The founder and chairman of Beggars Group, Martin Mills, will receive the Outstanding Contribution to UK Music Award at the MPG Awards 2012, which will take place on 16 February at the Café de Paris in London. (Image: Casper Mills)
As Europe’s largest independent record label network, Beggars Group has its roots in the Beggars Banquet record shop, which Martin Mills founded in 1973 in London’s Earls Court. After being approached by punk band The Lurkers to release its first single, Beggars went on to sign scores of other artists, including Gary Numan, The Fall, The Cult and the Charlatans. The company subsequently evolved into an umbrella group of labels, including 4AD, which it owns outright, and Matador, Rough Trade and XL Recordings, in which it has a 50% stake. Adele, Pixies and Bon Iver are just three of the artists on the group's highly prestigious roster.
Alongside his role as Beggars Group chairman, Mills is a director of both UK and European independent music bodies AIM and IMPALA, a founding member of similar US and Worldwide organisations A2IM and WIN, a director of Merlin and PPL, and a former director of VPL and BPI. He has also been part of the Government Music Industry Forum and chaired ‘Consumers Call The Tune’, the Department of Culture’s report into the Digital Music Industry.
Steve Levine, chairman of MPG, commented: “The Outstanding Contribution Award acknowledges those who have made a significant contribution over a long period of time to the success of the UK music recording industry. This may be a producer or engineer, but it can equally be a manager, an A&R person or even a great artist.
“We have chosen Martin as our 2012 recipient because he has always adopted the philosophy of putting artists first. Artists signed to Beggars Group are given the time and freedom to develop and are supported every step of the way. In our industry it is rare to find a record company chairman who is so determined to release quality music that he is prepared to put creativity above profits, and for this reason we applaud him.”
As sponsor of the MPG Outstanding Contribution to UK Music Award, industry organisation PPL expressed its delight at Mills' selection.
Fran Nevrkla, chairman and CEO of PPL, commented: “Having known Martin and having worked closely with him for over 30 years, I cannot think of a more worthy recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to UK Music Award. His passion for the industry and especially for music and all things creative is legendary which is demonstrated by his phenomenal success over the last three decades. His personal integrity is also beyond reproach and it is hardly surprising that he commands so much respect and has become one of the most highly regarded and influential music industry figures. I offer my sincere congratulations and compliments to Martin on behalf of all of us at PPL and VPL and indeed on behalf of all his friends and colleagues everywhere.”
Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the MPG Awards 2012 and any company that would like to play a part should contact Sadie Groom at Bubble & Squeak. Telephone: +44 (0) 01442 877 850. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: Casper Mills