Calvin Harris
Calvin Harris The Independent

Calvin Harris makes dance breakthrough at songwriter awards

CLUB culture made a breakthrough at the Ivor Novello awards for songwriting after the DJ Calvin Harris was named the year's best composer.

Harris, the Scottish dance music producer, took the top prize at the event which traditionally honours hit writers from the world of rock and pop.

Harris, 29, from Dumfries, famed for his thumping club-friendly hits, was recognised for scoring "the musical soundtrack of 2012".

His 18 Months album spawned a record eight top 5 hits, including Sweet Nothing, his chart-topping collaboration with Florence Welch.

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Presenting Harris with the award, Pete Tong, the Radio 1 DJ, said: "Dance music and DJs never believed they belonged in this room before. Now we have a role model."

Harris said: "Like my lyrics, I'll keep this (speech) brief and repetitive. I can't believe I've even been let through the door of this ceremony.

"This is easily the greatest achievement of my life."

Emeli Sande, whose commercial breakthrough followed regular appearances at high-profile events, including the Olympics opening ceremony, withdrew from the event for another career-boosting engagement.

Accepting the PRS Most Performed Work for Next To Me and the Best Song Musically and Lyrically prize for Next To Me on behalf of the Scottish singer, her songwriting colleagues explained that Sande was in preparation to perform at the White House.

She was also due to perform at the final of American Idol, an appearance which will be seen by one of the biggest television audiences of the year.

Sande's US career was given a boost when contestants on the Fox talent show performed Next To Me.

Alt-J, already Brit and Mercury award winners for their debut album An Awesome Wave, added a Novello to their collection, taking the best Album award.

Noel Gallagher accepted the Outstanding Song Collection prize from Ray Davies. Arriving at the ceremony, the former Oasis songwriter said he would not write songs with One Direction, as Justin Young of The Vaccines is doing, because he "didn't need the money".

Chris Martin presented the International Achievement award to Gavin Rossdale, the singer with 90s grunge rockers Bush, who became big stars in the US. Martin said Bush's US success, and the huge amount of money they earned, had inspired the early Coldplay.

Randy Newman, the Oscar-winning songwriter famed for his wry lyrics, won the Special International Award. The Toy Story composer took issue after Dario Marianelli, winner of the Film Score award for Anna Karenina, thanked the film's director.

Newman said: "He likes his director? I wouldn't have a director over to my house for a million dollars. I hate them."

Brighton indie-rockers The Maccabees took Best Contemporary Sony for Pelican.

The Ivor Novello awards, held at the Grosvenor House and now in their 58th year, are prized by musicians since they are chosen by fellow composers.

The Classical Music Award went to Errolyn Weller, the Belize-born, British composer.

There were special awards for Marc Almond and Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues.

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