Winners of The Jim Diamond Music Award in 2017, classical singer Ashleigh Burns, 19, from Calton in Glasgow and singer songwriter Rebekah Kirk, 17, from Cambuslang each received £2500 to support their development as musical talent and they are keen to see other young musicians benefit from the award.
The Jim Diamond Music Award, a music talent fund launched in memory of legendary Scottish musician, Jim Diamond, was launched in 2016 and is underwritten by The Hunter Foundation and administered by Radio Clyde Cash for Kids. The programme will award £5000 each year until 2020.
Ashleigh Burns said: “Winning the Jim Diamond Award was incredible. The music grant prize has allowed me to buy new music equipment, recording studio time and release a new song on iTunes. Alongside this I have had the amazing experience of performing at various Cash for Kids Balls and Lunches and met lots of lovely people. I would definitely encourage anyone who is considering applying to go for it as is an opportunity not to be missed!”
Rebekah Kirk added: “The Jim Diamond Award has helped my career immensely. I have been putting the prize money towards recording my debut EP at a top end studio and have also been down to London recently to work with Florence + The Machine's backing vocalists for my tracks which are set to be released in Autumn this year. These are all things that I wouldn’t have been able to do if I hadn’t entered and won the award so I’d definitely recommend other musicians to apply as it could benefit your music on a massive level.”
Applications (open today, 6th August) are now being sought from outstanding young people or groups of young people who are making their mark on the music industry. The closing date for applications will be 24th August 2018.
Please visit www.clyde1.com/diamond for more information and to apply.
Sir Tom Hunter said: “The Jim Diamond Award is a fabulous opportunity for up and coming music artists to showcase their talents and explore the opportunities that prevail in that career... Walking in the footsteps of a legend like Jim can only be one thing – amazing, just as he was, so I’d encourage as many young people to apply now!”
Lord Jack McConnell said: “Jim Diamond was a special friend to Cash for Kids. He was always ready to support our work because he wanted young people to have the best chance in life. He knew that sometimes people need help to climb over the hurdles in their way. This award will give someone that chance to fulfil their dreams. It is a fitting legacy for a special guy”
Jim Diamond joined his very first band aged only 14. He was heavily influenced by Ray Charles and was even described as Scotland’s answer to the great man in a review of an Edinburgh Festival show in 1993.
He spent time working in Los Angeles before forming the band Ph.D. There followed 3 UK Top 10 Hits. The first was ‘I Won’t Let You Down’ with Ph.D in 1982, which reached number 3.
In 1984 came ‘I Should Have Known Better’ – reaching Number 1. The song topped the charts in the midst of the release of Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ – prompting Jim to publicly ask people NOT to buy his single – and buy that one instead as it would benefit charity. The song gained Jim a highly coveted nomination for a prestigious Ivor Novello Award.
Jim got to number one again in the 80s as part of charity ensemble ‘The Crowd’ who re-recorded Gerry & the Pacemakers ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ for victims of the Bradford City stadium fire.
His final top 10 hit was ‘Hi Ho Silver’ in 1986 – best known as the theme from the TV series ‘Boon’ starring Michael Elphick. The song was written for his dad who was a huge fan of The Lone Ranger and a firefighter – the same as the lead character in the show.
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