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Jamal Edwards to be honoured with posthumous award for outstanding contribution to music industry

The SBTV founder will become its youngest-ever and only posthumously-awarded recipient

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SBTV founder Jamal Edwards is set to be honoured with a posthumous award.

The Luton-born and Acton-raised entrepreneur, director, DJ, author and designer, who died after a sudden illness in February, aged 31, will be recognised for his outstanding contribution to the music industry at this year's Music Industry Trusts Award (MITS).

While previous recipients include Pete Tong, Annie Lennox, Kylie Minogue, and Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Edward's award will double up as MITS' first-ever posthumous nod. He will also become its youngest-ever recipient

Coming eight years after he was awarded an MBE for his work in music, the award will be presented to Edwards' family at the annual event at London's Grosvenor House Hotel on 7th November. This year's ceremony will be held in aid of Nordoff Robbins, the BRIT Trust and the Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust, a charity set up by Edwards' family to honour his legacy by combatting homelessness, offering young people essential life skills and supporting those with mental health issues.

In a statement, Brenda Edwards, Jamal’s mother, said: "It is very humbling for the family to be accepting this award on behalf of our beloved Jamal and we are delighted to have the MITS highlight the Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust alongside The BRIT Trust and Nordoff Robbins. We know that Jamal will be looking down on us on November 7 - busting with pride that his absolute love of the music industry and giving back to the less fortunate in society has been recognised in this way. Thank you MITS!"

“Jamal changed my life," said Ed Sheeran. "He played such a huge part in shaping the trajectory of my career as well, but I would not be where I am now without him. Jamal’s sharp knowledge, unwavering optimism and willingness to help others whatever the cost meant he changed the lives and careers of so many, not just people in music, and there’s no-one more deserving of a MITS Award recognising his place in this industry.”

The co-chair of the MITS Award committee, Toby Leighton-Pope, added: “Jamal Edwards changed the face of the music industry in his 31 years, his achievements could be on par with someone 60 years into the business. His influence on the music scene as it is today should never be underestimated, just look at some of the UK’s biggest artists, tours and hits today, and Jamal will have played a part in some way. That’s why he is so deserving of this year’s MITS Award."

Edwards launched SBTV in 2006, named as a nod to his then rap name, SmokeyBarz. Originating as a platform for him to share videos filmed on his estate, the platform went on to launch the careers of many artists, featuring work from Stormzy, Jessie J, Dave, Nines, Krept & Konan, and many others.

He was also an advocate for mental health, and in March 2017 he made a documentary with The Guardian about male suicide, where he spoke to his childhood friends who suffer with mental health problems. 

Photo by Keaton Rich