Dr Brian May CBE is awarded the Popular Music Lifetime Achievement Award 2018
Brian May, CBE, is a founding member of Queen, a world-renowned guitarist, songwriter, producer and performer. Queen have seen a staggering list of sales and awards with a catalogue that consistently tops popularity polls and sees the band remain the most successful albums act in UK chart history. Brian has penned 22 Queen top 20 hits, among them the powerful ballads Who Wants to Live Forever, No-One But You and Save Me, along with anthems The Show Must Go On, I Want It All and We Will Rock You.
In 2016, The Musicians’ Company inaugurated new awards in Popular Music, to support young promising talent at the BRIT School and the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM), and the Company also made its first award for Music Direction in Musical Theatre.
Each year the Musicians’ Company, one of the oldest and most respected charitable companies in the City of London, donates over £250,000 in scholarships and awards in support of young musicians at the start of their careers across all musical disciplines.
Associated with its widespread support for young musicians across all musical genres, the Musicians’ Company has a long tradition of recognising creative talent and the contribution that distinguished artists have made to the music profession from Elgar and Vaughan Williams to John Dankworth and Ronnie Scott. The Company added a Lifetime Achievement award in Popular Music in 2016 when the winner was Annie Lennox, and Brian May received this award on Wednesday 11th April from the Master of the Musicians’ Company, Lady Brewer OBE.
Brian May says: “I felt very touched and honoured to be awarded the Lifetime Achievement medal. The Worshipful Company of Musicians dates back to the beginning of the 16th century, when this City of London livery was created to regulate and protect the exponents of popular music in the day. Over the years its focus changed, and by the beginning of the 20th century it had become concerned almost exclusively with classical music.
But in recent years the order has opened up first to Jazz and now to Rock music. Following in the steps of past luminous honorees including Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten, I was excited to be the first Rock Guitarist to be given this accolade. I would like to say thank you to the Worshipful Company for their very existence, for taking music directly into British schools where in many cases the arts have become sidelined in the syllabus, and for their work to promote music as a force of unification in the world. I recognised that in these times when the Truth is hard to find, and we are all being pressured into parroting the same ‘acceptable’ views, music has the powers to cross all barriers and bring peace.”
Dr Brian May CBE with the Master, Lady Brewer OBE
(Photo: Amanda Ratcliffe)