will.i.am Named 2024 Recipient of Nile Rodgers Global Creator Award

Canadian Music Week is proud to announce will.i.am as recipient of the CMW 2024 Nile Rodgers Global Creator Award. On June 5 Merck Mercuriadis, the Founder and Chairman of Hipgnosis Song Management will host a presentation of this annual award in conversation with will.i.am and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee and multiple Grammy Award winning songwriter, composer, producer, arranger, and guitarist, Nile Rodgers.

The CMW Nile Rodgers Global Creators Award was established in 2014 to celebrate the most outstanding of creative geniuses of all ilk who have consistently made an indelible impact on a global scale throughout their careers.

As a creative artist, tech entrepreneur, and the Founder & CEO of FYI (a Web 3.0 AI messenger) will.i.am has been recognized by a CLIO Award, an Emmy Award, nine Grammy Awards, the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award, A TIME 100 Impact Award, the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award, and an Honorary Fellowship by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). In February 2024 he joined an exclusive group of music artists who have performed at two Super Bowl Halftime Shows (2011-Dallas, 2024-Las Vegas).

He is simultaneously a creative innovation advisor, futurist, multi-platinum Grammy-winning music artist, producer, entertainer, and a tech entrepreneur as part of his cross-disciplinary career. He invests in and develops businesses in a range of sectors including the FYI Web 3.0 creativity & productivity tool, automotive, consumer-tech, fashion, food & beverage, software (AI, Natural Language Understanding, Voice Computing) and telecom.

His early work as Futurist and market opportunity spotter was with Beats Electronics. As a founding equity stakeholder in the company, will.i.am was instrumental in helping to transform Beats By Dre™ into a global consumer electronics brand. Beats Electronics was purchased by Apple in 2014 for US$3 billion.

will.i.am teams with the world’s leading companies helping them to embrace future technologies, what’s next in cultural trends and develop new business initiatives. Organizations he has collaborated with includes Apple, Atom Bank, Coca-Cola, Deutsche Telekom, Epic Records, Expo 2020, Formula 1, Honeywell, Intel, Majid Al Futtaim, Marvel Comics, Mercedes-AMG, Microsoft, Penguin Publishing, Pepsi, Salesforce and SiriusXM.

In 2023, will.i.am switched up how and where music is enjoyed by forging an innovative collaboration with Formula 1, the world’s largest motor sports organization. He is their first Artist in Residence and serves as a Curator of the program. Two F1-inspired tracks have been released, “THE FORMULA” and “LET’S GO.”

What drives will.i.am’s entrepreneurial spirit in innovation and technology is his work as a philanthropist, encourages inner-city, disadvantaged youth to apply themselves in STEAM fields so they can get prepared for an AI, autonomous, robotic and highly technical tomorrow.

His i.am Angel Foundation supports STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education programs for more than 13,000 disadvantaged youth in grades K – 12 in Los Angeles, including the i.am College Track after-school tutoring center and college scholarship program, the Boyle Heights STEM Magnet High School, and hundreds of after-school robotics clubs in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District and FIRST robotics. He also sits on the boards of directors of the Smithsonian Institution Science Education Center’s Ad Hoc Committee For Innovation, College Track and FIRST Global, and serves as a Goodwill Ambassador with Stand Up 2 Cancer.

Nile Rodgers is a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee and a multiple Grammy Award winning songwriter, composer, producer, arranger, and guitarist. In 2023 he became the first creator to be awarded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy for his legacy in the same year as being awarded a Grammy for his work with Beyoncé on the smash hit “Cuff It”. As the co-founder of CHIC, Nile pioneered a musical language that generated chart-topping hits like “Le Freak”, the biggest selling single in the history of Atlantic Records and sparked the advent of hip-hop with “Good Times” and “Rapper’s Delight”. Nile’s work in the CHIC Organization, including “We Are Family” for Sister Sledge and “I’m Coming Out” for Diana Ross, and his productions for artists such as David Bowie(“Let’s Dance”), Madonna (“Like A Virgin”), and Duran Duran (“The Reflex”) have sold more than 500 million albums and 100 million singles worldwide. His innovative, trendsetting collaborations with Daft Punk (“Get Lucky) , Daddy Yankee (“Agua”) , LE SSERAFIM (“Unforgiven”) and Beyoncé (“Cuff It”) reflect the vanguard of contemporary hits.

Merck Mercuriadis is the Founder and Chairman of Hipgnosis Song Management and Founder of Hipgnosis Songs Fund, a London FTSE 250 company, and Hipgnosis Songs Capital in partnership with Blackstone. The Companies have invested more than $3 billion in iconic songs that have been extraordinarily successful and are of great cultural importance amassing a portfolio of over 150 catalogues, including the catalogues of Neil Young, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nile Rodgers, Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie /Fleetwood Mac, Shakira, Leonard Cohen, The Dream, Steve Winwood, Justin Timberlake, Journey, Justin Bieber, Timbaland, The RZA, David A. Stewart / Eurythmics, Jimmy Iovine, Chris Cornell / Soundgarden, Kenny Chesney, Mark Ronson, Richie Sambora / Bon Jovi, Nelly Furtado, Journey, Carole Bayer Sager and Chrissie Hynde / The Pretenders. The catalogue includes more than 22% of the Spotify Billions Club and over 10% of Rolling Stone’s Top 500 songs of all time, 14 of YouTube’ Top 30 Most Viewed Videos Of All Time (49%) and 61 of Billboard’s 500 Best Pop Songs Of All Time (12%). Highlights include Don’t Stop Believin’, Hallelujah, Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It), Umbrella, Shape Of You, Go Your Own Way, Heart Of Gold, Higher Love, All I Want For Christmas Is You, Like A Virgin, Let’s Dance, Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), Get Lucky, Smooth, Le Freak, Hips Don’t Lie, Under The Bridge, Livin’ On A Prayer, Maneater, Good Times, Black Hole Sun, I’ll Stand By You, Uptown Funk, Despacito, Can’t Stop The Feeling, That’s What Friends Are For and many more. As a manager, Mercuriadis has helped to guide the careers of Nile Rodgers, Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, Beyoncé, Morrissey and many others.

Now in its 42nd year, Canadian Music Week is Canada’s leading annual entertainment event dedicated to the expression and growth of the country’s music, media and entertainment industries. Combining multifaceted information-intensive conferences; a trade exposition; awards shows and the nation’s largest new music festival. All conference functions occur at The Westin Harbour Castle at 1 Harbour Square in Toronto.