Belfast Telegraph

'Big family occasion' for Def Leppard guitarist receiving top music prize

Friends and family are flying in from around the world to celebrate a Def Leppard guitarist receiving one of Northern Ireland's top music prizes for his exceptional contribution to the industry.

Co Antrim-born Vivian Campbell, 55, said he was flattered to be awarded the Oh Yeah Legend Award on Saturday after a stellar career during which he has scaled the heights of rock.

The musician has celebrated 25 years with Def Leppard and has also been a member of Whitesnake, Dio and Thin Lizzy.

He said: "I am not used to getting awards. I am not a celebrity, the only people who know me are the hard rock fans and guitar junkies.

"I have had a very steady and colourful career and this means a lot to me because it is flattering to be recognised by your fellow countrymen."

Campbell had been engaged in a long struggle with cancer, the condition forcing him to pull out of a Def Leppard US tour in recent years.

He joined the British band in 1992 and has spent virtually his entire career based in the US.

Saturday's presentation will be followed by a live performance from Campbell with his current band Last In Line, at the Mandela Hall in Belfast.

Campbell added: "It is a big family occasion, all my siblings are flying in from their countries around the world and it will be nice to be back."

He said his current band allowed him to get back to hard rock guitar and he was working harder than ever before as he juggled commitments.

"I have never been so busy as I have been in the last number of years.

"It has been like spinning plates, you run from one to the other to keep them going."

Previous recipients of the Oh Yeah Legends Award include The Undertones, Therapy?, Divine Comedy and Ash.

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