Tony Wadsworth CBE, Chair of the BRIT Trust

Tony Wadsworth CBE, Chair of the BRIT Trust


Tony Wadsworth CBE was Chairman and CEO of EMI Music UK & Ireland from 1998 to 2008. In a 26 year career with the UK based company, he held many roles including Managing Director of the Parlophone label, a label which he relaunched in the 1990’s achieving sustained hits with artists such as Blur, Radiohead, Crowded House, Pet Shop Boys, Tina Turner and Queen.

His subsequent move to running all of EMI’s UK labels saw a period of global success with artists such as Robbie Williams, Coldplay, Kylie Minogue, Lily Allen,Gorillaz ,the Rolling Stones and the Beatles and many others. Prior to joining EMI, Tony gained a degree in Economics from Newcastle University and spent the following 3 years playing in a band with his college friends. He later worked for various record labels before joining EMI. In December 2014 , Tony stepped down as Chairman of the BPI, the representative body of the UK recorded music industry and Chairman of BRIT Awards Ltd but remains a Trustee of the BRIT Trust and Governor of the BRIT School.

He is also Chairman of Julie’s Bicycle, the leading global charity bridging the gap between environmental sustainability and the creative industries. He is a Trustee of the EMI Music Sound Foundation, a charity devoted to improving young people’s access to music education and a Trustee of the EMI Archive Trust.

Tony sits on the North Music Trust, which is the board of Sage Gateshead, the internationally renowned music venue and centre for music education in the northeast of England. 

Tony has an Honorary Doctorate in Music from the University of Gloucestershire and holds the post of Visiting Professor in the music and business schools of the University of Newcastle-on-Tyne.

In March 2008, he was awarded the prestigious Music Week Strat award for outstanding contribution to the UK music industry and in 2009 was awarded the Scott Piering Award by the Radio Academy to recognise outstanding contribution to music radio.

In June 2011, he was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to the UK music industry.