Thank you, says Dido, as women win the Novellos

Louise Jury Media Correspondent
Tuesday 12 November 2013 06:40

Dido topped her double Brits triumph by being named songwriter of the year yesterday at the prestigious songwriting honours, the Ivor Novello Awards.

But it was Kylie Minogue's day as "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" – written by former chart star Cathy Dennis and Rob Davis, once of the band Mud – scooped three awards including international hit of the year. Ms Dennis said she had never dreamed she would be a winner. "It's all quite surreal. I've been doing this for about 12 years now and a hat-trick is fantastic."

Although the Ivor Novellos are not as well-known among the general public as the glitzier Brits, they are highly coveted in the music industry for recognising songwriting talent.

A number of veteran performers were honoured yesterday alongside Dido and other newcomers such as Hear'Say, the television pop band whose first hit "Pure and Simple" was the UK's best-selling single last year.

Kate Bush, who has not released new material for almost a decade, was given an outstanding contribution award and Mick Hucknall, the Simply Red star, received an honorary award for outstanding song collection. He said: "The people who understand about what songwriting is all about are in this room. I'm really more touched about this than any other award."

Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus of Abba, whose songs are still packing in the audiences at the West End musical Mama Mia!, were given a special international award. And Sting took an international achievement prize.

The fiercely contested category of best song musically and lyrically went to rock veterans U2 with "Walk On". The band, who won four Grammies in America earlier this year, beat last year's winner David Gray, who had been nominated for "Sail Away", and Travis's Fran Healy, nominated for "Side".

The best contemporary song category was won by Tim Wheeler, who wrote "Shining Light" for Ash, beating Dido's single "Thank You" and "Clint Eastwood" from Gorillaz.

George Fenton's music for the BBC's latest natural history hit The Blue Planet scooped the best original TV/radio music against competition including Michael Kamen's score for Band of Brothers. Shrek won the best film score award.

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The full tally for "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" was the best dance song, most performed work and international hit of the year.

The honours, which are sponsored by the Performing Rights Society, were presented at a lunch at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane.

* The Classical Brits at the Royal Albert Hall last night bucked the dumbing-down trend recently condemned by the opera singer Sir Thomas Allen and honoured some of its genuine star talents.

Cecilia Bartoli, the mezzo-soprano, was named female artist of the year; Sir Colin Davis, the conductor, won the male artist honour, and the London Symphony Orchestra scooped two prizes – orchestral album of the year and the critics' award – for two different performances.

However, the rise of more populist classical acts was not ignored altogether. Russell Watson, the former steel worker turned "people's tenor", won the best album prize for the second successive year as well as the biggest selling classical album award for Encore.

The winners

The year's best songs are honoured with two awards, which both went to Irish acts.

Best song musically and lyrically went to U2's hit "Walk On", while best contemporary song went to "Shining Light" by Ash.

Other honorary awards went to Simply Red star Mick Hucknall for outstanding song collection, while Sting took the international achievement prize.

Abba stars Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, took the special international award.

Hear'Say, who had an astonishing start to their career but have this year been struggling, were honoured for best-selling UK single with their track "Pure and Simple".

The full list of winners:

Best song musically and lyrically ­ "Walk On", U2.

Best contemporary song ­ "Shining Light", Ash.

Best original music for TV/radio ­ The Blue Planet.

The Ivors Dance Award ­ "Can't Get You Out Of My Head", Kylie Minogue.

Best original film score ­ Shrek.

Most performed work ­ "Can't Get You Out Of My Head", Kylie Minogue.

International hit of the year ­ "Can't Get You Out Of My Head", Kylie Minogue.

Bestselling UK single ­ "Pure and Simple", Hear'Say.

Outstanding song collection ­ Mick Hucknall, left.

International achievement ­ Sting.

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