Jamal Edwards to be first posthumous recipient of UK music business award

"He was ahead of his time and he forced open the doors into the industry for the talented artists that deserved to be seen"

Jamal Edwards is to be honoured with this year’s Music Industry Trusts Award (MITS) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the music industry.

Edwards is being celebrated for his music entrepreneurship, founding the multifaceted music platform SB.TV in 2006. He will be the MITS’ first ever posthumous recipient in recognition of his remarkable contributions to the UK music business.

The author, broadcaster and DJ, who died unexpectedly in February, helped launch the careers of Stormzy, Skepta, Dave and Ed Sheeran via his youth broadcasting and production film channel SB.TV. Edwards launched the channel as a teenager to share clips that he’d recorded of his friends performing on the estate where he lived in Acton, London.

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The MITS award will be presented to Edwards’ family on November 7 at a gala ceremony at Grosvenor House Hotel, held in aid of the BRIT Trust, Nordoff Robbins and The Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust, the charity set up by his family in 2022 to honour his memory and continue his legacy.

Jamal Edwards
Jamal Edwards. Credit: Lia Toby/Getty Images.

Jamal’s mother, Brenda, said in a statement: “It is very humbling for the family to be accepting this award on behalf of our beloved Jamal and we are delighted to have the MITS highlight the Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust alongside The Brit Trust and Nordoff Robbins.

“We know that Jamal will be looking down on us on November 7 – busting with pride that his absolute love of the music industry and giving back to the less fortunate in society has been recognised in this way. Thank you MITS!”

Sheeran said: “Jamal changed my life. He played such a huge part in shaping the trajectory of my career as well, but I would not be where I am now without him. Jamal’s sharp knowledge, unwavering optimism and willingness to help others whatever the cost meant he changed the lives and careers of so many, not just people in music, and there’s no-one more deserving of a MITS Award recognising his place in this industry.”

Co-chair of the MITS Award committee, Toby Leighton-Pope, said: “Jamal Edwards changed the face of the music industry in his 31 years, his achievements could be on par with someone 60 years into the business. His influence on the music scene as it is today should never be underestimated, just look at some of the UK’s biggest artists, tours and hits today, and Jamal will have played a part in some way. That’s why he is so deserving of this year’s MITS Award.

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“Myself, Dan and the MITS Committee would like to thank the Edwards family for their gracious involvement in the MITS this year. We will celebrate Jamal’s incredible legacy at the ceremony in November and continue to raise funds for the MITs charities The BRIT Trust and Nordoff Robbins. This year, we will also be donating funds for The Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust.”

Dan Chalmers, co-chair of the MITS Award committee added: “Jamal Edwards was a visionary. He saw a brilliantly creative way to promote new music on a platform and he went for it. When he founded SB.TV over 15 years ago, he was ahead of his time and he forced open the doors into the industry for the talented artists that deserved to be seen.

Jamal Edwards
Jamal Edwards. CREDIT: Getty

“Jamal helped to launch the careers of some of the UK’s best artists and it’s a testament to him that SB.TV’s YouTube channel now has 1.23 million subscribers and still continues to grow. Myself, Toby and the MITS Committee are humbled to award this year’s MITS to Jamal this November and thank his family for their involvement.”

Edwards’ acknowledgement follows 2021 MITS honouree Pete Tong MBE, and sees him join the ranks of previous recipients including Annie Lennox OBE, Kylie Minogue, Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Emma Banks, Rob Stringer, Sir Lucian Grainge, Ahmet Ertegun, Michael Eavis CBE, and Roger Daltrey CBE.

In March, Daniel Kaluuya paid tribute to Edwards while presenting at the BAFTAs.

During the ceremony, the Oscar-winner walked on stage to present the Best Actress in a Leading Role trophy. He then told the gathered audience: “Eternal life to Jamal Edwards,” leading to cheers from the crowd.

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