Muse Honored At O2 Silver Clef Awards
U.K. rock act Muse's fearsome live reputation helped secure them the O2 Silver Clef Award in London today (July 2).
The award was presented to Muse by Roger Taylor and Brian May of Queen. Taylor described the Warner-signed trio as "probably the greatest live act in the world today," while May said that "this is a magnificent, incredible group."
Collecting the award, singer and guitarist Matt Bellamy said it was an "amazing privilege and honor" to win, and he told the influential Queen members "we owe you so much."
Muse also proved to be generous guests at the 35th anniversary of the Silver Clef Awards, successfully bidding tens of thousands during the auction in aid of the Nordoff Robbins music therapy charity.
Band members at their table at the Park Lane Hilton bid £7,000 ($10,600) for a Theo Fennell skull ring, £11,000 ($16,700) for 20-seat box at Wembley Stadium for Manchester Utd vs Chelsea next month, and £20,000 ($30,400) for a lithograph of a portrait of Keith Richards by fellow Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood.
Muse also donated what turned out to be the most expensive item in the auction, a signed custom-made Manson guitar. Bellamy conducted that part of the auction himself, describing how the guitar had only been used once when he rehearsed with U2's the Edge, who joined the band on stage during their June 26 headline slot at Glastonbury festival. It was sold for £33,000 ($50,100) - to their booking agent Geoff Meall, at the Agency Group in London.
He wasn't the only guest to generously donate money for items supplied by associated acts. Sony Music Entertainment U.K. chairman and CEO Ged Doherty paid £21,000 ($31,900) for a box at London's O2 Arena to see pop act JLS, which is signed to Sony's Epic label. JLS won the TAG newcomer award.
Two veteran artists received standing ovations: Tony Bennett and Dame Vera Lynn.
Bennett collected the Sony Ericsson lifetime achievement award following a video message from director Martin Scorsese, who described the 83-year-old singer as "incomparable."
"It's not what you get, it's what you give that makes your life a treasure," Bennett told the audience. He plays the iTunes Festival at London Roundhouse tonight (July 2).
At 93, Dame Vera Lynn makes Bennett look like a newcomer. The WWII "Forces' Sweetheart" became the oldest artist to score a No. 1 album, when her Decca-released greatest hits "We'll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn" hit the top of the U.K. chart in September last year.
Dame Vera collected the Investec icon award from '60s pop singer and TV presenter Cilla Black, and she happily joined in with an impromptu crowd singalong of "We'll Meet Again."
"It's lovely having this award 60 years on," said Dame Vera. "It was 60 years ago that I made that record."
Ronnie Wood presented the Hard Rock ambassador of rock award to Slash, who said it was a "big honor" to receive an award connected to the Nordoff Robbins charity. "I'm a big believer in the power that music has to heal, so this is really important," he said.
English tenor Russell Watson won the PPL classical award; pop-rock act Scouting For Girls won the Royal Albert Hall best British band award; and Kelis picked up the Raymond Weil international award.
Dizzee Rascal was unable to collect his American Express digital innovation award, but sent a video message. Sharon Osbourne, who hosted the ceremony, commented on the U.K. rapper's message: "I thought my old man [Ozzy Osbourne] was hard to understand, I couldn't understand one bloody word."
Auctioneer Nick Stewart's usual combination of bonhomie and playful mocking helped to raise £178,000 ($270,300) in an hour. The total money raised for the day, also including raffle tickets as well as the auction and other elements, was £410,000 ($622,500).
Previous winners of the Silver Clef Awards include David Bowie, Brian Wilson, Coldplay, Rod Stewart, Paul Weller and Sir Cliff Richard. The winners are decided by their organizers.