Q has today revealed that they will be recognising heavy metal pioneer and legendary Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, who will be receiving the annual Gibson Les Paul Award.
Iommi, who has famously played a Gibson his entire career, is receiving the award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to music, pop culture and as part of the 100th-anniversary celebrations of the birth of Les Paul; pioneer of the solid-body electric guitar, which made the sound of rock’n’roll possible.
Tony Iommi said, “I’m very honoured to receive the Les Paul Award, so many thanks to Q magazine and Gibson – I have a long history with the guitar-maker.”
Turning misfortune into innovation, Tony Iommi has been one of the most impactful and influential guitarists of the last 50 years. After severing the tips of two fingers on his fret hand in an industrial accident, Iommi developed his pioneering style as much by circumstance as design. Using thimbles to replace the missing tips and tuning down to make playing easier, he conjured the osmium-dense sound that enabled Black Sabbath set the standards of menace and darkness that define heavy metal to this day. From stoner rock through grunge to thrash metal, there’s barely a strand of rock music that hasn’t been shaped in some way by Iommi’s furnace-forged riffs.
Says Q’s Senior Editor Matt Mason: “Tony is one of those rare guitar players in that he truly defines a genre and a sound. His influence is huge but, equally, there is a real finesse in his playing that often gets overlooked. It harks back to his early love of Django Reinhardt – the legendary gypsy-jazz guitarist – who was a formative influence on Tony. As with all great musicians, Tony hears the world in a totally unique way, and that is what the Gibson Les Paul celebrates.”
The 2015 Q Awards, in association with Absolute Radio, will take place TODAY, Monday 19 October 2015. With Absolute Radio’s Christian O’Connell making a welcome return as awards host. Voting for the seven reader-voted categories is open now at www.qthemusic.com/q-awards. 2015 nominees include Florence + The Machine, Foals, Ed Sheeran, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Blur, Everything Everything, Jamie XX, Muse, James Bay, Songhoy Blues, Years & Years, Sam Smith, Kanye West, Taylor Swift. The Libertines. New Order, The Weeknd and many more.
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