Lily Allen wins three Ivor Novello songwriting awards

By Tim Masters
Entertainment correspondent, BBC News

  • Published

A tearful Lily Allen has picked up three Ivor Novello songwriting awards, including songwriter of the year.

The 25-year-old was choked with emotion as her hit single The Fear scooped prizes for best song musically and lyrically, and most performed work.

"This song is so much about feeling so lost," she said, "It has made me feel quite found all of a sudden."

Paul Weller won a lifetime achievement award and Scottish singer Paolo Nutini took home best album.

Nutini, who won with album Sunny Side Up, told the BBC: "It's two records in, I've got a lot to go yet."

Duran Duran singer Simon Le Bon, who presented the award, said: "Paolo's album is uplifting and very pure, and it makes you smile."

Sir Tim Rice, best known for his work with Andrew Lloyd Webber on Evita and Joseph, was given the Academy Fellowship.

Before the ceremony, Lily Allen told reporters she regarded her songs as "nursery rhymes".

She has repeatedly said she has no plans to make a new record for "a minimum of four or five years" - although she was recently confirmed as the support act for Muse when they play Wembley Stadium in September.

Asked if her Ivors success would make her rethink her decision to take a break, she said: "I don't know about that."

Standing ovation

Image caption,
Trevor Horn has worked with The Pet Shop Boys, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Robbie Williams

Allen was wearing a long primrose-coloured gown and holding her four-year-old sister Teddy Rose in her arms as she arrived at the Grosvenor House Hotel in central London.

Her award for songwriter of the year was shared with The Fear's co-writer Greg Kurstin, an LA-based musician who has also worked with Little Boots, Marina and the Diamonds and Kylie Minogue.

After picking up the third trophy, Allen joked: "If the the producer of the forthcoming Sugababes album wants to see me, I'll be at the bar."

Pyjama pop

Ethereal pop singer Natasha Khan - who performs under the name Bat For Lashes - won best contemporary single for Daniel.

"Who would have thought when I was sitting in my pyjamas in my bed writing this song, I would be standing up here with this," Khan said when she picked up her award.

Image caption,
Natasha Khan wore her "day clothes" having left her awards dress in a cab

She added: "I'm writing my new album and I hope to do many more Daniels."

Earlier, she revealed she had been so flustered that she had left her awards dress in the taxi on the way to the venue.

Other winners at the ceremony included Frankie Goes to Hollywood producer Trevor Horn, who was given a standing ovation as he picked up the outstanding contribution award.

Horn, who also produced ABC's acclaimed Lexicon of Love album, said modestly: "Thanks to Martin [Fry] and ABC, for a couple of weeks back there in the 80s, I probably was the most fashionable record producer in the world."

Oasis star Noel Gallagher presented the lifetime achievement to Paul Weller, who has found success with The Jam, the Style Council and his solo work.

Weller said: "I've enjoyed the last 33 years I've been writing songs and hopefully, with God's good grace, I'll do some more."

Singer-songwriter Imogen Heap was given the prize for international achievement by Annie Lennox, and the classical music award went to Sir Peter Maxwell.

Oh Carol singer Neil Sedaka was presented with the international achievement award and Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr was given the inspiration award.

The lunchtime ceremony opened with a speech in support of BBC 6 Music by Sarah Rodgers, Chairman of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (Basca).

The digital radio station was earmarked for closure by director general Mark Thompson in a speech in March.

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