Jamal Edwards has been announced as the first person to posthumously receive the Music Industry Trusts (MITS) award in recognition of his contribution to the industry. The entrepreneur shot to fame after founding music platform SBTV in 2006, and has been credited with helping launch a string of British musical acts to stardom, including Ed Sheeran, Dave and Jessie J.
He died on February 20 of a heart attack at the age of 31. The award will be presented to Edwards’ family on Monday November 7 at a gala ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
Her mother Brenda, singer and daytime TV panelist Loose Women, said: ‘It is very humbling for the family to accept this award on behalf of our beloved Jamal and we are delighted that MITS is putting highlight Jamal Edwards’ belief in himself. Trust alongside the Brit Trust and Nordoff Robbins. We know Jamal will be looking down on us on November 7 – bursting with pride that his absolute love of the music industry and giving back to the less fortunate in society has been so recognized. Thank you MITS!”
Previous winners include Annie Lennox, Kylie Minogue, Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun and Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis. Money raised from the event will go to the Brit Trust, Nordoff Robbins and The Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust, a charity set up by his family in 2022 to honor his memory and continue his work.
Ed Sheeran said: “Jamal changed my life. He was also such a big part of defining the trajectory of my career, but I wouldn’t be where I am now without him. Jamal’s sharp knowledge, unwavering optimism and willingness to help others no matter the cost has meant he has changed the lives and careers of so many people, not just people in music, and no one deserves an MITS award recognizing their place in this industry anymore.
Toby Leighton-Pope, Co-Chair of the MITS Award Committee, said: “Jamal Edwards has changed the face of the music industry in 31 years, his accomplishments could be on par with someone 60 in the industry. his influence on the music scene as it is today can never be underestimated, just look at some of the biggest artists, tours and hits in the UK today, and Jamal will have played a role in one way or another.
Co-Chair Dan Chalmers added, “Jamal Edwards was a visionary. He saw a brilliantly creative way to promote new music on a platform and he did it. When he founded SBTV over 15 years ago, he was ahead of his time and opened the doors of the industry to talented artists who deserved to be seen.
Jamal was also an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, a charity run by the Prince of Wales, and in 2014 he was awarded an MBE for his services to music.
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