Jamal Edwards honoured with music industry award
Jamal Edwards is being honoured with this year’s Music Industry Trusts Award in recognition of his “outstanding contribution” to music.
The MITS Award recognises one individual each year from the industry who has made a significant impact.
The entrepreneur and DJ, who died suddenly in February at the age of 31, is the youngest recipient and the first to be given the award posthumously.
His family will accept the honour on his behalf at a ceremony in November.
His mother Brenda Edwards said “It is very humbling” and that her son “will be looking down on us” and “bursting with pride” that his work, both in music and charity, is being recognised.
Jamal was the founder of SBTV, an online grime and rap music platform which helped launch the careers of artists like Dave, Ed Sheeran and Skepta.
As of 2022, the SBTV YouTube channel has 1.23 million subscribers and continues to grow.
He was appointed an MBE for services to music in 2014.
Responding to the news of the award Ed Sheeran said “Jamal changed my life… I would not be where I am without him” adding that his “willingness to help others whatever the cost meant he changed the lives and careers of so many, not just people in music”.
This year’s MITS ceremony is to be held in Jamal’s honour and will pay special tribute to his life and legacy.
Co-chair of the MITS Award committee, Toby Leighton-Pope said that Jamal’s inﬂuence on the music scene “should never be underestimated”.
He also announced that some of the money raised on the evening would be donated to The Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust, the charity set up by his family in his memory.
Jamal’s acknowledgement means he follows in the footsteps of previous recipients including former Radio 1 DJ Pete Tong, Kylie Minogue and Sir Elton John.
Jamal was 15 when he started filming his friends rapping on the council estate he grew up on in Acton, west London.
In 2006 he set up his YouTube channel SBTV – which stands for his own rap name SmokeyBarz – uploading videos of rising rap and grime stars who weren’t being represented in the mainstream media.
By 23, he was a multimillionaire and channelled his success into charity work and helped set up a young leadership programme with Prince William and Prince Harry.