A history of the NME Awards, 1953-2010


Foals and Arcade Fire lead the way in nominations for this year’s Shockwaves NME Awards, which take place in London on Wednesday (February 23). Foo Fighters, My Chemical Romance and Hurts are also due to perform live. But the annual bash actually goes back all the way to 1953. Here’s a brief history.


Muse, Kasabian, Paramore, Jamie T, Arctic Monkeys, La Roux and The Big Pink won big at the 2010 NME Awards. Paul Weller collected the Godlike Genius gong and The Specials were recognised for their Outstanding Contribution To Music.

Roger Moore 1968

Roger Moore doled out the prizes at the NME Awards in 1968. The Rolling Stones appeared unannounced to perform ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ and ‘Satisfaction’, and also picked up an award. Cream, Scott Walker and Status Quo all played live, while Lulu and The Shadows picked up awards. Head to NME.COM/awards to vote in this year’s bash. Pic: PA Photos


Music Summer Songs

The Beach Boys called in at the NME Awards in 1967 on their first ever trip to the UK, joining The Small Faces, The Move and The Troggs at the event. What with it being the height of psychedelia and all, Jimmy Savile compered in a pair of unfeasibly bright gold trousers.
Pic: PA Photos

strokes 01-

Kylie Minogue won Best Pop Act at the 2002 event, but the evening was all about The Strokes, who won Best New Act, Best Album and Band Of The Year. The awards ceremony also featured ‘Little Britain”s Matt Lucas and David Walliams impersonating bands including The White Stripes, Eminem and, um, Macy Gray. Pic: PA Photos


2008 saw the first ever NME Awards USA, with Jane’s Addiction being awarded the Godlike Genius award. The original line-up reformed to perform on the night for the first time in 17 years. The Killers won Band Of The Year, My Chemical Romance took home the Best Live Band award and Foo Fighters won Best Album. Klaxons won three awards and Arctic Monkeys took home one, and MGMT won the Breakthrough Track award for ‘Time To Pretend’.
Pic: PA Photos

Shockwaves NME Awards 2008 – London

Muse triumphed at the 2008 awards, held at the O2’s IndigO2. The Devon trio won big for their Wembley Stadium shows in the summer of 2007, picking up Best Live Act. Arctic Monkeys went home with four awards, including Best Album and Best British Band, while Klaxons opened proceedings with a mighty version of ‘Atlantis To Interzone’. Pic: PA Photos


NME Awards 2007 – London

Primal Scream received their Godlike Geniuses award from The Clash’s Mick Jones in 2007. It was the most star-studded awards yet, with Pete Doherty and Kate Moss turning up to the bash and Beth Ditto and Jarvis Cocker perform a stunning version of Heaven 17’s 1983 hit ‘Temptation’. Just think, a year later she was performing with Mika at the Brits… Pic: PA Photos

Stones’ NME Awards

Bands performing at the 1964 NME Awards included The Rolling Stones – seen picking up an award here – and The Beatles, who were pelted with jelly babies during their performance of ‘Long Tall Sally’ and ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’, after George Harrison had expressed a liking for them in a recent interview. Presented by Roy Orbison, 1964 was one of the awards’ most prestigious years. Pic: Getty

NME Awards Albarn

Blur’s Damon Albarn picked up awards for Best Track and Best Band at 2000’s NME Awards ceremony. Macca turned up once again, to collect the one-off award for Best Band In The World…Ever! on behalf of Wings – sorry, The Beatles. Super Furry Animals smashed up the stage and Godlike Genius Shaun Ryder was arrested after the party.


2005’s NME Awards saw Franz Ferdinand pick up gongs for Best Track and Best Album for ‘Take Me Out’ and their self-titled debut respectively. New Order were honoured as Godlike Geniuses, performing ‘Blue Monday’ and ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, while Paul McCartney turned up to pick up Glastonbury’s award for Best Live Event, having headlined the event in 2004. The Libertines won the Best British Band award.
Pic: Dean Chalkley


Kings of Leon

Kings Of Leon won Best New Band and Best International Band at 2004’s ceremony, Radiohead’s ‘Hail To The Thief’ was given the Best Album title, while Ozzy Osbourne was crowned as that year’s Godlike Genius. Legendary Love mainman Arthur Lee, who died two years later, turned up to the awards, literally wowing everyone in the room.
Pic: James Quinton


The NME Awards moved to Shoreditch, east London, in 2001, but this didn’t stop U2 turning up to pick up their Godlike Genius award. Coldplay were named Best New Band, and also picked up the Best Track award for ‘Yellow’. Head to NME.COM/awards to cast your vote in this year’s event. Pic: PA Photos


Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer hosted the return of the NME Awards, temporarily dubbed the Brats, at London’s New Empire in 1994. Thom Yorke, Brett Anderson and Justine Frischmann featured on the cover of NME’s souvenir edition. Pic: Rex Features


The Libertines picked up the Best New Band award at 2003’s ceremony, which was held at the Hammersmith Palais to celebrate The Clash’s Godlike Genius award, and then became the event’s home for the next four years. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s drummer Nick Jago vied with Pete Doherty for the unofficial Most Wasted Person In The Room award, while the ceremony saw live performances for the first time since the ’60s. Pic: Dean Chalkley


Pete Doherty picked up the Best Solo Artist award in 2009. This year, that category is being contested by Dizzee Rascal, Florence And The Machine, Jamie T, Julian Casablancas, and Lady GaGa. Check out the full list of nominations here. Pic: Jacob Perlmutter


Dizzee Rascal’s up for a few awards this year, including Best Dancefloor Filler for ‘Bonkers’. You can get voting here. Pic: Jacob Perlmutter

Shockwaves NME Awards 2009 – Arrivals – London

Glasvegas didn’t win anything at the 2009 event, but frontman James Allan (pictured, far right) performed on the night, duetting with Florence Welch on a cover of Elvis Presley’s ‘Suspicious Minds’. Pic: PA Photos