UK music industry and R&B stars honor Jamal Edwards with 2022 MITS award

Great British R&B artists joined representatives from the music industry last night to honor the late entrepreneur and trailblazing philanthropist Jamal Edwards MBE with this year’s award Music Industry Trusts (MITS) Awards.

The ceremony took place as always at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, raising funds for regular beneficiaries of MITS, 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 just 31 years old.

The evening was hosted by DJ and presenter Gemma Cairney and featured impressive performances from Mercury Music Prize winner Little Simz, Jorja Smith, Mahalia and Max Cyrus. All spoke fondly of the impact Edwards had had on their lives, as did his mother Brenda Edwards who, along with her sister Tanisha Edwards, accepted the award from last year’s recipient, DJ Pete Tong. The event marked the first time the MITS award, established in 1992, has been awarded 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 recognizing Jamal with this prestigious award,” said Brenda Edwards. “It was a real honor to hear so much talent in one piece. I’m overwhelmed and Jamal would be blown away by tonight.

Little Simz – Photo: John Marshall

Little Simz – Photo: John Marshall

Said Little Simz as she began her closing set, “We’re going to have a party here and celebrate this man, all he’s done and all he’s achieved. He was a go-getter, someone with a vision.

Leighton-Pope noted, “It was an incredibly special room tonight with the music industry coming together to honor Jamal Edwards. Thanks again to the Edwards family for accepting the MITS award on their behalf, and to Little Simz, Jorja Smith, Mahalia and Max Cyrus for their spectacular performances. We are proud to continue raising funds for the charities MIT, the BRIT Trust and Nordoff Robbins and this year donating to the Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust.

Chalmers added, “We are very honored to award this year’s MITS to Jamal Edwards. He was a visionary – brilliantly creative and ahead of his time, making way for rising stars and talented artists, launching so many impressive careers. Thank you to his family for their involvement and to the incredible artists who helped make this evening so special. We hope the legacy of Jamal and SB.TV can live on and inspire future generations.

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