LONDON (Reuters) - Heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles and record industry royalty paid tribute to pianist, bandleader and television presenter Jools Holland late on Monday when he was awarded the 20th Music Industry Trusts Award.
In a video message played at a swanky dinner in central London, Charles spoke of Holland’s “irresistible music” and “wonderful humanity.”
“As you now know there has been a long-running plot to promote you to the position of a full blown national treasure,” he joked.
Holland rose to prominence in the 1970s as a founding member of the band Squeeze, famous for hits like “Cool For Cats” and “Pulling Mussels (From the Shell).”
He has worked with a host of major music stars and is best known in Britain today for his long-running, famously eclectic music show “Later ... With Jools Holland” on which the quirky presenter regularly jams with his invited guests.
The annual award is designed to honor a leading figure in the music business and raise money for its two chosen charities -- music therapy organization Nordoff Robbins and The BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology.
Nordoff Robbins uses music to help people with a range of conditions including autism, dementia, stroke, mental health problems, depression and terminal illness.
The BRIT School is Britain’s only free performing arts school and has produced major recording stars including Amy Winehouse and Adele.
“Thirty 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,” Holland said.
“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.”
He later took to the stage with his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra featuring Ruby Turner on vocals, and Imelda May and Paul Weller also performed.
Bob Geldof, concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith and rock guitarist Jeff Beck were among the crowd of nearly 1,000 who paid tribute to Holland.
Also honored on the night was chairman of the Music Industry Trusts Awards committee David Munns, who has been at the helm for 15 years.
Previous recipients of the annual award include George Martin, John Barry, Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Kylie Minogue, Ahmet Ertegun, and last year, Tom Jones.
Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato