Friday, 15 April 2016

The Van Awards: Take 2

Sir Van: He's got to behave himself now!


This post is an update of an earlier one about Van Morrison's various honours and awards.  Numerous awards have naturally flowed to this gifted musician, composer and performer who has made a unique and dynamic contribution to the global popular music culture.  His influence on fellow musicians and his fans is incalculable.  

International and Civil Honours

In June of 2015 Van Morrison was named as a recipient of a knighthood during the Queen’s annual Birthday Honours celebration.  Van was knighted by Prince Charles on February 4, 2016.  His knighthood represents the United Kingdom’s highest individual honour and was awarded for his “services to the music industry and to tourism in Northern Ireland.”

Order of the British Empire (OBE) (1996)

Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters (1996)  -  from the government of France


Honorary Degrees

Van has received Honorary Doctorates from two universities.  The University of Ulster (1992) awarded him a doctorate in literature while Queen's University Belfast (July 2001) awarded an honorary doctorate of music.  (Though really we all know Van's education came from The School of Hard Knocks (2008))


Music Awards

Morrison has received a number of major music awards in his career, including Grammy nominations and awards and various Hall of Fame inductions. 

2007 Grammy win  -  Brown Eyed Girl (HoF - Outstanding Contribution)
2005 Grammy nomination  -   What's Wrong with This Picture? (Contemporary Blues Album)
1999 Grammy win  -   Astral Weeks (HoF Contemporary Blues Album)
1999 Grammy win  -  Gloria (HoF - Contemporary Blues Song)
1999 Grammy win  -  Moondance (HoF - Contemporary Blues Album)
1999 Grammy nomination  -   Shenandoah (Pop Collaboration)(with The Chieftains)
1998 Grammy win  -  Don't Look Back (Pop Collaboration)(with John Lee Hooker)
1996 Grammy win  -  Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? (Pop Collaboration) (with The Chieftains)
1995 Grammy nomination  -  In the Garden/You Send Me/Allegheny (Rock Vocal Performance) (with The Chieftains)
1989 Grammy nomination  -  Irish Heartbeat (Traditional Folk Recording) (with The Chieftains)

1983 Grammy nomination  -  Scandinavia (Rock Instrumental Performance) (with The Chieftains)

His various Hall of Fame inductions began in 1993 with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Morrison was notable for being the first inductee not to attend his own ceremony.  Robbie Robertson from The Band accepted the award on his behalf.  In 1999 Morrison became the first musician inducted into the Irish Music Hall of Fame and was presented the award by Bob Geldof.  Morrison's third induction was into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003 for "recognition of his unique position as one of the most important songwriters of the past century." Ray Charles presented the award, following a performance during which the pair performed Morrison's Crazy LoveThree of Morrison's songs have also been included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.  They are Brown Eyed Girl, Madame George and Moondance.

Morrison's 2004 BRIT Award was for his Outstanding Contribution to British Music. He was presented with the award by former Beirut hostage, John McCarthy, who while testifying to the importance of Morrison's song, Wonderful Remark called it "a song ... which was very important to us." He has also been nominated seven times for Best British Male at the Brits.

He has also been awarded an Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1995, the BMI ICON award in October 2004 for his "enduring influence on generations of music makers", and a 2007 Oscar Wilde award for Irish writing in film.  He was presented the award by Al Pacino who compared Morrison to Oscar Wilde as they were both "visionaries who push boundaries".

In April 2006 the mayor of Nashville declared a Van Morrison Day to honour the singer.

He was voted the Best International Male Singer of 2007 at the inaugural International Awards in Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, London.


In September 2014 Van received a Slim Harpo Legend Award for his recognition of the music of Slim Harpo and for his recognition of Louisiana Blues music. Van's rendition of the Slim Harpo song Don't Start Crying Now has been performed by him live 137 times throughout his career and was one of the first songs that he ever recorded with the band Them in 1964.

On October 13, 2014 Van received two BMI Million-Air awards for 11 million plays of Brown Eyed Girl and 5 million plays for Have I told you Lately.

In June, 2015 Van received two awards. Tom Jones presented Van with the Prudential BluesFest Lifelong Achievement Award to recognise and acknowledge Van’s contribution to Blues and Soul music.  The Songwriter's Hall of Fame announced on April 8, 2015 that Morrison would be the 2015 recipient of the Johnny Mercer Award. On June 18, 2015 he received the award at the 46th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner in New York City.

In 1995 Van's Days Like This was nominated for Album of the Year in the UK awards called the Mercury Prize.  


Other Awards and Recognitions

Van Morrison was awarded the GQ Legend Award on September 2, 2014 at the British GQ Men of the Year Awards ceremony held at the Royal Opera House in London.

In August 2013, it was announced that Morrison would receive the Freedom of Belfast, the highest honour the city can bestow.  On November 15, 2013 Morrison became the 79th recipient of the award, presented at the Waterfront Hall for his career achievements. After receiving the award, he performed a free concert for residents who won tickets from a lottery system.

In August 2014, a Van Morrison Trail was established in East Belfast by Morrison in partnership with the Connswater Community Greenway. It is a self-guided trail, which over the course of 3.5 kilometres leads to eight places that were significant in the early life of Van and helped inspire his music.  

On October 17, 2002 the Ireland Postal Service issued four stamps depicting famous Irish music performers. The four stars depicted were Phil Lynott, U2, Rory Gallagher and Van Morrison.  The Van Morrison stamp had a postage value of 57 cents. 


Recognition on Lists

Morrison has also appeared in a number of music lists. 

Time's Best 100 Albums  -  (lists Astral Weeks and Moondance)

WXPN's 885 All Time Greatest Artists  -  (Van Morrison, number 13)


MOJO's 100 Greatest Albums (August 1995)   -   (Astral Weeks, number 2 and Too Late To Stop Now, number 75)

Q's 50 Best British Albums (July 2004)  -  (Astral Weeks, number 11)

VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Rock 'n' Roll (2000)  -  (Van, number 25)

Rolling Stone's Greatest Artists of All Time (2004)  -  (Van, number 42)

Paste's 100 Greatest Living Songwriters (2006)  -  (Van, number 20)

Mojo's 21 Best Live albums (Nov, 1998)  -  (Too Late to Stop Now listed)

Q Magazine's 100 Greatest Singers (April, 2007)  -  (Van, number 22)

Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers (Nov, 2008)  -  (Van, number 24)

Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums (2003)  -  (Moondance, number 65 and Astral Weeks, number 19)

Rolling Stone's  500 Greatest Songs (2004)  -  (Brown Eyed Girl, number 109, Gloria, number 208, Moondance, number 226, and Into the Mystic, number 474) 

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