UK Music Industry, R&B Stars Honor Jamal Edwards With 2022 MITS Award
The event raised funds for the MITS’ regular beneficiaries, the BRIT Trust and Nordoff Robbins, and the Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust.
Major British R&B artists joined music industry representatives last night to honor the late pioneering entrepreneur and philanthropist Jamal Edwards MBE with this year’s Music Industry Trusts Award (MITS).
The ceremony took place as always at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, raising money for the MITS’ regular beneficiaries, the BRIT Trust and Nordoff Robbins, as well as the Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust. The latter charity was established by his family in his memory and to continue Edwards’ legacy after his sudden death earlier this year at the age of just 31.
The evening was hosted by DJ and presenter Gemma Cairney and featured impressive performances by Mercury Music Prize winner Little Simz, Jorja Smith, Mahalia and Max Cyrus. All of them spoke movingly about the impact that Edwards had made on their lives, as did his mother Brenda Edwards who, with his sister Tanisha Edwards, accepted the award from last year’s recipient, DJ Pete Tong. The event marked the first time that the MITS Award, established in 1992, has been given posthumously, and Edwards is also the youngest recipient of the award.
“I want to say thank you to Dan [Chalmers] and Toby [Leighton-Pope, MITS co-chairmen] and the MITS Committee for acknowledging Jamal with this prestigious award,” said Brenda Edwards. “It’s been a real honor to hear so much great talent in one room. I’m overwhelmed and Jamal would be blown away by tonight.”
Said Little Simz as she started her closing set: “We’re gonna have a party in here and celebrate this man, everything he’s done and everything he’s accomplished. He was a go-getter, someone that had a vision.”
Noted Leighton-Pope: “It was an incredibly special room to be in tonight with the music industry coming together to honour Jamal Edwards. Thank you again to the Edwards family for accepting the MITS award on his behalf, and to Little Simz, Jorja Smith, Mahalia, and Max Cyrus for their spectacular performances. We’re proud to continue to raise funds for the MITs charities, the BRIT Trust and Nordoff Robbins and to, this year, donate funds for the Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust.”
Chalmers added: “We are very humbled to award this year’s MITS to Jamal Edwards. He was a visionary – brilliantly creative and ahead of his time, making space for rising stars and talented artists, launching so many impressive careers. Thank you to his family for their involvement and to the amazing artists who helped make tonight so special. We hope both Jamal and SB.TV’s legacy can live on and help inspire future generations.”