Meteors: U2 lose out as they fail to win any awards
THEY were once the undisputed kings of the Irish music business, but last night U2 found themselves forgotten men after they failed to win a single category in the Meteor Ireland Music Awards at the RDS.
Nominated in the Best Irish Band, Best Irish Album and Best Irish Live Performance categories, the group, which formed in 1978 in Mount Temple Secondary School, found themselves beaten by Ireland's new rising stars, Snow Patrol, The Coronas and The Script in public votes.
If conceding Best Irish band to Snow Patrol wasn't bad enough, having suffered disappointing sales for their recent album 'No Line On The Horizon', last night they suffered the ignominy of being beaten to the title of Best Irish Album by 'Tony Was An Ex-Con' by the relatively unknown The Coronas.
Listed as the highest-grossing act of 2009 for their tour of North America, despite the best frontman and multimillion euro Claw stage show, U2 didn't even manage to win in the Best Irish Live Performance category which went to The Script.
However, with only Adam Clayton from U2 attending last night, presenting an Industry Meteor Award to friend Lord Henry Mountcharles, a U2 source said the group were not disappointed.
"U2 are delighted. This year's Meteor Awards means that new Irish talent is coming up. The band are happy that new Irish acts are being recognised and wish them every success," said a U2 source.
But pop rivals Westlife managed to continue their reign as Irish music royalty, winning their tenth Meteor as Best Irish Pop Act.
However, lead singer Shane Filan insisted they had never taken anything for granted.
"We never think we are going to win. We are only after coming back on the scene now after a year off. We are just delighted to be picking up an award tonight," said Filan.
The group had earlier brought traffic to a standstill on O'Connell Street in the capital. The street was thronged with screaming fans as the boyband turning up in the window of Clery's department store for a live interview with FM104 presenter Adrian Kennedy.
In other public votes Christy Moore won the Best Irish Male award and Wallis Bird Best Irish Female while DJ Ray Foley beat fellow Today FM presenter Ian Dempsey as Best National DJ.
With its minimal beeps and squeaks, high-pitched rapper Dizzee Rascal was one of the highlights of the night performing his infectious dance/hip-hop tracks.
Florence and The Machine, who won Best International Band, were other impressive performers which included Paulo Nutini who won Best International Album for his long player 'Sunny Side Up', Pixie Lott, The Temper Trap, and Irish acts The Script, Bell X1 and The Coronas.
Brian Kennedy received a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Irish music industry over the past 20 years.
Niall Mellon of The Niall Mellon Township Trust was honoured with the Humanitarian Award for his tireless work in providing homes for the people of South Africa, along with a donation of €100,000.
One of the most poignant parts of last night's ceremony came when Boyzone stars Shane Lynch and Keith Duffy presented a new special tribute award in memory of their fellow bandmate Stephen Gately, who died last October.
Rocking aristocrat Lord Henry Mountcharles was honoured with the Industry Award for his 30-year contribution to the Irish music industry.
Backstage, VIPs enjoyed unlimited champagne and gourmet food before a fleet of limousines took them to post-award parties in Dublin's nightclubs.
The 'Meteor Ireland Music Awards' will be aired on RTE 2 tomorrow at 9pm.