An MBE is one of several awards that are handed out twice a year in the U.K. for special achievements and service to the country. Honored individuals are chosen by a special committee, whose rulings pass first through the prime minister and then the Queen. Other music figures to receive an MBE -- the third highest-ranking Order of the British Empire honor -- include Adele, Ed Sheeran, former U.K. Music Chairman Andy Heath (later awarded a CBE), M.I.A. and all four members of the Beatles.
Iley was named head of Sony Music U.K. in 2014 following a brief stint as president of Roc Nation Records in New York City, marking a return for the executive to the label where he launched his career in 1994. Over the course of nearly three decades, he has served in roles at Polydor, Island Records and Mercury Records, where he was president from 2005-2013, and worked closely with artists including U2, Amy Winehouse, Jay Z, Elton John, Rihanna, Paul McCartney, Kanye West and Mariah Carey.
Since rejoining Sony Music U.K., Iley has overseen successful releases from artists including P!nk, Calvin Harris, Travis Scott and Beyoncé and played a key role in the company’s acquisitions of labels including Ministry of Sound Recordings, Black Butter, Relentless, Since ’93 and Insanity Records.
Under his leadership, all senior executives at the company have been trained in managing mental health issues through a partnership with the mental health charities Mind and Young Minds. He also oversaw the annual BRIT Awards as chairman of the BRITs Committee between 2017 and 2019.
Iley wasn’t the only music industry figure to be awarded in the latest Birthday Honours. Others celebrated included PPL chairman John Smith (OBE), rapper Dizzee Rascal a.k.a. Dylan Mills (MBE), ELO founder Jeff Lynne (OBE), singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading (CBE), bassist Yolanda Charles (MBE) and Blue Horizon label founder Mike Vernon (MBE).