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Dave Continues Awards Streak by Winning Ivor Novello Award For Best Contemporary Song

The awards were originally slated to be presented in May, but were postponed due to COVID-19.

Dave, the acclaimed British rapper, singer and songwriter, continued his winning streak at awards shows by taking the Ivor Novello Award for best contemporary song for “Black.” Dave co-wrote the song, one of the highlights of his debut album, Psychodrama, with Fraser T. Smith.

This year’s winners of the Ivors, as the awards are commonly known, were announced on The Matt Wilkinson Show on Apple Music 1 Radio on Wednesday (Sept. 2). The awards were originally slated to be presented in May, but were postponed due to COVID-19. The Ivors, now in their 65th year, honor songwriting and screen composition.

The Ivor judges described “Black” as “important, eloquent and a song that not only empowers, but is borderless in its musicality.”

Psychodrama won a Brit Award as British album of the year, a Mercury Prize for best album and an AIM Award for best independent album.

Dave and Smith performed “Black” at the Brit Awards in February. Recapping the show for Billboard, deputy editor Andrew Unterberger singled out “the stark-but-powerful rendition of the ‘Black is beautiful’ anthem” as one of the show’s highlights.

This is the second time that Dave, 22, has won an Ivor for best contemporary song. He won two ago for “Question Time,” a song from his 2017 EP Game Over.

Steve Mac won songwriter of the year, an award that has been presented annually since 1974. Mac’s 2019 hits include Ed Sheeran’s “South of the Border” (featuring Camila Cabello and Cardi B), Mabel’s “Don’t Call Me Up” and “Mad Love,” Westlife’s “Hello My Love” and “Better Man” and “Harder” by Jax Jones and Bebe Rexha.

Jamie Cullum collected his first Ivor in the best song musically and lyrically category. The judges describing his winning song, “Age of Anxiety,” as “beautifully emotive, with an exceptionally crafted melody.”

“Giant,” performed and co-written by Calvin Harris and Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, with co-writing by Jamie Hartman and Troy Miller, was awarded the PRS for music most performed work of 2019. It’s the second Ivor win for Harris; the first for the song’s other three writers.

Bobby Krlic collected his first Ivor for best original film score for Midsommar, hailed by the judges as an “outstanding incidental score that is an inseparable part of the uncompromising vision of the film.”

The award for the best television soundtrack went to Labrinth for Euphoria, HBO’s teen drama starring Zendaya about a group of high school students navigating love and friendship. It is Labrinth’s first win for scoring screen music and his second Ivor. He previously won for co-writing Tinie Tempah’s “Pass Out.” Labrinth is nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards – outstanding music composition for a series and outstanding original music and lyrics — for his work on Euphoria.

Little Simz’ third studio album Grey Area, which the British rapper and singer co-wrote with Inflo, won for best album. This is Little Simz’ first Ivor and the second for Inflo, who won in 2017 for co-writing Michael Kiwanuka’s “Black Man in a White World.”

Songwriter and artist Mysie won the first rising star award with Apple Music.

Presented for only the fifth time, the award for best original video game score went to Simon Poole for “Draugen.”

Joan Armatrading received an academy fellowship, which the Ivors call “the highest honor that The Ivors Academy bestows.” This is only the nineteenth Fellowship that the Academy has awarded in its 76-year history. Previous winners include Annie Lennox, Paul McCartney and Elton John. Armatrading, 69, released her first album in 1972. She was awarded an MBE in 2001.


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