Richard Griffiths and Harry Magee are to be jointly awarded the 2019 Music Industry Trusts Award. Co-founders of music management company Modest!, Richard and Harry have between them spearheaded the careers of many successful artists across a four-decade timespan.

A quick glance of their current crop of artists reads like a Who’s Who of chart sensations from Niall Horan to Little Mix, Olly Murs to 5 Seconds of Summer. Modest! also represent classical music royalty in Katherine Jenkins, revered singer/songwriter Alison Moyet and just the small matter of the world’s most famous girl band, the Spice Girls.

With Modest! formed in 2003, perhaps its most successful year came in 2010 when Richard, Harry and the team started work with One Direction. Put together on the X Factor, and relatively unknown at the time, they came third, but went on to reach unprecedented international heights, selling over 75 million albums, playing worldwide sell-out stadium tours and breaking industry records in the process.

Niall Horan says: “With Richard Griffiths and Harry Magee, I struggle to know where to even start…. What incredible men these two are. I’ve been working with Richard and Harry for nearly ten years now and if it wasn’t for them I don’t know if we all would have had half of the success we did.

On a personal note, I know they’ve worked their arses off for me and I can put it all down to the kind of relationship I share with them. They are basically like my uncles. We’ve been all over the world together, laughed together mostly, cried together at times but most importantly had many great nights on the wine together ahahah .I’d do anything for these men and I can comfortably say that they would do the same for me.

These boys are music industry veterans and it’s only right they get this honour and even more right that they are the first managers to do so.

Best in the business

Love you boys xx”  

Olly Murs says: “Richard & Harry you are more than just managers to me, but let’s be honest – for the last 10 years we’ve talked more about football than music. Anyone that knows you guys knows how hard you both work, and I can’t think of two more deserving people for this award. Now I’ll stop blowing smoke up your arse and get back to work!”

Alison Moyet says: “Unquestionably loyal to each of their artists and standing our every corner, Modest! are so much more than your sponge management. It is not running high days with hot acts that flags a manager as outstanding, it is the ability to find the heart beat when there is no discernible sign of commercial life and to platform it successfully. Modest! have given me the space and respect to be the creative I needed to be. I’m so grateful for that.”

Over the years Modest! have been involved in many charity events directly raising over £4m in the process. These include The Horan & Rose Event which has raised over £1.5m, Cheryl’s Trust raising £1m, The JLS Foundation raising £500k and One Direction raising over £1m in a single campaign. Indirectly, with their artists taking a significant part in other charity campaigns including Comic Relief, Sport Relief, Teenage Cancer Trust and Children in Need, this figure reaches several more millions of pounds.

Harry says: ‘It is indeed a great honour for Richard and I to be given the MITS Award and to have the opportunity to highlight two exceptional charities in The BRIT Trust and Nordoff Robbins. We proudly look forward to November 4th for some fun and fund raising!’

Richard says: “It is such an honour to be receiving this amazing award together with my great friend and partner Harry Magee. To help raise money for these two wonderful charities is an honor and a privilege.”

David Munns OBE, chairman of the MITS Award committee, says: “Richard and Harry have been at the forefront of the British music industry for over forty years. Individually and as the founders of Modest! they have continually set the benchmark in management and have led countless artists to huge success. Honouring two artist managers is a first for the MITS and we’re proud for them both to join the illustrious recipients list. We look forward to a fantastic awards night on 4th November.”

The award will be presented on 4th November at a ceremony held in aid of the BRIT Trust and Nordoff Robbins. Harry and Richard follow last year’s MITS honouree, Emma Banks, and join the ranks of previous recipients including Rob Stringer, Sir Lucian Grainge, Ahmet Ertegun, Michael Eavis CBE, and Roger Daltry CBE.

Celebrating its 28th year, the Music Industry Trusts Award is recognised as one of the true benchmarks of achievement in the U.K. music business, and continues to benefit hugely deserving causes year after year. The MITS Award supports two important charities, the BRIT Trust and Nordoff Robbins, and is sponsored by PPL, SJM Concerts and Spotify.

About Richard Griffiths:

In a remarkable career which has ranged across live music, music publishing, record labels and artist management, Griffiths has worked with talent in every genre and stars at every level, including AC/DC, Ultravox, Jane’s Addiction, Oasis, Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, Westlife, Enrique Iglesias and Linkin Park.

In 1974, he founded Headline Artists, becoming the first international agent for AC/DC. Three years later, Griffiths was A&R for Island Records, signing the Buggles, whose “Video Killed The Radio Star” was the first No. 1 in the storied label’s history.

During the 1980s, Griffiths managed Ultravox, ran Virgin Music Publishing and signed Tears for Fears, Culture Club and Pet Shop Boys, and founded the U.S. division of Virgin Music. In the ’90s, as president of Epic Records in New York, he launched the Epic Soundtrax label for film music (“Dances With Wolves” was its first release) and signed Oasis for the U.S as well as Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine and Korn.

Returning to the U.K., he held senior executive posts at BMG Entertainment in the U.K. and Europe, and in 1999, oversaw the signing of Westlife to RCA Records with Simon Cowell. One year later, he brokered the deal with Cowell which created Syco Music and Television.

Leaving BMG in 2001, Griffiths set up the U.K. arm of American management powerhouse The Firm, where he and Harry Magee worked with Enrique Iglesias and Linkin Park, among others.

About Harry Magee:

In a career spanning music retail and music publishing as well as independent and major labels, Magee has worked with and for a succession of British and American stars, among them, Berlin, Lisa Stansfield, Whitney Houston, Yazz, Sting, Sheryl Crow, Westlife, Eurythmics and Foo Fighters.

After retail experience in Manchester, he moved to London and formed the Anglo Swedish indie Wire Records, with offices in Stockholm, London and Hamburg, and an artist roster including All That Jazz, Thirteen Moons and The Leather Nun. In 1986 The Old Grey Whistle Test travelled to Sweden to film a feature on the label

Magee’s major-label tenure began upon joining BMG in 1989 as Arista Records’ head of marketing. He navigated the breakthrough of Lisa Stansfield and her first two multi-platinum albums, and the U.K. achievements of Arista’s U.S. stars, including Whitney Houston.

There were further accomplishments when Magee became managing director of Big Life Records (Yazz, The Orb, Naughty By Nature), working with the late, legendary talent manager, Jazz Summers. Then, as general manager of A&M Records, Magee helped to steer the success of Sting, Bryan Adams, Sheryl Crow and Soundgarden.

Returning to BMG in 1998, Magee was appointed managing director of RCA Records. He established a vital association with Simon Cowell and acts Westlife and Five, while directing the label’s accomplishments with Natalie Imbruglia, Foo Fighters, and Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart as they reformed Eurythmics. In 2001, Magee joined Richard Griffiths to establish the U.K. division of American talent management titan, The Firm, before the pair formed Modest! in 2003.


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