Gary Lightbody, the singer, songwriter, musician and Snow Patrol front-man, will be presented with the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’ award at the NI Music Prize in the Ulster Hall, Belfast, on November 15.
Gary is the first recipient of this special award, which is in association with Oh Yeah Music Centre and Inspire Wellbeing.
The presentation is in recognition of his exceptional contribution to music as an artist, but also for his active role in supporting grassroots and emerging acts from NI through the various projects and initiatives he has worked on over the years
Gary Lightbody is a multi-platinum selling and award-winning songwriter from Bangor, Northern Ireland. He first started out in 1994 in the band ‘Shrug’, later known as ‘Polar Bear’, before gestating into Snow Patrol. He has completed a number of high-profile co-writes with artists that include Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and One Direction. He has been involved in several side projects during his career, including two albums with Glasgow band ‘The Reindeer Section’, and more recently ‘Tired Pony’, which he formed with his long-term producer Jacknife Lee along with members of both REM and Belle & Sebastian.
Gary has played a huge role in supporting artists from Northern Ireland and was instrumental in the inception and formation of the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast. He also established Third Bar, a Belfast based Artist Development business set up to support Northern Irish artists in the advancement of their careers.
Charlotte Dryden of the Oh Yeah Music Centre said: “It is with great pleasure that we are able to offer this special award to Gary.
“Not only is he one of the most successful musicians to come out of NI, but he has always been an incredibly supportive and committed champion of the local music community.
“He has invested emotionally, financially and artistically to support its growth, promotion and development. Gary has also very recently opened up about his own battle with depression and so it is only fitting that this presentation is in association with Inspire Wellbeing, a charity doing brilliant work in the area of mental health.
“We are delighted to be able to combine the opportunity to thank Gary and to promote the work of Inspire, at what is going to be a fantastic evening in celebration of local music as part of the NI Music Prize.”
Peter McBride, CEO of Inspire said: “Gary Lightbody’s contribution to music is immense and all of us from this part of the world are very proud of his global success. The entire team at Inspire is particularly grateful for his powerful contribution on mental health. Through sharing his own story,
“Gary has helped breakdown stigma and encouraged all of us to seek help when we need it, talk about our mental health and to look after each other.
“Inspire is very proud to be associated with Oh Yeah Music Centre and with Gary on such a special night celebrating creativity, community and all that is good about Northern Ireland.
“On behalf of our service users, staff and volunteers we offer a huge Inspire congratulations to Gary on this award and our deepest gratitude for his solidarity in challenging the stigma surrounding mental ill-health.”
The ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’, presentation will be preceded by the NI Music Prize, an awards evening featuring four categories including Best Single, Best Album, Best Live Act and The Oh Yeah Contender Award. There will be performances from six of the nominees on the night, including Hannah Peel, Roe, The Wood Burning Savages, Ciaran Lavery, Ryan Vail featuring Arco String Quartet and Brand New Friend. The announcement of winners and all presentations will take place throughout the evening. The event is open to the public and tickets can be purchased from the Ulster Hall website.
This event is part of a wider programme, Sound of Belfast that will take place November 8-15.