The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has announced that Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman and chief executive officer, Universal Music Group (UMG), will be honoured as the 'Media Person of the Year' at the festival this year. Grainge is the first music executive to be recognised since the award launched in 1999.
The award recognises innovators who have shaped the future of media and will be presented during the ceremony on 21 June.
During a career spanning nearly four decades in the music business, Grainge has signed and worked with artists including ABBA, Justin Bieber, Elton John, Jay Z, Katy Perry, Queen, Rihanna, The Rolling Stones, Sam Smith, U2 and Amy Winehouse.
Philip Thomas, CEO of Ascential Events, organisers of Cannes Lions, said, “Through creative drive, passion and outstanding leadership, Sir Lucian has made bold investments in music and technology that helped return the industry to growth, while continuing to foster an environment that puts artists first. During his tenure, Grainge has transformed Universal Music Group into a world leader in music-based entertainment and we’re delighted to honour him as this year’s Media Person of the Year.”
Grainge said, “While today’s music industry is virtually unrecognizable from the business I started in, one thing that hasn’t changed is that great artists and great music remain at the heart of everything we do. We are proud to demonstrate how traditional media businesses can reinvent themselves in the age of streaming, leverage new technologies and work closely with brand partners to develop exciting opportunities for artists, labels and fans. On behalf of everyone at UMG and all of our recording artists and songwriters, we’re very thankful to Cannes Lions for this honour.”
Grainge was knighted in 2016.