Kojey Radical – Time For A New Season

Featured In: Time For A New Season/BT Sport

(Label: Warner Music Group / Publisher: BMG / Agency: BT Sport / Music Supervisor: Pete Kelly)


Michael Kiwanuka – Light

Featured In: O2, You're Our Headline Act

(Label: Polydor/Universal Music Globe / Publisher: Kobalt Publishing/Warner Chappell Music UK / Agency: VCCP / Music Supervisor: Mr Pape)


Ray BLK – Warrior

Featured In: Rocks

(Label: Island/Universal Music Globe / Publisher: BMG / Director: Sarah Gavron / Music Supervisor: Thinksync)


Roots Manuva – Witness (1 Hope)

Featured In: Ikea, The Hare

(Label: Ninja Tune / Publisher: BMG / Agency: Mother / Music Supervisor: Theodore Music)


Ry X – Berlin

Featured In: Normal People

(Label: Magnus Bohman Holding AB under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd / Publisher: BMG / Agency: Silverstream)


Stevie Nicks – Edge Of Seventeen

Featured In: The Crown

(Label: Warner Records/ Publisher: Kobalt Music Publishing / Agency: Netflix / Music Supervisor: Sarah Bridge)


Stormzy – Rainfall

Featured In: Ubisoft Partnership - Watch Dogs: Legion, Official Music Video

(Label: Atlantic Records / Publisher: Warner Chappell Music UK / Agency: Ubisoft )


The Who – Baba O’Riley

Featured In: PlayStation The Edge

(Label: Universal / Publisher: Fabulous Music Ltd / Agency: Adam&Eve DDB / Music Supervisor: Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe)


Tom Odell – Another Love

Featured In: Marie Curie

(Label: Sony Music/Columbia / Publisher: Warner Chappell Music UK / Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi)


Sync Team Of The Year

Beggars Group Media


BT Sport Music

Kobalt Music Publishing

Sony Music Entertainment

Sony Music Publishing

Universal Music Publishing Group

Universal Music Records (Globe)

Warner Chappell Music UK

Warner Music UK


Talent Agency Of The Year – Special Award For 2021


MBA Live

Primary Talent International, an ICM Partners Company




The Strat

The Strat is bestowed upon a deserving winner by the Music Week team.


For table or seat bookings, please contact Kate Smith, customer relations manager:  


For information about sponsorship opportunities at the Music Week Awards 2021, please contact advertising manager Helen Hughes:

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