London: XL Recordings, the independent label which released Adele’s smash hit album ‘21’, has bagged four prizes at the Music Week Awards. The label, which is also home to The xx, Vampire Weekend and Radiohead, was named as the Record Company of the Year.
Chairman Richard Russell won the outstanding contribution prize, while Adele turned up to give her manager Jonathan Dickins his own award. BBC 6 Music won two prizes, station of the year and best show for drivetime DJ Steve Lamacq.
“Thank you all for the love,” a news channel has quoted Lamacq as tweeting later.
Jools Holland’s BBC Two programme won the prize for best TV show, while HMV picked up an award for best high street retail brand, beating competition from Fopp and several supermarket chains.
Sound it Out Records, in Stockton-On-Tees, was named best independent retailer, while London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire won best venue.
XL was established in 1989, working mainly with dance artists. Early successes included SL2’s ‘On A Ragga Tip’ and The Prodigy’s rave anthem Charly.
The global success of The Prodigy’s third album, ‘Fat Of The Land’, allowed the label to expand and it signed artists including Badly Drawn Boy and Basement Jaxx and The White Stripes.
Explaining the move away from its dance roots, Richard Russell explained his policy was simply that “all our artists are the best in their field”.
Last year, the label sold more than 20 million copies of Adele’s second album, 21 - by far its biggest success to date.
XL’s other prizes at Thursday’s awards included those for the marketing campaign around that record and for the label’s artists and repertoire (A&R) department, which discovers new talent and pairs existing artists with suitable writers and producers.
Adele confessed she was “going to get into trouble” for attending the show “because Jonathan struggles to get me to go and pick up my own awards, let alone give him one”.
She said she had signed up with her manager six years ago after one meeting, because “he made me laugh and he made a great cup of tea”.
“Thank God he agreed to do it, because he’s gone on to smash it,” she added.