Sir Elton John and The Who win at the Specsavers Scottish Music Awards

The 25th iteration of the awards was held in the Barrowland Ballroom.

Sir Elton John and The Who win at the Specsavers Scottish Music Awards Getty Images

Sir Elton John and The Who have won at the Specsavers Scottish Music Awards – along with the manager of the Barrowland Ballroom.

The Barrowlands, in Glasgow’s East End, hosted the event for its 25th anniversary, presented by Edith Bowman.

The ceremony was in aid of Nordoff and Robbins, the UK’s largest music therapy charity, with funds raised to pay for music therapy across Scotland.

Sir Elton and his long-time guitarist Davey Johnstone took away top prizes, as did rock royalty The Who and Barbara Dickson.

The Barrowland’s general manager Tom Joyes was presented with an award for his 38 years of running the venue.

Performances came from ’70s pop icons Bay City Rollers and singer-songwriters Joesef, Katie Gregson-MacLeod and Callum Beattie, as well as rapper Bemz.

The Who accepted the Rox – Diamonds & Thrills Icon Award award remotely, with Roger Daltry commending the charity.

Dickson won the SWG3 Outstanding Achievement Award, while Sir Elton won Specsavers Global Artist Award and Johnstone collected the Sir Reo Stakis Foundation Special Recognition Award.

Bemz won the Blur 69 Vodka Sound of Scotland Award, while Joesef won the PizzaExpress Best Album Award.

Gregson-MacLeod, who started her music career on TikTok, won the Vega Breakthrough Award.

Other winners included Middle of the Road, who won the Raymond Weil Heritage Award, and Callum Beattie, who won the Hard Rock Cafe Breakthrough Award.

Bay City Roller Stuart Wood won the Royal Highland Centre Legend Award, which was presented by Rick Astley.

Breakthrough act Dead Pony received the P&J Live Spotlight Award.

DJ Rebecca Vasmant won the Ballantine’s x Sub Club Electronic Music Award and The Snuts won the Ticketmaster Tourmaster Award.

DF Concerts received the Ovo Hydro Decade Award, which was accepted by chief executive Geoff Ellis.

Sir Elton commended his friend in a message shown to the ceremony, saying: “Davey Johnstone… you’re certainly the best guitarist, I think, to ever come out of Scotland, and that’s saying a lot. I’ve had the best time playing alongside you… you’re an incredible musician and have been with me so long. You’ve always inspired me with your brilliance.

“I can’t think of anyone who deserves this award more than you and I love you dearly.”

Arlene Stephenson, Specsavers’ Scottish divisional chairwoman, said: “Specsavers is thrilled to sponsor the Scottish Music Awards for a fifth consecutive year as well as the Global Artist Award this year.

“It has been fantastic seeing Scotland’s music industry come together for a celebratory evening in the Barrowland Ballroom while much-needed funds were raised for Nordoff and Robbins – allowing the charity to continue delivering its important music therapy work.

“I would like to congratulate Elton John on scooping the Global Artist Award on the night, a much-deserved win for the Rocket Man.”

Sandra Schembri, chief executive of Nordoff and Robbins, said: “The 25th Specsavers Scottish Music Awards was a truly special occasion. We are incredibly grateful for the Scottish music industry’s continued support of Nordoff and Robbins, and send our thanks to all the winners and performers that joined us once again at the Barrowlands.

“All the vital funds raised through the SMAs go directly towards our mission of using the power of music to create space for people to express themselves and find connection in society, regardless of disability, illness or social exclusion.”

Edith Bowman said: “It is genuinely awesome to be back at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom. Tonight we are celebrating the wealth of talent in Scotland but not forgetting Nordoff and Robbins music therapy.

“In the current climate, it’s more important than ever.”

Katie Gregson-MacLeod, 23, accepted the Vega Breakthrough Award and said: “To be recognised with these other artists is such an honour. The work of Nordoff and Robbins is so important and means a lot.”

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