Veteran artists honored at Mojo inaugural ceremony.
James Brown collected a lifetime achievement award at the inaugural Mojo Honours List awards ceremony in London today.
R&B pioneer Brown was part of a stellar guest list at the ceremony, held in the Whitehall Palace Banqueting House and organized by leading U.K. music monthly magazine Mojo.
Mojo editor Phil Alexander tells Billboard.biz that the ceremony is intended to be an annual event celebrating acts which have shown "longevity and quality," in contrast to other awards shows which celebrate new talent.
"In the U.K. in particular," says Alexander, there's a tendency to neglect acts whose career is not 'right here, right now.' In America, if you're an artist with a career that's lasted longer than 10 years, you're a veteran; in the U.K., you're a has-been."
An invited audience of industry executives, media and artists saw Kinks leader Ray Davies collect the Songwriter award. In his speech, Davies paid tribute to his fellow nominees in the category, particularly Paul McCartney. "If he'd been there with his co-writer," said Davies, "I wouldn't have stood a chance."
Led Zeppelin founder Jimmy Page picked up the Mojo Maestro award for his guitar-playing. Page was also on hand to collect the Mojo Vision award for the best music DVD package of the past 12 months, "Led Zeppelin" (WMI).
Geoff Travis, the founder of ground-breaking U.K. independent label Rough Trade, received the event's key industry award, the Mojo Medal. The award citation says it recognized "an unsung industry hero whose quiet contributions have changed the face of music as we know it."
U.K. indie label group Sanctuary's "Muzik City: The Trojan Records Story" was named catalog release of the year.
All the award-winning artists attended the event and collected their honors in person. They included: the Red Hot Chili Peppers (Mojo Maverick Award); Love founder Arthur Lee (Mojo Hall of Fame); Byrds founder Roger McGuinn (Hero Award); New York new wave pioneers Television (Classic Album, for its 1977 Elektra debut "Marquee Moon"); former Smiths vocalist Morrissey (Mojo Icon Award); and rock'n'roll instrumentalists the Shadows (Mojo Special Award).
Sting received the Mojo Mondial award, which recognizes "a body of work whose impact transcends borders and genres," according to Mojo.
Guitarist Mick Jones of the Clash collected the Mojo Inspiration award on behalf of his former band. He dedicated it to past colleagues, notably "the late great Joe [Strummer]." Veteran U.S. music photographer Bob Gruen, for whom the Clash were a regular subject, picked up the Mojo Image award as a photographer "whose work has captured and defined the very essence of rock'n'roll."
The various awards are decided either by public votes or input from Mojo staffers, an industry panel, and representatives of retailer HMV. The music merchant is one of the event's sponsors.
Alexander says that Mojo has an average monthly circulation of 104,000, with readership of 232,000 worldwide. It is published by U.K-based. media company Emap plc. The awards were broadcast live on the magazine's dedicated U.K. digital radio service.