Bose Ogulu received the award for manager of the year from her son and star client, Burna Boy, at the 2022 Artist & Manager Awards, which were presented at London’s Bloomsbury Big Top on Thursday (Nov. 17). The event, presented in association with beatBread, is organized by the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) and Music Managers Forum (MMF) and celebrates creative and commercial successes across the artist and management community.
With deep roots in the Lagos music scene, Ogulu has overseen Burna Boy’s rise to global stardom. Co-founding the pioneering Spaceship Collective in 2020, Ogulu has become a leading light in advocating for African artists to maintain greater control and ownership of their repertoire. Sheniece Charway, artist relations manager at YouTube Music, joined Burna Boy in presenting the award.
Becky Hill was named artist of the year. Hill had a top five hit on the Official U.K. Singles Chart in 2022 – “Crazy What Love Can Do,” a collab with David Guetta and Ella Henderson. She won a BRIT Award for best dance act in February. Her award was presented by her manager Alex Martin and tour manager Amanda Barker, alongside music legend Nile Rodgers and Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis.
Awards for Breakthrough Artist and Breakthrough Manager were also presented, with the former going to Beabadoobee and the latter to Callum Reece at One House for his success with the likes of Eliza Rose, Sherelle, cktrl and Mwanjé.
ABBA Voyage received the Innovation award. The album at the center of the project topped the Official U.K. Albums Chart and reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200. It received a Grammy nomination for album of the year on Tuesday Nov. 15. ABBA co-founder Björn Ulvaeus sent a video message to Svana Gisla, Ludvig Andersson and Baillie Walsh, the producers and director behind ABBA Voyage. They were presented with the award by Imogen Heap and Utopia Music’s Roberto Neri.
Lifetime achievement awards, dubbed Artists’ Artist and Managers’ Manager, went to songwriter and performer Tim Burgess and manager Martin Hall, respectively. Hall has managed Manic Street Preachers, The Script and Wet Leg, among others.
Burgess received his award from Brix Smith and PPL Chief Executive Peter Leathem. Hall’s award was preceded by video messages from Manic Street Preachers, The Script’s Danny O’Donoghue, Wet Leg and Sony Music chairman Rob Stringer, who said: “How many managers can say that 25 years ago they were taking a new band to No. 1 in the album charts, and here they are again, in 2022, managing a new band to No. 1 in the album chart. That longevity speaks volumes for you, Martin.”
Indeed, Manic Street Preachers’ This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours topped the Official U.K. Albums Chart in 1998. Wet Leg’s Wet Leg topped that same chart this year. Moreover, Wet Leg was nominated for four Grammy Awards, including best new artist, on Tuesday.
The ongoing challenges surrounding live music were raised in a joint opening address by the FAC’s CEO, David Martin, and Annabella Coldrick, chief executive of the MMF.
“There’s no point pulling any punches,” Martin said. “For the majority of artists, the past few years have been pretty hard. We’ve had Brexit, a pandemic, and now a cost-of-living crisis. It’s been tough to make a living from music, and it remains tough.”
“Without addressing these issues, the next generation will really struggle to break through – and that will have ramifications for every promoter, record label, music publisher and tech company here tonight,” Coldrick added.
The show also recognized the work of Music Declares Emergency as 2022’s Industry Champions for driving momentum towards more environmentally sustainable practices – particularly in live touring. Presented by Sam Lee, the award was accepted by co-founder Lewis Jamieson and director of creative strategy and artist spokesperson Fay Milton.
The ceremony was hosted by Doc Brown (aka Ben Bailey Smith) and featured live performances by London-based pop-punk artist GIRLI and rapper FelixThe1st.
Here’s the full list of winners at the 2022 Artist & Manager Awards in association with beatBread:
Artist of the Year: Becky Hill
Manager of the Year: Bose Ogulu
Artists’ Artist: Tim Burgess
Managers’ Manager: Martin Hall
Breakthrough Artist: Beabadoobee
Breakthrough Manager: Callum Reece
Team Achievement: Groundworks
Entrepreneur: Krept & Konan
Innovation: ABBA Voyage
Pioneer: Carl Cox
Writer/Producer Manager: Red Light Management
Industry Champion: Music Declares Emergency