Melua, Rice Among Border Breakers Winners

Prize sponsored by the European Commission.

Katie Melua and Damien Rice were among the winners of the second annual European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA), held Jan. 23 in Cannes during the MIDEM trade show.

The organization honors artists from the European Union (EU) whose debut albums sold outside their country of production between Sept. 1, 2003 and Aug. 31, 2004. Sponsored by the EU executive body European Commission, winners are determined by data supplied by the Billboard Information Group.

"These awards are about dismantling barriers and music has this special quality to dismantle barriers," said the European Commissioner Jan Figel, who is in charge of education, training, culture and multi-lingualism.

Great Britain's Katie Melua won for her debut, "Call Off The Search" (Dramatico), while Damien Rice took the award for Ireland with "O" (DRM/14th Floor). Other winners included Wir Sind Helden (Germany) for "Die Reklamazion" (Labels/Virgin), Corneille (France) for "Parce Qu' On Vient De Loin" (Wagram), Redrama (Finland) for "Everyday Soundtrack" (Virgin), Ana Johnsson (Sweden) for "The Way I Am" (Bonnier Amigo/Sony), Benny Benassi & The Biz (Italy) for "Hypnotica" (Off Limits Production) and the Raveonnettes (Denmark) for "Chain Gang Of Love" (Columbia/Sony).

To mark the EU's enlargement in 2005 from 15 to 25 countries, the Commission also awarded a breakthrough prize to Polish band Myslowitz for its album, "Korova Mily Bar."