Wet Leg’s Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers won songwriter of the year at the 2023 Ivor Novello Awards, which were presented at Grosvenor House in London on Thursday (May 18).
Wet Leg’s eponymous debut album was a global hit, spawning the hit singles “Wet Dream” and “Chaise Longue.” The group won two Grammys (best alternative music album and best alternative music performance) and two Brit Awards (British group and best new artist). The Ivors judges described Teasdale and Chambers’ writing as “fresh, unapologetic and direct, with surprising melodies that demand attention.”
Harry Styles, Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson won PRS for Music most performed work for their collaboration on “As It Was.” This marks the third Ivor Novello Award for Styles and Kid Harpoon, who won both in that same category for “Adore You” in 2021 and also took songwriter of the year that year.
“As It Was” was nominated for record and song of the year at the Grammys. Styles’ album, Harry’s House, won album of the year and best pop vocal album. Styles did even better at the Brit Awards, taking song of the year for “As It Was,” British album of the year, British artist of the year and best pop/R&B act. In addition, Kid Harpoon won the Brit Award for songwriter of the year.
Best song musically and lyrically went to “King” by Florence + the Machine, written by Florence Welch and Jack Antonoff. A standout from the group’s most recent album, Dance Fever, the song discusses Welch’s conflict in choosing between her career and starting a family as well as gender expectations for women in society. “King” received a Grammy nod for best alternative music performance.
Sting received the Fellowship of The Ivors Academy, the highest honor the Academy bestows. Sting has won seven Ivor Novellos, including a lifetime achievement award in 2002. He joins an illustrious list of Fellows that includes Sir Paul McCartney, Kate Bush CBE and Joan Armatrading MBE. Sting performed The Police’s classic “Message in a Bottle” at the show.
The special international award celebrated the career and influence of Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein. Emerging from the New York new wave scene in the mid-1970s, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Matilda Mann performed Blondie’s 1978 classic “Heart of Glass” at the ceremony.
In recognition of the impact her musical vision has made on her fellow songwriters, Charli XCX was awarded the visionary award with Amazon Music.
Best contemporary song went to Raye, 070 Shake and Mike Sabath for “Escapism” – which she performed at the ceremony. Described by the judges as “daring, brave and empowering songwriting,” the track took off after going viral on TikTok, marking Raye’s first No. 1 single on the Official U.K. Singles Chart.
Best album went to 11 by SAULT, written by Dean “Inflo” Josiah Cover, Jamar McNaughton, Cleopatra Nikolic and Jack Peñate. Drawing from Afrobeat and blues influences, 11 was one of five critically acclaimed albums released for free simultaneously by SAULT in November 2022. This is the fourth Ivor Novello Award for Dean “Inflo” Josiah Cover.
KAMILLE’s body of work was recognized with the outstanding song collection award. KAMILLE is of Britain’s most successful songwriters, working with artists such as Mabel, The Saturdays, Dua Lipa and Little Mix. She has also launched a career as an artist in her own right.
The PRS for Music icon award went to Tim Booth, Saul Davies, Jim Glennie, Larry Gott and Mark Hunter for their work as James. From their breakthrough in the “Madchester” scene of the early 1990s, James have become an enduring gem of British music.
The rising star award with Amazon Music was awarded to singer-songwriter Victoria Canal. She is the fourth consecutive female songwriter to pick up the award since it was introduced in 2020.
John Powell won best original film score for Don’t Worry Darling, which starred fellow Ivor Novello winner Harry Styles. This marks Powell’s fifth Ivor Novello Award.
Hannah Peel won best television soundtrack for her work on The Midwich Cuckoos. Peel received a 2019 Primetime Emmy nod for Game of Thrones: The Last Watch.
The award for best original video game score went to Gareth Coker, Grant Kirkhope and Yoko Shimomura for Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope. Each composer is renowned for their work including Nintendo classics such as Donkey Kong 64 and Super Mario RPG.
Title sponsor and collaborator Amazon Music scaled up The Ivors’ reach with the first livestream from the event. Presented by +44 Podcast hosts Zeze Millz and Sideman, as well as radio DJ Zach Sang, the livestream featured live coverage direct from The Ivors red carpet, plus the award show performances, and backstage interviews with the winners.
The Ivors are judged by songwriters and composers from The Ivors Academy’s membership. The Ivors Academy is the U.K.’s professional association for songwriters and composers.
The following categories recognize British or Irish songwriting and composing for music commercially released in the U.K. in calendar year 2022; best album, best contemporary song, best song musically and lyrically, best original film score, best original video game score and best television soundtrack.
The rising star award with Amazon Music honors British or Irish songwriting talent under the age of 25 who demonstrate exceptional potential and ambition and have begun to capture the imagination of the music creator community.
Here’s a complete list of winners at the 2023 Ivor Novello Awards:
Academy Fellowship: Sting
Best album: 11, written by Dean “Inflo” Josiah Cover, Jamar McNaughton, Cleopatra Nikolic and Jack Peñate; performed by SAULT; published in the U.K. by Copyright Control and Sentric Music
Best contemporary song: “Escapism,” written by 070 Shake, Raye and Mike Sabath; performed by Raye and 070 Shake; published in the U.K. by Sony Music Publishing and Warner Chappell Music
Best original film score: Don’t Worry Darling, composed by John Powell; published in the U.K. by Universal Music Publishing
Best original video game score: Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope; composed by Gareth Coker, Grant Kirkhope and Yoko Shimomura
Best song musically and lyrically: “King,” written by Jack Antonoff and Florence Welch; performed by Florence + The Machine; published in the U.K. by Ducky Donath Music-Sony Music Publishing and Universal Music Publishing
Best television soundtrack: The Midwich Cuckoos; composed by Hannah Peel; published in the U.K. by SATV Publishing
Outstanding song collection: Kamille
PRS for Music icon award: Tim Booth, Saul Davies, Jim Glennie, Larry Gott and Mark Hunter for James
PRS for Music most performed work: “As It Was”; written by Kid Harpoon, Tyler Johnson and Harry Styles; performed by Harry Styles; published in the U.K. by Universal Music Publishing and Pulse Songs-Concord Music Publishing
Rising Star award with Amazon Music: Victoria Canal
Songwriter of the year with Amazon Music: Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers
Special international award: Debbie Harry and Chris Stein
Visionary award with Amazon Music: Charli XCX