Bono, Pharrell and Tom Jones among the guests at the annual awards charity gala
Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page scooped the O2 Silver Clef Award at a ceremony at London’s Hilton Hotel on Park Lane last night (July 6).
Established in 1976, the O2 Silver Clef Awards raise funds for music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins, who work with people with a range of conditions including autism, dementia, depression and physical and learning disabilities. To date the event has raised nearly £9 million.
Presented by Gaby Roslin, the awards drew 900 guests and other winners included Tom Jones, Paloma Faith, Laura Mvula, Gareth Malone, Giorgio Moroder and Justin Timberlake. Pharrell Williams was presented with the Raymond Weil International Award by surprise guest Bono.
“I’m super-embarrassed and caught offguard, because I didn’t know Bono would be presenting this to me,” said Williams. “It was so cool to sit and have a conversation with Bono. He reminds you of the importance of humility. England has been so good to NERD for over a decade, they were the first to show us support. I can’t believe this is my life – we are all following in the footsteps of you, Bono. I’m happy to be an atom in this equation.”
An estimated £531,000 was raised by the event, which included an auction. A dinner with Pharrell sold for £30,000, the original sheet music from ‘Your Song’ signed by Elton John went for £12,000, while a Cherry Sunburst Les Paul Gibson electric guitar signed by Page brought in £35,000 for the charity.
The audience also heard Gary Kirkwood, the father of autistic 17-year-old Louis, speak about how music therapy at Nordoff Robbins had impacted on his son’s life.
“Music therapy brings out the best in Louis,” said Kirkwood. “It enables him to be his charming, caring self. Music therapy is helping him realise that there is a great deal that he can achieve. In so many ways Louis is no different to any other teenager. He just wants to be one of the guys. Nordoff Robbins is helping him move closer to this goal.”