Universal Music’s Lucian Grainge Is Named Cannes Lions’ Media Person of the Year: Read His Speech

Universal Music Group chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge can cross off another entry from his bucket list. The veteran executive was named Cannes Lions’ Media Person of the Year at a ceremony held at Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France on June 21.

Among the industry names in attendance were UMG’s Michele Anthony, Mike Tunnicliffe, Andrew Kronfeld, Olivier Robert-Murphy, and Olivier Nusse, along with Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ron Howard, Lang Lang, Michael Kassan, Jamie N Commons, Casey Wasserman, Peter Rice, Glassnote Records’ Daniel Glass, and iHeartRadio’s Bob Pittman.

Grainge received the award from Philip Thomas, CEO of Cannes Lions, who noted that he was, “The first music executive to be honored since this award was first introduced in 1999, which says much about the convergence of entertainment with marketing and advertising.” Thomas hailed Grainge’s work with such artists as Elton John, Jay Z, Amy Winehouse, ABBA, The Rolling Stones, and Queen, and his time at UMG, describing the honoree as “the great hope for the music business … widely praised for his risk taking and innovation.”

In accepting the award, Grainge dedicated the honor to his late brother, Nigel Grainge, who recently passed. Read Grainge’s full speech below:

“Thank you very much for that, and thank you Philip, I am deeply honored for this award and also that I am the first member of the music industry to be here. That means a great deal to me and all of us.

No talent scout, no artist, no band, no label, no CEO, no creative executive ever succeeds on their own, and today I’d like to humbly thank those who made it possible for me to stand before you, including obviously, all of our recording artists and our songwriters.

My incredible team at Universal Music including all our label heads, our A&R team, our CEOs and our broader Vivendi family, in particular Vincent Bolloré, whose support and belief for me and us and the entire team has enabled us to achieve the kind of success and what we are trying to achieve in the transformation of this business.

As a kid who started out as a talent scout, my job has since changed in many ways. While our labels seek out great new talent, today I scout for brands and digital platforms and new forms of technology as well as great people to collectively work on behalf of our artists.

Bearing that in mind I am very proud to report that at Universal we’re engaging a completely new generation of music lovers around the world on a scale that we’ve never seen.

Our business, our connectivity, all that we do has to be about the music, and the quality of the music and the creativity is what connects all of us. That is our key focus.

At Lions, I have been incredibly inspired by what I’ve seen and the people I’ve met, by the diverse talents, even the presentations and the awards that have been given so far this evening…fabulous.

Everyone’s innovation and enthusiasm…that excites me and I’m sure it excites all of us in terms of all the things we can do together, so I thank you for that.

On one last note, I hope you don’t mind. I lost someone in my family last week and this is a big award for me, my older brother Nigel, who was a great music executive, so I’d like to dedicate this award on my behalf to my brother.”

More Biz

  • UTA

    UTA Launches Sports Division, Invests in Klutch Sports Group

    UTA is diving into the sports arena through an investment in Klutch Sports Group, the agency that represents LeBron James and other stars. Klutch Sports founder Rich Paul will serve as head of the newly created UTA Sports wing in addition to running his own banner. Paul launched Klutch Sports in 2012 in Cleveland. UTA [...]

  • New York's Brooklyn Bowl Celebrates 10

    New York's Brooklyn Bowl Celebrates 10 Years With Plans to Expand

    In the middle of a conversation about the tenth anniversary of Brooklyn Bowl — the live-music-and-bowling venue that opened a second location in Las Vegas in 2014 — owner Peter Shapiro casually mentions that he’s planning on opening a third location in the U.S. within the next 12 months. He declines to provide any more [...]

  • Rob Stringer

    Sony Unites Recorded Music and Publishing Under One Company

    Sony has created Sony Music Group, an umbrella for both its recorded-music operation — Sony Music Entertainment — and its publishing company — Sony/ATV — under SME chief Rob Stringer, according to an internal document obtained by Variety. The move will take effect on Aug. 1. A source close to the situation tells Variety that [...]

  • Ken Ehrlich Jane Ortner Education Award,

    Grammy Awards Producer Shuffle: Ben Winston to Take Over From Ken Ehrlich in 2021

    As Variety reported in December, Ben Winston will take the reins of the Grammy Awards as executive producer in 2021 after longtime telecast leader Ken Ehrlich completes his 40th ceremony next year. Winston has become a prolific producer for CBS and other outlets since he moved to the U.S. nearly five years ago to launch [...]

  • PUBG - Xbox One

    Chinese Streaming Firm DouYu Raises $775 Million on NASDAQ Debut

    Chinese live-streaming firm DouYu has set a price of $11.50 per ADS share for its stockmarket debut on NASDAQ. Company CEO Chen Shaojie was expected to ring the exchange’s opening bell. The share sale will raise a total of $775 million, and provide the company $517 million of fresh capital. At that price DouYu would [...]

  • Lenny Bruce (1925-1966) social critic and

    Paul Krassner Recalls Lenny Bruce, Cavalier Magazine 50 Years Later

    Men’s magazine Cavalier was launched by Fawcett Publications in 1952 (motto: “For the American Male”). It was published the year before Playboy, to which it has often been compared. Imagine that this was a bastion of cutting-edge comic literature. Back in the day, Cavalier tried to be seen as slightly hipper, more youthful and considered [...]

  • LiveXLive Names AOL and MTV Vet

    LiveXLive Names AOL and MTV Vet Dermot McCormack President

    Live entertainment digital media company LiveXLive Media today announced that AOL and MTV veteran Dermot McCormack has been named president of the company. According to the announcement, McCormack will lead the business and creative operations of LiveXLive, effective immediately. McCormack previously served as AOL’s Global President of Video and Studios, where he oversaw the video [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content