Icons make way for more cutting-edge acts in Mojo awards

From the Clash to James Brown, the Mojo awards made a point of recognising the elder statesmen of popular music when they were launchedlast year.

Not this year. The organisers of 2004's back-slapping music extravaganza in Whitehall yesterday unveiled their attempt to make the event more cutting edge by adding to the nominees a gender-bending cabaret artist and a singer who once lived in a chicken coop.

Although the Mojo honours list will remain dominated by awards for music's longer-serving souls, from David Bowie to Kate Bush, the category of best new act has been added for a more contemporary feel.

But anyone expecting a shortlist of new talent to catalogue current hot properties of mainstream pop, such as Franz Ferdinand or the Libertines, will be disappointed. The shortlist for the new category includes some established names such as the piano-playing balladeer Rufus Wainwright and Britain's new soul rockers, the Magic Numbers. But it also features a number of unknowns, including Antony and the Johnsons, led by Antony Hegarty, a British-born New York cabaret artist with a voice like Nina Simone's who sings about gender identity and femininity. Another nominee is Ray LaMontagne, an American guitarist whose itinerant childhood was spent in accommodation ranging from a breezeblock shed on a horse ranch to a chicken coop in New Hampshire.

A spokesman for the awards said: "Even though we have added this category, it is not about rewarding the glitzy side of pop. We are interested in musicians who are doing something genuinely interesting."

The awards, to be held in London on 16 June, will nonetheless remain largely founded in offering recognition to musical names who are as likely to be offered gongs by Buckingham Palace as the NME.

At the inaugural ceremony last year, held at the ornate 17th century Banqueting House on Whitehall, the announcement of one award was preceded by a fanfare from four Household Cavalry trumpeters.

The nominations for the Mojo icon award 2005 include Bowie, who once reputedly turned down a CBE, Siouxsie Sioux, Marc Bolan and the Ramones.

Among the four categories to be decided by votes from readers of Mojo magazine is the award for the most inspirational performer or band. The nominees include Morrissey, Tom Waits and Neil Young, whose average age is 54.

Organisers insisted they were right to eschew the vagaries of the charts and focus on career-long contributions to music.

Phil Alexander, the editor-in-chief of Mojo magazine, said: "While other awards celebrate the biggest names and best releases of the preced-ing year, we believe there's long been a need to properly honour the extraordinary talents of the artists, bands and song writers whose careers have been responsible for enhancing our rich musical culture."

The 13 categories include an award for the best back-catalogue release whose nominees include Motown singles from 1959 to 1961 and the work of the blues legend Muddy Waters from 1952 to 1958.

The nominations


Paul Weller; Brian Wilson; Damien Rice; Van Morrison; Kate Bush


Antony and the Johnsons; Ray LaMontangne; Rufus Wainwright; Arcade Fire; Willy Mason; The Magic Numbers


AC/DC, Family Jewels; Elvis Presley, '68 Comeback Special; Live Aid; Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues; Marc Bolan/T. Rex, Born To Boogie; The Rolling Stones, Rock and Roll Circus


David Bowie; John Lydon; Siouxsie Sioux; Marc Bolan; The Ramones


The Mamas & Papas, Complete Anthology; The Clash, London Calling 25th Anniversary Edition; Jeff Buckley, Grace 10th Anniversary Edition; The Kinks, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society; Jack Nitzsche Story 1962-1979, Hearing is Believing; The Fall, The Complete Peel Sessions 1978-2004


Pixies; Gang of Four; Tom Waits; Morrissey; Neil Young

Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer is to leave The Apprentice after 10 years

TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice

Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Shenaz Treasurywala
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump


Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'