By Anthony Barnes
US star John Mellencamp today landed the prestigious title of Classic Songwriter at the 2008 Q Awards with Russian Standard Vodka.
The artist formerly known as Johnny Cougar – who celebrates his 57th birthday tomorrow (Tuesday) – is best known for his top 30 hit Jack And Diane and has scored a string of US hits over a 30-year period. They include the huge single Hurts So Good.
Collecting his award, Mellencamp told guests: “I wrote that song 30 years ago that Jack and Diane song and people are still playing it. The whole thing about being a songwriter is to show some humility when you are writing a song you want something that goes into people’s hearts … I’m still hoping to write that song.”
Last year the title was won by Billy Bragg.
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Billboard Magazine: 2008 Q Awards
By Andre Paine, London
Coldplay won a pair of Q awards at the London ceremony, while there were also honors for veteran artists John Mellencamp and Glen Campbell.
The U.K. melodic rock band won best album this afternoon (Oct. 6) at the Grosvenor House Hotel for “Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends” (Parlophone) as well as best act in the world today. The two awards were among those voted by readers of Q magazine and its Web site, with others decided by a judging panel.
Singer Chris Martin was jubilant when their name was announced for the album award, climbing on his chair and then declaring the honor “fucking awesome.”
However, he had to backtrack when the audience gave a mixed reaction to his assertion “we’re not cool and we’re the biggest band in the world.”
He added: “Not quite the biggest band in the world. U2 are on holiday. We’re like the substitute teachers.”
When they beat Metallica, Muse, Kings Of Leon and Oasis to their other award, Martin added: “I don’t think we are the best act in the room, let alone the world.” Among those present, he name checked U.S. alternative act Vampire Weekend and U.K. indie-rock band Kaiser Chiefs as acts he admires.
Kaiser Chiefs won best live act and Vampire Weekend collected the best video award for “A-Punk” (XL Recordings). Ahead of the release of their new album “Perfect Symmetry” (Island) on Oct. 13, melodic rock trio Keane won best track for “Spiralling”
David Gilmour dedicated his outstanding contribution award to Pink Floyd’s keyboardist Richard Wright, who died of cancer last month aged 65. He was also a member of David Gilmour’s touring band.
“There’s all sorts of music I will not be able to play again without him, which is a source of sadness for me,” said Gilmour.
Gilmour also said that Wright’s hopes to play a major event this year did not work out. Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis, who was at the awards, had turned down a request from Gilmour to play this summer because he said the line-up was full at that stage.
“He [Wright] wanted us to do a big outdoor festival such as Glastonbury,” Gilmour added. “We were unable to do that due to all sorts of strange reasons, which is a sadness.”
Before proposing a toast, Gilmour told the audience: “He deserves this as much as I do. He worked behind some of the pushier chaps up front. His work is vitally important to our entire career.”
Eighties U.K. alternative act the Cocteau Twins won the Q Inspiration award. The band was booked to reform for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival in 2005, but vocalist Elizabeth Fraser then decided against the reunion.
“This is actually the first thing we’ve ever won,” said Fraser.
Other special awards chosen by the judging panel included Q classic songwriter for John Mellencamp and Q legend for Glen Campbell. Both made concise, well-received acceptance speeches; however, Meat Loaf gave a stumbling performance during his acceptance speech for the classic song award (“Bat Out Of Hell”) and was encouraged to leave the stage as he attempted impromptu covers of songs by Queen and The Who.
Eighties pop act Adam Ant won the icon award and earned applause when he said he was “looking forward to collecting my royalties from Coldplay later on,” a reference to the band’s habit of wearing military uniforms during their current campaign.
Other winners present included Grace Jones and The Last Shadow Puppets. Tom Jones, Stereophonics singer Kelly Jones and Roger Daltrey from The Who presented individual awards, and the ceremony was hosted by comedian Alan Carr. It was broadcast on Q Radio, which is available online, via digital television and DAB digital radio in London.
Q Awards full list of winners:
Best New Act
The Last Shadow Puppets
Keane – “Spiralling” (Island)
Vampire Weekend – “A-Punk” (XL Recordings)
Q Classic Songwriter
Q Classic Song
Meat Loaf – “Bat Out Of Hell”
Best Live Act
Coldplay – “Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends” (Parlophone)
Q Innovation In Sound
Q Outstanding Contribution To Music
Best Act In The World Today
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