LONDON (CelebrityAccess) Emma Banks, one of the most admired, if not the second least offensive agents six times over, was honored last night with the 2018 Music Industry Trusts Award, receiving the honor last night from Q Prime’s Peter Mensch and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith.
Banks, an agent at CAA’s London’s office since the agency expanded its operations into the territory, is the first female executive to win the award, according to Music Week, and, for that matter, the first agent. The MITS Award, which supports two charities, the BRIT Trust and Nordoff Robbins, has previously gone to Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer, Kylie Minogue, Sir Lucian Grainge, Roger Daltrey, Hamet Ertegun, Gary Barlow, Simon Cowell, Micahel Eavis and Annie Lennox, according to to Music Week.
The sold-out charity event took place at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel and included performances by Florence Welch, Beth Ditto and Ditto, all of whom are or have been clients of Banks. Banks’ current roster includes Katy Perry, Arcade Fire, Florence + The Machine, Kylie Minogue, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Lorde, along with recent signings Green Day, Muse, Haim and Paramore.
The award was presented by BBC Radio’s Alice Levine.
“In my wildest dreams I didn’t actually ever expect to get this,” Banks said, according to Music Week. “When I started in the industry 28 years ago, I started in the business a couple of years before the MITs started and there weren’t really women in positions of authority, generally. It took 16 years for the MITs to honor a woman – that woman was my lovely friend, Kylie Minogue. Annie Lennox, six years later, won the award and then we fast-forward to 2018 and here I stand as the first female executive, as the first agent and of course arguably most importantly the second Luton Town Football Club vice-president to receive this award in the 27-year history.
“I’ve realized since being announced as the recipient of this award back in May how important today is for so many women. So I stand up here, I hope, as a representative of the many women in the industry who may not have had the opportunity or frankly the inclination to make their voice heard, as I have.”
The night included a tribute film that included CAA-co-head Mike Greek, Norah Jones, Tenacious D, Arcade Fire, Hozier, Katy Perry, and Kraftwerk.
“I’m also incredibly honored to be the first agent to receive this award,” added Banks. “I’ve worked with many of the best agents in the business and I’ve learned so much from all of them. I love the live music business – to be hands on with artists and their teams, to be able to plot and plan a career, it’s a massive buzz. To be able to help our clients achieve their goals is a privilege and it’s one I’m thankful for, literally every day I don’t forget it.
“The business is changing in very many ways but I think the role of the agent is probably more relevant than ever, so that we can make the best decisions with our clients and really protect them along the route.”
Revisiting the issue of gender equality in the music business, she added: “In 2018 we look at a live music business that has so many strong female performers, as many as the male ones. These are women that are running their businesses, they’re regularly part of the highest grossing tours list. We’ve got more women in senior positions in labels and management companies and talent agencies, publishing companies, on the radio, just across the whole music business, we’ve come a really long way. There’s always more to do, of course there is but I’m sure that everyone who’s been around for a while will acknowledge that we’re making steps in the right direction and potentially all the other diversity issues that we have in this business – and we probably have more than the male-female ratio these days – they will soon get addressed, I’m quite sure.”