ONE DIRECTION have presented Simon Cowell with the Music Industry Trusts Award at a ceremony packed with performances and tributes from famous friends.
Cowell was honoured with the 24th MITS Award in recognition of his contribution to the music and entertainment industry, as well as charitable causes.
He was joined on stage by One Direction, the band he created on The X Factor in 2010 and signed to his record label, Syco. After five years of global success, the boy band are due to take a long break after playing the final date of their On The Road Again Tour in Sheffield on Saturday.
The MITS Award evening featured live performances from three other artists signed to Syco: Labrinth, Il Divo and Olly Murs. There was also a performance from Leona Lewis, who became Cowell’s protege after winning The X Factor in 2006.
Oprah Winfrey, Richard Curtis, James Corden, Kevin Spacey, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Little Mix and Ella Henderson were among those who praised Cowell in a video tribute played at the gala ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. The evening was hosted by radio presenter Jo Whiley.
Previous music industry figures to be recognised include Sir Elton John, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue, Jools Holland, Gary Barlow, Annie Lennox and Michael Eavis.
Cowell, 56, is a judge on The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent. His television production and music publishing house Syco, a joint venture with Sony Music, has signed artists including Little Mix, Susan Boyle, Ella Henderson, Fifth Harmony and Collabro.
More than 1,200 guests from across the music industry attended the charity event, in aid of music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins and the BRIT School.