DJ, producer, presenter and music executive Pete Tong was honoured with the prestigious Music Industry Trusts Award on Monday (November 1). Watch footage of New Order‘s celebratory performance above and below.
Tong accepted the award, considered one of the benchmarks for lifetime achievement within the music industry, following a gala ceremony celebrating his career at The Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
“I’m seriously thrilled and humbled to be standing here receiving the MITS Award because I think this is recognition of dance music’s and club culture’s influence and success,” Tong said at the ceremony.
“Looking round this room, there are so many people that have been on that journey with me so this is for all of you.”
Tong is the first dance music specialist to have received the honour, which has in previous years been won by the likes of Glastonbury Festival‘s Michael Eavis, The Beatles producer George Martin, Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Simon Cowell and Kylie Minogue.
The ceremony also featured an exclusive live performance from New Order, who played fan favourite ‘Regret’, 2020 single ‘Be A Rebel’, and their 1983 classic ‘Blue Monday’. “Bernard [Sumner], Gillian [Gilbert] and Stephen [Morris], if you ever need your washing up done or your garden cut, I owe you one for sure,” Tong joked.
Congratulations again, Pete!
Photo by John Marshall, JM Enternational pic.twitter.com/SgbeAT9jJT
— New Order (@neworder) November 2, 2021
Becky Hill also performed cuts from her and Tong’s popular ‘Ibiza Classics’ setlist, including a cover of Robyn’s ‘With Every Heartbeat’, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk’s ‘Love Can’t Turn Around,’ and Florence + The Machine‘s ‘You’ve Got The Love’.
Tong was presented the award by Idris Elba, who said: “We’ve all wanted to be Pete Tong, growing up, where I come from, listening to DJ Pete Tong on the radio was essential, and without a doubt moulded my very early barometer as a DJ as to what is good and what is great.”
He continued: “He’s been more than a friend to me though, he’s been a business partner, he’s been a co-collaborator and he’s been a mentor […] I’ve been DJing all my life, but one of the only professionals when I started to take this very seriously was Pete Tong. […] He didn’t have to do it, he could have risked his reputation, but he stood by me as a friend.”
The ceremony also featured an auction and raffle in aid of the charities The BRIT Trust and Nordoff Robbins, with guests in attendance including Nile Rodgers, Duran Duran‘s Simon Le Bon and Spandau Ballet‘s Gary Kemp.
Speaking at the ceremony about Tong’s influence, Carl Cox said that “Pete opened up doors for all of us that we didn’t even know existed.”
Radio 1 stalwart Annie Nightingale also praised Tong, telling the audience that “in the 90s it was very important that [Pete] came to Radio 1, because acid house and rave culture was booming but Radio 1 was not reflecting that.”
Following the ceremony MITS chairman David Munns said: “We had a wonderful evening last night celebrating Pete Tong’s achievements in the music business. He’s the second DJ and broadcaster to be receiving the MITS Award, after the legend Fluff Freeman, and it’s a moment that we want to happen more and more. By acknowledging Pete, we too want to pay tribute to the dance music sector that brings so much talent, energy and excellence to the music industry.
“We have been doing this for 30 years, celebrating legends in our industry and more essentially, raising funds for Nordoff Robbins and The BRIT Trust. It’s reassuring to know that after three decades, there is still a lot of love out there for good people and good causes.”
New Order will perform at The O2 in London on Saturday (6 November), which will also be livestreamed to fans.