Sir Tom Jones received the Music Industry Trusts Award for his outstanding contribution to the British music industry, at the event’s annual Awards gala on Monday night.
Jones burst on the scene with his first international hit, “It’s Not Unusual,” in 1964. Over five decades, the Welsh singer has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide.
David Munns, Chairman of the Award committee said: “Tom Jones is one of those rare beings, a timeless entertainer, a great guy, who clearly loves what he does, and whose talent appeals to successive generations. Tom is Mr Cool, one of the world’s greatest singers and performers and we are extremely proud and honored that he is the 2010 recipient of the Music Industry Trusts Award.”
“2010 is shaping up to be a very memorable year for me,” said Tom. “I’m delighted to be honored with the Music Industry Trusts Award, and to join the roll-call of some great past honorees, such as George and Ahmet (Ertegun, founders of Atlantic Records)). I’ve visited the Brit Performing Arts & Technology School, supported by the BRIT TRUST, one of the Award’s charities, and was blown away by the incredible talent there, and I’m looking forward to finding out more about Nordoff Robbins’ great work.”
Jones joins the list of great names that have held this honor: Sir George Martin, Ahmet Ertegun, Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin, John Barry, Michael Parkinson, Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber and Kylie Minogue.
The Music Industry Trusts Award has raised £3.7 million, to date, for its two charities, Nordoff Robbins and the BRIT Trust (which includes the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology). The Award is unique because it recognizes the contribution that an individual has made to the industry across a range of activities: record producer, film music composer, broadcaster, legendary artist, record executive, songwriter and concert impresario. The Award evening has become renowned for its magic moments, with unique live performances that have a special resonance for the recipient.
Released earlier this year, Tom’s latest album is “Praise And Blame,” a collection of gospel and blues numbers. It’s a stripped down, lean affair, thanks to producer Ethan Johns (Kings Of Leon), and it’s been compared (favorably) to Rick Rubin’s work with Johnny Cash.
Jones and producer/guitarist Johns recorded the project with live sessions at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in Bath, England with a small band that consisted of Johns on guitar, Jeremy Stacey on drums and Dave Bronze on bass. Guests include Booker T. Jones, BJ Cole and Gillian Welch.
There was some controversy around the release of the new album, thanks to a leak at Island Records, where U.K. vice-president David Sharpe flipped out, via a terse email to staff over the content of the record.
Upon first hearing Jones’ new music, Sharpe reportedly wrote an email to a colleague on May 19 calling the record “a sick joke,” insisting the label "pull back this project immediately or get my money back." Sharpe’s email was leaked to the press in early July, just weeks before “Praise” was released; some have speculated that this was a marketing stunt, while others believe it happened naturally, as reported.
I, for one, still haven’t figured out Sharpe's claim that Island Records’ investment was “his” money.
For more, check out:
“Tom Jones gets ‘Praise & Blame’ from his own label”
“Tom Jones rocks Letterman”
Tom Jones – Burning Hell
The Late Show with David Letterman – September 22, 2010