Lucian Grainge (photo: Songwriters Hall of Fame)
Universal Music Group [UMG] chairman/CEO Sir Lucian Grainge is the 2018 recipient of the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s [SHOF] prestigious Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award, to be presented at the organization’s Annual Induction and Awards Dinner June 14th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York.
The award, which is named after one of the SHOF’s founders, is given to an artist or music business luminary who has been responsible for a substantial number of hit songs for an extended period, and most importantly, recognizes the significance of the song and songwriter.
“While today Sir Lucian runs the world’s leading music company, he began his career nearly 40 years ago as a ‘song plugger’ for April Blackwood Music,” said SHOF co-chairs Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff in today’s announcement.
“His career in music publishing continued over the years, including launching Polygram Music Publishing U.K. and building it into one of the biggest publishers. He epitomizes what the Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award represents.”
Added SHOF president/CEO Linda Moran, “Throughout his rise to the top of the music industry, from ‘song plugger’ to a mega power player and star maker, Sir Lucian has always recognized that it all truly begins with a song, and has never ceased championing songwriters.”
Indeed, Grainge started out as an A&R talent scout, achieving early success with artists including Psychedelic Furs, Eurythmics and the Pet Shop Boys. The London native has also worked with international stars like ABBA, Elton John, Migos, Queen, Rihanna, The Rolling Stones, Sam Smith, U2, The Weeknd and Amy Winehouse.
Among Grainge’s noteworthy achievements are leading UMG to becoming the first music company to score all 10 of the top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as frequently topping the trade magazine’s “Power 100” list of the most powerful music business executives. He has been awarded an honorary doctor of music degree from Berklee College of Music, the Spirit of Life Award from City of Hope, and the President's Merit Award by The Recording Academy. He has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for accomplishments and leadership in the music industry.
Previous Hitmaker Award honorees include Garth Brooks, Clive Davis, Gloria Estefan, Whitney Houston, Sir Tom Jones, Doug Morris, Phil Ramone, Diana Ross and Seymour Stein.
This year’s SHOF inductees are Bill Anderson, Robert “Kool” Bell, Ronald Bell, George Brown & James “JT” Taylor (professionally known as Kool & The Gang), Steve Dorff, Jermaine Dupri, Alan Jackson, John Mellencamp and Allee Willis.
Additional special SHOF award honorees will be announced soon.
Established in 1969, the Songwriters Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the work and lives of those composers and lyricists who create music around the world. To qualify for induction, a songwriter must be a published writer for a minimum of 20 years with a notable catalog of hit songs.