Written by Karen Campbell


7 Wonders: The Ivors

Great songs and unforgettable performances: Adele, Lily Allen and Duffy all get a big up as Karen Campbell celebrates The Ivors.

close-up of stylus on record player

Each year The Ivors celebrate, honour and reward excellence in songwriting and composing. They are presented by BASCA and judged by the writing community and considered among the most important awards for music creators.

The award for most performed work is based on broadcast, online and general performance data compiled by PRS for Music. And the winning songs from the last seven years have mostly been performed by women – aw-yay-ah! The year in brackets refers to when the award was won rather than the single’s release.

Clean Bandit – Rather Be (2015) by Jimmy Napes/Jack Patterson

Electronic combo Clean Bandit got a little help with this catchy tune from top warbler Jess Glynne. Co-penned by recent Oscar winner Jimmy Napes, it mixes infectious melodies with strings and house beats. A MASSIVE worldwide success, it topped the charts in 13 countries and toppled Babylon Zoo’s 1995 smash Spaceman as the bestselling January single ever.

Passenger – Let Her Go (2014) by Michael Rosenberg

Inspired by the end of a relationship, singer-songwriter Passenger – Mike Rosenberg to his mam – released this heartfelt ballad in July 2012, as the second single from his third album, All The Little Lights. With its nod to Cat Stevens, and huge global success worldwide, it became the soundtrack to many throat-lump moments.

Emeli Sandé – Next To Me (2013) by Emeli Sandé/Harry Craze/Hugo Chegwin/Anup Paul

You couldn’t move without hearing Emeli Sandé when the Scottish singer-songwriter burst onto the scene with this hugely powerful and uplifting track about the men in her life. Written in her bedroom and inspired by the attitude and soul of Aretha Franklin, the track went on to be a huge success in Europe and made the Billboard top 40 in the US. It also meant Sandé bagged a spot as one of the performers at the London Olympics’ opening ceremony.

“Whimsical beats and excellent electro-pop coupled with cheeky lyrics having a dig at the rich and famous and a video featuring an absolute stonker of a dance routine ensured The Fear was a huge hit.”

Adele – Rolling in the Deep (2012) by Paul Epworth/Adele Adkins

Soulful, bluesy storytelling from Tottenham’s finest, in which she – surprise, surprise – reminisces about a past relationship and what could’ve been. The guitar-strumming opening builds to a balls-out, hand-clapping, foot-stomping affair with that incredible voice never sounding stronger. A smash across the world, it gave Adele her first US number one and cemented her superstar status.

Plan B – She Said (2011) by Eric Appapoulay/Thomas Wright-Goss/Plan B/Richard Cassell

The second single from Ben Drew’s 2010 concept album, The Defamation of Strickland Banks, picks up where first single, Stay Too Long, left off. The fictitious tale of soul singer Banks, who ends up in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, the accompanying video is as iconic as the song itself, depicting the court room action interjected with a singing judge and jury. As for the tune, it mixes swing, rap, and pop melody in a way that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Amy Winehouse record.

Lily Allen – The Fear (2010) by Greg Kurstin/Lily Allen

Astute social commentary wrapped up in sublime pop, The Fear was pop-brat Lily Allen’s biggest selling single, and it’s not hard to see why. Whimsical beats and excellent electro-pop coupled with cheeky lyrics having a dig at the rich and famous and a video featuring an absolute stonker of a dance routine ensured this was a huge hit.

Duffy – Mercy (2009) by Steve Booker/Duffy

Welsh chanteuse Duffy took the charts by storm with this soulful blues number that stayed at number one for five weeks in the UK and topped the charts in most European countries. Packed with attitude, sashays and retro vibes, it remains her biggest single to date.

The Ivors are presented annually by BASCA and sponsored by PRS for Music. All writer and publisher info is on The Ivors website: theivors.com

PRS logoSponsored by: PRS for Music

PRS for Music is a society of around 115,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers – our members. We represent the rights of these members (and the members of roughly 150 affiliated societies in nearly 100 countries around the world) by licensing organisations to play, perform or make available music. We then distribute royalties to those members and societies fairly and efficiently.

We have been providing music licences to businesses that play music for customers, employees or both for more than 100 years and the exciting bit is that not only does music benefit businesses, but it also plays a vital role in the creation of new music because nearly 90 per cent of all money collected goes back to our members (the rest on our running costs).

For more information, please visit: www.prsformusic.com/customerportal


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Written by Karen Campbell

Karen Campbell is a life coach at www.your-dreamcatcher.com. She likes gin, James McAvoy and pretending she's not from Scunthorpe.