Jools Holland was honoured with the Music Industry Trusts Award last night (07.11.11).
The pianist – who previously performed with punk band Squeeze and is also known for his late night BBC2 music show – received the honour in recognition of his outstanding contribution to music and music broadcasting over three decades.
Jools’ close friend, actress Jennifer Saunders, presented him with the award at a ceremony at London’s Grosvenor house hotel, while many other famous faces praised the 53-year-old star.
Prince Charles led the tributes to the TV presenter, referring to him as a “full blown national treasure”.
Speaking via a video message, he said: “Dear Jools, I’m so sorry to surprise you in this rather disembodied way but I just want to add my own heartfelt congratulations to your official promotion to the ranks of the great and good.
“As you now know there has been a long running plot to promote you to the position of a full blown national treasure. You are the very embodiment of that rare species and so many people’s lives have been enhanced not only by your irresistible music but also by your wonderful humanity.”
A string of stars from music industry including Ringo Starr, Sir Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Bob Geldof, Chris Difford, Suggs, Eric Clapton and Sting all sent messages of congratulations to the musician.
Jools – who founded pop band Squeeze in the late 1970s – used the moment to pay tribute to music charity Nordoff Robbins and the BRIT School – which provides education and vocational training for those in the performing arts and features the likes of Adele, Amy Winehouse and Jessie J among its alumni – who received the proceeds from the evening.
He said: “30 years of television, 25 of big band and probably 40 years since first playing the pubs.that’s why I’m delighted to receive this, with all of those in mind. But I think this award also helps to celebrate and draw people’s attention to Nordoff Robbins and the BRIT School, so it’s more about them than it is about me.”
Imelda May, Rumer, Paul Weller and Jools’ Rhythm and Blues Orchestra featuring Ruby Turner performed live at the event, which was celebrating its 20th anniversary.
Previous recipients of the award include Kylie Minogue, Sir Tom Jones and Elton.
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