BARELY a year after releasing her first single, Scots singer Emeli Sandé capped a spectacular 12 months yesterday when she was named best solo artist at the prestigious Q Awards.
The 25-year-old from Aberdeenshire, who studied medicine at the University of Glasgow before pursuing a music career, joined luminaries such as Blur, Pulp, Muse and Dexys to receive her award at a ceremony in central London.
Sandé has scored a number one album with Our Version of Events, was named Critics’ Choice and nominated Best British Breakthrough Act at the Brits, as well as winning an Innovation Award at
the O2 Silver Clef Awards. In August, she gained a
global platform when she performed at the opening and closing ceremonies for the London Olympics.
Fellow Scots Django Django also took away an award – best new act. They are also in the running for the Mercury Music Award with their eponymous debut album.
The ceremony was dominated by established acts, with Britpop stars Blur seeing off competition from fellow reformed rockers the Stone Roses to be named best live act. However, they lost out to
stadium rockers Muse in the race to be named best act in the world.
The awards, hosted by comic Al Murray, saw wins for acts
including Plan B, Pulp and soul veteran Bobby Womack, while former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr was named a Q hero.
Scotsman music critic Fiona Shepherd said of the awards: “Emeli Sandé has just colonised the charts. She’s been incredibly successful commercially, so it doesn’t surprise me at all that she should pick up an award.
“I think Django Django surprised everyone with their debut album at the start of the year. But I think that’s a decent call and it’s a deserved honour.”
She said that while the awards represented a mainstream audience taste, they were valid in recognising the strength of work produced by established acts.
“Q does not pretend to be at the cutting edge, so it therefore doesn’t give out awards to
cutting-edge acts, but I sometimes think there’s a fetish for honouring new acts,” she said. “If you look at the Mercury Music Prize, it’s almost an award for debut albums. There’s always a token veteran, but generally it’s quite rare for something that isn’t a debut album to get
honoured. So it’s nice that the old acts can still pick up an award here or here.”
Q magazine editor Andrew Harrison said of the winners: “It’s been the most incredible year for British music. Our bands and our anthems transformed the Olympics.
“A string of great albums announced fantastic new talent on the scene. And amazing comeback shows from Blur and the Stone Roses showed the
enduring appeal of our best-loved musicians.”
Q AWARD WINNERS
Q Best New Act
Q Best Track
Plan B for Ill manors
Q Best Album
Bobby Womack, The Bravest Man In The Universe
Q Best Live Act
Q Best Video
Q Best Solo Artist
Q Best Act In The World Today
Q Classic Song
Dionne Warwick for Walk On By
The Killers’ Brandon Flowers
Q Spirit Of Independence
Q Innovation In Sound
Q Inspiration Award
Q Icon Award
Q Classic Album
Manic Street Preachers for Generation Terrorists
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