And Finally Artist News Awards

Q gives Paul Heaton award following donation to support magazine’s former staff

By | Published on Monday 12 October 2020

Paul Heaton

Former Beautiful South and Housemartins frontman Paul Heaton has been presented with the Q Award he would have won this year had there still been a Q magazine to present such a prize.

Announcing the news, former Q Editor Ted Kessler also revealed that Heaton donated “a large sum” of money to the staff of the music monthly after it was shut down earlier this year as the COVID pandemic put further pressure on an already struggling magazine sector.

Kessler explained on Twitter that the annual awards – which would have taken place this month – had been in the early planning stages when Q shut down in July.

“The only award [winner] we knew for sure was … Paul Heaton, as we’d heard he’d never won one”, he said. “Think of all the brilliant songs he’s written for The Housemartins, Beautiful South etc. Millions of records sold. No Q award (or BRIT) for his songwriting. So we knew he’d be Classic Songwriter”.

“Then, a few days after Q closed, we got a message from him saying that, to thank Q for all the support we’d given him over 35 years, he was going to donate a large sum to thank us in our turmoil”, he went on.

“Obviously, I politely declined”, says Kessler. “[But] he was insistent. I accepted the donation and shared it amongst over 40 staff and freelancers working for Q at the time, all of whose minds – like mine – were blown. It really was the most amazingly kind, selfless, generous act. For some, it meant a bill could be paid”.

“We got him that award in the end”, he added, posting pictures of the trophy. “Britain’s greatest living pop star. A true legend”.

Heaton subsequently responded by posting a video on Twitter thanking Kessler, and showing where in his house he was going to display the trophy.

It was announced in July that Q would close after one final issue. There had been hopes that it could be saved after owner Bauer Media put the title up for sale. However, although it was initially said that negotiations with a possible buyer were at an “advanced” stage, no deal was completed.