Ian Brown declared Godlike Genius

The former Stone Roses man gets this year’s ultimate rock honour

Ian Brown will be proclaimed a Godlike Genius at this year’s ShockWaves NME Awards.

The frontman of The Stone Roses and now a solo artist in his own right, follows last year’s recipients New Order and joins a list of legends that includes The Clash, U2, John Peel and the Happy MondaysShaun Ryder.

Commenting on the success of other Manchester musicians in the past, Brown said he was moved to receive this year’s award.

“I thought you only give it Mancs (laughs). I’m glad to be a part of that, I see it as a sign for people if you believe in yourself and keep going no one can put you down,” he said. “It’s a mega honour. Did you know the word genius comes from the Arabic word jinn which means spirit, so I’ll take that. It’s an mega honour that.”

Brown – whose debut album with The Stone Roses was named as the Best British Album of all time in last week’s NME (January 28) – was selected for the honour for what the judges saw continual impact throughout his long career.

“We’re extremely proud to be honouring Ian Brown with this year’s Godlike Genius Award,” explained the NME’s panel. “His lasting influence on British rock music, both as a member of The Stone Roses and also a subsequently successful solo artist, is without question and can be felt everywhere from the baggy beats of Kasabian through to the Arctic Monkeys’ northern soul.”

Reflecting on his career, Brown said that he was particularly pleased to be honoured for his solo work as he was for his contribution to The Stone Roses.

“To do it again is a dream,” he declared. “I always had a feeling with the ‘Roses that we’d have some success, but afterwards I had no idea I just wanted to keep making music. I’m getting bigger than ever, I should be forgotten about by now lying on some beach in Marbella, but I’m not – I’m better than ever. I’m starting work on my fifth LP now, I’m straight into writing now.”

The singer added that he saw his 2001 single ‘FEAR’ ranked as one of his moments of true genius. “As well as my ‘Roses work. I think ‘FEAR’ is the most outstanding piece of work probably due to the lyrics, the way the lyrics run, and feel of it,” he said.

Brown is now set to play a sold-out ShockWaves NME Awards Show on February 15, and he admitted he would be celebrating his new honour.

“I’ll most definitely be up for it,” he said. “I’ve got a couple of surprises to unleash on you.”

Brown will then be formally presented with his Godlike Genius award at the ceremony on February 23, though he admitted he has yet to write a speech for the night.

“I’ll play it by ear and I’ll see what you need. I’m usually one who says what he thinks,” explained Brown. “Everyone who’s ever supported me is going to get a lift of this, everyone who’s ever been against me will get hurt by it. I get the best of both.”