Northern Ireland news

Gary Lightbody to be honoured for his 'outstanding contribution to music'

Gary Lightbody is to receive an award for his work in supporting artists from the north

MUSICIAN Gary Lightbody is to be honoured for his "outstanding contribution" to music at an awards ceremony in Belfast later this month.

The Snow Patrol frontman will become the first person to receive the award at the NI Music Prize in the Ulster Hall on November 15.

The prize recognises Lightbody's music and his work in supporting emerging acts from Northern Ireland.

The multi-platinum selling songwriter, from Bangor, Co Down, began his musical career in the band Shrug, later known as Polar Bear, before setting up Snow Patrol.

He has co-written several chart-topping hits for artists including Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and One Direction.

He has also helped create two albums with Glasgow supergroup The Reindeer Section and a further two albums with Tired Pony which he formed with his long-term producer Jacknife Lee along with members of REM and Belle & Sebastian.

Lightbody helped set up the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast and established Third Bar which helps support artists from the north.

The award is in association with the music centre and Inspire Wellbeing, a mental health charity.

Charlotte Dryden from the centre said Lightbody had invested "emotionally, financially and artistically" to support artists from the north.

"Gary has also very recently opened up about his own battle with depression and so it is only fitting that this presentation is in association with Inspire Wellbeing, a charity doing brilliant work in the area of mental health," she said.

Tickets to the NI Music Prize are available via the Ulster Hall website at

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