BBC Radio 1's Annie Mac saluted the "sea change" taking place within the electronic music industry as she picked up the Music Champion gong at the Music Week Women In Music Awards.
Earlier this year, Mac announced the launch of the Equalising Music Pledge, a movement to push for greater gender balance in the music business.
The superstar DJ and broadcaster, who starred on the cover of Music Week in the spring to mark the launch of her AMP London conference, was presented with the honour by the BBC's pop controller (and 2019 Roll Of Honour inductee) Lorna Clarke at this month's sold-out event.
. @AnnieMac is Music Champion! “I’m forever thankful to have an amazing team of females behind me” #MWWIMpic.twitter.com/DiqJjSBfDi— Music Week (@MusicWeek) November 8, 2019
“I first met this amazing talent many decades ago, before she trail-blazed her way onto the national Radio 1 schedule," said Clarke. "As a key BBC broadcaster, she’s so impressive. Back then, as now, what marked her out as completely unique was her absolute passion for music and the music makers.
"She’s a global force in music, her career spans radio, TV and she’s even created her own festivals. She’s headlined as a DJ everywhere from at Glastonbury and Coachella, refusing to let any glass ceilings stop her. Without Annie Mac, there would be fewer music fans in the world, period."
Read Mac's acceptance speech in full below.
I am forever thankful to have an amazing team of females that work behind me
"This is like the third award I've won. The first award I won was the best female at the Drum & Bass Awards back in 2007, if I remember rightly, which would have been an accolade if it wasn't for the fact that there were about three professional working female DJs in drum & bass at the time. Things have changed a lot since I've been doing what I've been doing and that's DJing and radio.
"There was a really weird moment, a very kind of gentle moment a few years ago, where I realised that things were changing, and it was very stupid of me in retrospect. I was DJing in Southampton with a girl called Shanti Celeste. She was on before me and she just like took her scrunchie out of her hair, did her hair and then put her scrunchie back in and I remember just watching her thinking I've never seen anyone do that before when I've been DJing with them and it's because I just don't DJ with women, or didn't used to, and I remember thinking that was a very nice thing.
"Since then it feels like there's a kind of sea change in electronic music especially, I've just finished booking my festival in Malta for 2020 and it's 50-50 gender split, not because of like, 'Get another woman in there' but because there is a real rich pool of talent to choose from. Most of the talent at the moment is on the bottom tiers and you'll see that a lot in festival lineups. I am obsessed with looking at festival lineups and gender splits, but it's always kind of towards the bottom. So I feel like there's work to be done pushing those women up in terms of supporting them and giving them the space they need to evolve as artists and the confidence, and to have the right team behind them."
She added: "I am forever thankful to have an amazing team of females that work behind me and again, it's not like I'm deliberately employing females. I could say it was, but genuinely I just gravitate towards these women because they're amazing to work with. My manager, my agent, the whole team at AMP are female, and my producer at radio is female and they're all brilliant and I would like to dedicate this award to them and thank you all for having me today."
Mac featured in the Women In Music special issue of Music Week, subscribers can read the interview here. Read Mac’s cover story here. To subscribe to Music Week and never miss a music biz story, click here.