NRJ Music Awards

NRJ Music Award banner

NRJ Music Awards bring the world to Cannes

The NRJ Music Award (usually referred to as NMA on social media) is an award show that brings together the top best-selling artists from the French and worldwide music industry.

The awards ceremony, created in 2000 by NRJ radio in partnership with the French television network TF1, used to take place every year in mid-January at Cannes as the opening event of MIDEM (Marché international de l’édition musicale). More recently, it moved to the month of November.

They give out awards to popular musicians in a number of categories. The TV show is one of the highlights of the French showbiz year.

The name “NRJ” is the acronym for “Nouvelle Radio des Jeunes” (new radio of teens). But it is more usually understood as playing on the pronunciation of the French word énergie (energy).

Spectacular TV show

Stromae at the NRJ Music Awards 2013

Stromae at the NRJ Music Awards 2013


As the foremost commercial youth radio in France, the station can often host exclusive appearances that have included noted performances by U2, Madonna, Johnny Halliday, Lady Gaga and Stromae, who was famously carried onto the stage like a mannequin (see video).

The 2015 edition will include Adele debuting her hit single “Hello” live on television, with Ed Sheeran, Cats on Trees, David Guetta, Ellie Goulding and Sam Smith amongst the other nominees.

The spectacular show is held at the Palais des Festivals, better-known as the venue for the Cannes Film Festival.

Before anyone asks, entrance is strictly by invitation only although the radio and sponsors also organise competitions. The town of Cannes is also attributed tickets which it distributes to locals a month before the event.