Elton John and David Furnish to receive joint honour at the 2021 Artist & Manager Awards

  • Recognising a lifetime of commercial, creative and cultural achievements, Elton and David Furnish will receive the coveted Artist and Manager Partnership Award sponsored by PPL
  • Celebrating successes across the artist and management community, 2021’s ceremony returns to the Bloomsbury Big Top on Thursday November 18th 

Tuesday October 5th 2021

The Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) and Music Managers Forum (MMF) are delighted to announce the first winners at our upcoming Artist & Manager Awards, with Elton John and David Furnish, CEO Rocket Management, sharing the coveted Artist and Manager Partnership award which is sponsored by PPL.

Celebrating a lifetime of achievements, the unique accolade will highlight Elton and David’s remarkable shared successes and their incredible ongoing impact on an upcoming generation of artists and audiences. 

Working with lyricist Bernie Taupin, Elton remains one of the most successful artists of all time – selling over 300 million records around the world, and releasing more than fifty Top 40 hits, including such classics as Your Song, Rocket Man, Crocodile Rock, Candle In The Wind, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, Someone Saved My Life Tonight, Are You Ready For Love, I’m Still Standing, Sacrifice, Can You Feel The Love Tonight, I Want Love, and Tiny Dancer.  Named in 2018 as the most successful male solo artist in Billboard Hot 100 chart history, he is also one music’s great collaborators, working with artists including John Lennon, Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick to Luciano Pavarotti, Leon Russell, George Michael, Eminem and Dua Lipa.

Equally celebrated as a performer, Elton was in the midst of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road world tour, marking an incredible half century on the road, when the pandemic hit. In 2019 it was named Billboard’s Top Rock Tour and Pollstar’s Major Tour Of The Year.

Aside from these creative and cultural achievements, the FAC, MMF and award sponsor PPL will also recognise Elton and David’s charity and advocacy work, particularly through the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and their continued championing of young upcoming artists via Rocket Hour, Elton’s weekly tastemaker show on Apple Music, and on his latest album, The Lockdown Sessions, which features contributions from an array of talent, including Rina Sawayama, Years & Years, Gorillaz, SG Lewis and Lil Nas X.  

Elton’s collaboration with Dua Lipa, Cold Heart, currently stands at number two in the UK Top 40, and number one in the UK pop club chart. 

And if that weren’t enough, Elton and David have also played a lead and vocal role in the debate around post-Brexit European live music, urging Ministers to fulfil their promises in delivering friction-free touring, a stance echoed by the FAC & MMF instigated #LetTheMusicMove campaign. 

On the evening of November 18th, we will also celebrate the key role played by Elton’s husband and manager David Furnish, CEO of Rocket Entertainment. David’s award recognises the work he has performed since 2015, recalibrating Rocket’s business and guiding one of the most high-profile and productive phases of Elton’s career, encompassing the hugely successful Rocketman movie biopic, the candid and best-selling memoir Me, the major career retrospective Diamonds and, in 2018, a new multi-faceted partnership with Universal Music Group covering recorded music, music publishing, merchandise, brand management and licensing rights.  

Navigating the competing demands of digital culture and live performance remains a huge challenge for music managers, but David with the support of his colleague Rachael Paley has ensured Elton’s music continues to flourish – maintaining his existing audience, and reaching millions of new fans and music lovers around the world, a drive which recently saw Elton surpass 40 million monthly listeners on Spotify. David and Rocket Entertainment are deserving winners of the MMF and FAC’s highest accolade. 

Catherine Anne Davies, aka The Anchoress, FAC Ambassador:

“Earlier this year, Elton invited me onto his Apple Music radio show to be interviewed about my new album ‘The Art of Losing’. What could’ve been a nerve-wracking experience turned out to be a total joy, not only because of Elton’s warmth and empathy, but also because of his genuine curiosity and love of music. It literally spills out of him! Elton’s support has benefitted countless new artists and, as a fan and FAC Ambassador, I am so delighted we can celebrate this aspect of what he does.” 

Paul Craig, Chair, Music Managers Forum:

“Elton has been a major musical inspiration throughout my life, as well as an enormous influence professionally. Alongside his artistic brilliance, I’m delighted we can also recognise the immense role played by David Furnish and all the team at Rocket Entertainment. To expand such a valuable musical legacy and to successfully reposition this timeless catalogue for a streaming audience is a huge achievement, to the point where Elton’s music now feels more relevant than ever. On behalf of the MMF, I also want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to their invaluable advocacy work, and particularly on the issue of post-Brexit touring which will impact all artists and where David and Elton have both led from the front. For all these reasons, the MMF and FAC are beyond excited that both will be joining us in person to pick up their awards.”  

Peter Leathem, CEO, PPL:

“Elton John and David Furnish are giants of the UK music industry, and truly deserving of the prestigious Partnership Award, which is proudly sponsored by PPL. Elton is one of the great artists of our times, having released hit after hit for decades, a feat matched by few others in music. David’s expert management has been crucial to his enduring success, ensuring Elton’s outstanding music remains popular whilst also helping him reach new fans, including through collaborations with some of the world’s most popular contemporary artists. All of this has been achieved alongside important charitable initiatives and the support of young talent. Congratulations to Elton and David and thank you for your contributions to UK music.”

Taking place on Thursday 18th November, the Artist & Manager Awards is an annual celebration of achievements across the UK’s artist and management community.  

This unique special award replaces the previous recipients of the Artists’ Artist Award include Nile Rodgers, Massive Attack, Guy Garvey, Tracey Thorn and Robbie Williams, while the top management Award has been awarded to Rebecca Boulton, Modest! Management, Jonathan Kessler, Peter Rudge, Jim Beach and Paul Loasby. 

Full details of the Awards can be found here. Further winners will be announced in coming weeks. 

Leave a Reply