NME Awards Summary

Our writer Betsy Cleaver sums up one of the biggest nights in music...

Betsy Cleaver
22nd March 2022
Credit: Twitter
Hosted at the O2 Academy in Brixton, the NME Awards make the Grammys and the Brits look boring. Only there can you see Sam Fender (who had a great night, winning two of the six awards he was nominated for) dance with TikTok’s train enthusiast Francis Bourgeois and watch Dick and Dom start off their iconic “Bogies” chant in a room full of music’s A Listers. 

Performances included Sam Fender, The Cure’s Robert Smith and CHVRCHES performing together for the first time and Griff and Sigrid debuting their newest single “Head On Fire”. 

The event was politically charged, with villain of the year being won by none other than Jacob Rees Mogg. There were also urges to vote Boris Johnson out and many a “fuck the Tories” shout from artists and audience alike. Bring Me The Horizon also featured the Ukraine flag on their drum kit. 

Described by Taylor Swift herself as “the craziest awards show [she’s] ever been to”, here’s the rundown of the most important, iconic finger raised trophies that were handed out. 

The Godlike Genius Award was won by FKA Twigs, the youngest ever recipient of the award. Halsey collected the Innovation Award whilst the Radar Award (for new talent of the generation) was given to singer-songwriter Griff. 

Nenah Cherry was presented with the prestigious Icon Award by none other than her daughter, Mable. Newcastle’s finest Sam Fender beat the likes of Wolf Alice, Lana Del Rey and Tyler the Creator for Best Album in the World with “Seventeen Going Under”, as well as winning Best Album from a UK artist. 

Best Song in the World was won by Lorde, with “Solar Power”. Others nominated in this category included Olivia Rodrigo (who won Best New Act in the World) and BTS. 

More deserving women were celebrated, with Holly Humberstone’s “The Walls Are Way Too Thin” EP winning best Mixtape/EP, Little Simz winning best UK solo Act and Wolf Alice winning best Festival headliner. 

On the topic of festivals, the best UK Festival was won by Reading and Leeds (are you team Reading or Team Leeds?). Music Moment of the Year was awarded to Liam Gallagher and his free concert for NHS workers. Love him or hate him, he dedicated the award to the invaluable workers of the NHS.

Best Band in the World was awarded to Dublin post-punk band Fontaines DC, Best UK Band to Bring Me The Horizon and Best Solo Act to Burna Boy (who topped the category containing the likes of The Weeknd, Billie Elish and Sam Fender). 

Taylor’s Swift’s Red (Taylor’s Version) got the recognition it deserved with the best Reissue Award, proving her eternal relevance to the music industry, as did Jack Antanoff, who won the The Best Songwriter Award. Being the front man of Indie Pop band Bleachers and behind almost every alternative female singer songwriter in the game at the moment (think Lana Del Rey, Lorde, St Vincent and Taylor Swift), it's hard to dispute this one. 

Finally, best live act was won by Rina Sawayama, while CHVRCHES picked up Best Song by A UK Artists for “How Not To Drown”.

Agree or disagree with the results, the NME Awards celebrated a diverse, talented line up and proved how lucky we are to be living in such an exciting generation of music. 

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