Mike + The Mechanics singer Andrew Roachford tops music honours list

Rock veteran Andrew Roachford has said it is “indeed an honour” to be made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Roachford, the driving force behind the band Roachford and a singer in supergroup Mike + The Mechanics, is made an MBE for services to music.

The 54-year-old, who is among a clutch of pop figures recognised, said it is a privilege to be acknowledged for a 30-year career spent doing what he loves.

Mitch Murray
Prolific song-writer Mitch Murray has been made a CBE (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

He told the Press Association: “To be recognised for the work you’re doing, which is also your passion, from such a high level, is indeed an honour.”

Roachford spent more than 20 years at the helm of his eponymous band before joining a relaunched version of Mike + The Mechanics, originally a side project of Genesis bassist Mike Rutherford, as co-lead singer alongside Canadian Tim Howar.

Songwriter Mitch Murray and Merseybeat veteran Raymond Ennis are also on the list of music stars honoured.

Murray, a prolific and award-winning songwriter who wrote hits for some of the biggest stars of the 60s, is made a CBE for services to music.

His songs have been recorded by the likes of Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Dave Clark Five and The Tremeloes, topping the charts in the UK five times.

Ray Ennis with The Swinging Blue Jeans
Ray Ennis with The Swinging Blue Jeans (PA)

Murray famously claims to have barred the Beatles from releasing their recording of one of his songs, called How Do You Do It?.

The group were at the time becoming increasingly keen to record their own material, and their lack of enthusiasm for Murray’s composition was clear in their recording.

Murray and the band agreed to put the record on hold but it later saw release as part of the Beatles’ Anthology album series.

Also a comedian, professional speech-writer, producer and author, Murray fronted a number of prestigious music industry groups including the collecting society PRS for Music.

He also founded the Society Of Distinguished Songwriters, where acclaimed writers including Sir Tim Rice and Gary Barlow continue to meet and coach one another.

Mitch Murray founded the Society Of Distinguished Songwriters, which counts Gary Barlow as a member
Mitch Murray founded the Society Of Distinguished Songwriters, which counts Gary Barlow as a member (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Rock and roller Ennis, a leading figure in the skiffle and Merseybeat genres, is made an MBE for services to music.

Ennis was a founding member of The Swinging Blue Jeans, a band which climbed the charts with Hippy Hippy Shake and played in the famous Cavern Club in Liverpool during their 60s heyday.

Jackie Davidson, founder and director of Jackie Davidson Management, is made an MBE for services to music.

Her publishing company includes songwriter Wayne Hector, who has written tracks for One Direction, Nicki Minaj, James Blunt and Susan Boyle.

Chairwoman of the Music Publishers Association Jacqueline Alway was made an OBE for services to the music industry.

MILLENNIUM Dome/Composer
Classical composer Jonathan Dove (PA)

Musicians from the jazz and classical worlds, including composer Jonathan Dove and tenor Mark Padmore, are also honoured.

Dove, who has arranged operas for the English Touring Opera and the Birmingham Opera Company, is made a CBE for services to music.

His well-received 1998 opera Flight, a tale of passengers stuck in a departure lounge, combined humour and emotional gravity.

Padmore’s career in opera, concert and recital has seen him perform with the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle.

He is made a CBE for services to music.

Jacqui Dankworth with her mother Dame Cleo Laine
Jacqui Dankworth with her mother Dame Cleo Laine (Ian West/PA)

British jazz singer Jacqui Dankworth, an alumna and fellow of Guildhall School of Music and Drama, is made an MBE for services to music.

She is the daughter of highly-regarded jazz artists Dame Cleo Laine and musician Sir John Dankworth.

Sisters Mary and Sophie Bevan, who are both sopranos, are made MBEs for services to music.

Mary is known for her baroque, classical and contemporary repertoire while Sophie has worked with conductors including Ed Gardner and Sir Neville Marriner, winning the 2010 Critics’ Circle award for exceptional young talent.

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