Annie Lennox was honored with the 22nd Annual Music Industry Trusts Award at an event last night.
Annie received the award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to British music and tireless charity work at a gala dinner on November 4.
David Munns OBE, chairman of the MITS Award committee, said: "This is very much an award from the wider British music business to honour Annie Lennox’s unique contributions to our industry. Every year – and this is our 22nd year – the British music industry comes together to honour and salute one person’s special contribution.
“This year the MITS Award is being presented to Annie in recognition of her universally acclaimed status as an artist, songwriter, HIV/Aids activist and social activist who indefatigably supports and raises awareness for HIV charities in Africa, and champions humanitarian causes. One of Britain’s most successful songwriters, the recipient of eight BRIT Awards, four Ivor Awards and four Grammys and the most successful female British artist in UK music history with over 80 million records sold worldwide: Annie Lennox we salute and celebrate you.”
Lennox said of the honour: “I’m incredibly touched and honoured to be considered as a recipient of the 22nd Music Industry Trusts Award. Music has given me a lifetime of experiences and opportunities that I never would have dreamed possible, and I feel very privileged to have been able to become an artist and communicator, especially as a woman.”
The many tributes to Annie Lennox told their own story, a person that has clearly touched and inspired countless people, both with her music and her charity work. Here are some extracts from the tributes paid to Annie Lennox:
Adele: “Annie Lennox has been a constant part of my life. An example of a brilliant talent that exudes excellence and influence on everyone. So many of her songs have been the soundtrack to my life.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “She is one of those exemplary human beings who chose to put her success in her chosen career to work in order to benefit others . She is a true friend of Africa and of South Africa. Her AIDs activism in general, and support for the treatment action campaign in-particular, contributed significantly to turning the pandemic around in our country.”
Sir Elton John “Congratulations on receiving the 22nd MITS Award, it is so well deserved and not only for your extraordinary contribution to music and songwriting but also for your outstanding and tireless work as an HIV and AIDS activist and supporter of woman’s rights.”
Stephen Fry: “She shines, that’s what she does, she has her lustre and gleam. As a humanitarian, Annie stands alone.”
Ruby Wax: “She is the Joan of Arc of the 21st Century and one of the only people who puts her money where her mouth is.”
Chrissie Hynde: " The world is a better place when you sing."
Lennox’ music career began in 1971, at the age of 17, when she left her native Scotland to take up a place at the Royal Academy of Music in London. From a chance encounter with Dave Stewart in the early seventies, the pair went on to form The Tourists, who ultimately achieved significant success in the UK, Europe and Australia. It was not until the break up of the band in ’79 however, that they decided to form a duo, calling themselves Eurythmics. They released their first album, In the Garden, in 1981, but it was not until the worldwide success of their second album, Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) in 1983, that Eurythmics became the musical phenomenon we know today. Eurythmics went on to sell over 75 million albums, and achieved over 20 hits across the world.
In 1990, Lennox released her debut solo album entitled Diva. Entering the charts at No.1 in the UK, the album sold around six million copies worldwide (including two and a half million in the USA). Diva included the Top 10 singles Why, Walking On Broken Glass and Little Bird. The massive global success of Diva launched Lennox as a major solo artist.
The Music Industry Trusts Award, now in its 22nd year, has raised over £4.3 million for Nordoff Robbins and the BRIT Trust. It has earned its place in the entertainment industry due to the great names that have held this honour: Sir George Martin, Ahmet Ertegun, Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Lucian Grainge CBE, John Barry OBE, Sir Michael Parkinson CBE, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue OBE, Sir Harvey Goldsmith, Jools Holland OBE and Gary Barlow OBE.
The Award was founded to recognise outstanding achievement in the UK music industry as well as to benefit the charitable work of Nordoff Robbins and the BRIT Trust.
The Award is unique because it recognises the contribution that an individual has made to the industry across a range of activities: record producer, film music composer, broadcaster, artist, music executive, songwriter and concert impresario. The Award evening has become renowned for its magic moments, with unique live performances that have a special resonance for the recipient.