Steve Strange 'humbled' to be given Northern Ireland music accolade
Music impresario Steve Strange returned home to be honoured with the Outstanding Contribution to Music award at a sold-out gala event in Belfast's Ulster Hall last night.
Born in Lisburn and raised in Carrickfergus, Steve is the agent for world-famous acts including Coldplay, Eminem and local heroes Snow Patrol, who performed at the Northern Ireland Music Prize night after picking up their own gong.
Steve (51) said: "I'm very honoured and humbled by the whole affair, it's very nice to be recognised for my contribution to Northern Irish music over the years."
Steve's career started as a drummer in the 80s with bands No Hot Ashes and Fastway before he switched to being an agent in London.
In 1990, he returned home to Belfast to "regroup" working for Wonderland and Eamonn McCann, who owned the Limelight. They co-promoted shows for just over a year before he headed back to London and his career took off. He said: "I earned enough money in that period to give this a second shot and I was more prepared. I signed Ash and they broke quite quickly, which was very lucky for me, and it just built from there.
"With Coldplay I've been their agent since pretty much the beginning when they played in front of 50/60 people or maybe less. Ultimately they are lovely people and they still are to this day.
"Chris (Martin) is an incredible character, he has got an energy like no one else I know and I'm not just talking about physical energy.
"If you meet him he's an electric character and Eminem is as well, I'm so proud to have booked his very first shows in Europe."
Snow Patrol were given the 2019 Oh Yeah Legend award recognising a group from Northern Ireland of exceptional stature.
Frontman Gary Lightbody said: "It is just bonkers, really, the people that have come before, the Undertones, the Stiff Little Fingers and Therapy? - those are real legends. It's nice to be mentioned with them but it is pure silliness."