Damon Albarn will be honoured with the NME Award For Innovation at this year’s NME Awards with Austin, Texas.
The Blur frontman will pick up the prize in person at the Awards, which will take place on Wednesday, February 26 at the O2 Academy, Brixton.
The award recognises the singer, songwriter, producer and composer as one of the UK’s most influential and consistently groundbreaking musicians. The NME Award For Innovation not only recognises Albarn’s past, but equally celebrates him as one of the world’s leading music heavyweights in 2014.
NME editor Mike Williams says: “Damon’s enduring popularity is a testament to his unrivalled talent. He is somebody who is always pushing things forward, always operating in his own sphere and forever innovating via experimentation and collaboration. Britain rarely produces songwriters of Damon’s calibre, which is why he’s been so popular with NME’s readers for the past two decades. I don’t see that popularity waning any time soon, just as I don’t see his ability to write life-affirming, jaw-dropping songs disappearing either. We’re lucky to have him, and it’s an absolute honour for us to be giving Damon the NME Award For Innovation.”
Pick up a copy of this week’s NME, which will be on newsstands from Wednesday (February 12) and available digitally to read a full review of Albarn’s career from Blur to Gorillaz to Africa Express and his work as a producer on Bobby Womack’s ‘Bravest Man In The Universe’.
“He just makes you want to be what he expects you to be. He’s consistent, and he’s got a nice way of being persistent,” Bobby Womack says.
Others paying tribute to Albarn in this week’s NME include Richard Russell, Massive Attack, Jude Law and De La Soul amongst others.
“He’s got the Midas touch,” says former Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things man Carl Barât, paying tribute to Albarn in this week’s NME. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything of his that I’ve not liked, and some of his things I’ve loved. He’s got a reputation for being difficult and hard, and I’ve witnessed that first hand, but I’ll say he’s got heart in equal measure. I think Damon’s one of the greats.”
Damon Albarn will release his debut solo album ‘Everyday Robots’ on April 28.
Arctic Monkeys lead the nominations this year’s NME Awards with Austin, Texas with an eight nods. Haim follow closely with six nominations whilst Queens of The Stone Age, Lily Allen and Arcade Fire all have three. Vote now here.
Ceremony tickets for the NME Awards 2014 with Austin, Texas are on sale right now at NME.com/tickets.