The star was announced as the next in line to be bestowed the honour last year, to which he said it was “about time”.
NME Editor-in-chief Mike Williams presented Gallagher with the special award, saying his appointment to the Godlike Genius rankings was “extra special” compared to previous winners. “No other person has appeared on the cover of NME more times than this year’s Godlike,” Williams said. “No one has had more words written about them by NME. No one has had their picture taken more times by NME.
“And when you think that this is a magazine that, for 66 years, has been writing about The Beatles, and the Stones, and The Smiths, and every other legendary band and artist that the world has seen, then that just proves how totally iconic Liam Gallagher is.”
He continued: “This is a man who understands exactly what it means to be a rock’n’roll star. Through his history, the tunes, the swagger, and the sense of humour, Liam is one of the most I knock rock stars of all time. He’s a frontman who knows the job description – look cool, belt it out, be totally Godlike. No one does it quite like LG.”
After a short introduction from Skepta, Gallagher made his way to the stage to collect his trophy. He said: “I want to dedicate this to my mam and my army of songwriters, past and present. The parka monkeys.”
The newly crowned Godlike Genius then took to the stage to run through a selection of bits from his incredible back catalogue.
Earlier in the evening, Stefflon Don and Skepta opened the ceremony tonight (February 14) at London’s O2 Academy Brixton with a performance of their collaboration, ‘Ding-a-Ling’. Alt-J have also treated the audience to a version of their track ‘In Cold Blood’, and Pale Waves aired their debut single ‘There’s A Honey’ after collecting the NME Under The Radar Award supported by HMV.
Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson received the NME Icon Award, while grime collective Boy Better Know took home the NME Innovation Award. Other award winners on the night included Loyle Carner, The Big Moon, Lorde and more. Check out the full list of winners here.