NRJ Music Awards

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NRJ Music Awards bring the world to Cannes

The NRJ Music Awards (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. It initially took 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.

The awards are given to popular musicians in a number of categories, split between French and international. 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 teen radio). But it is more usually understood as playing on the pronunciation of the French word énergie (energy).

Spectacular TV show

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 included Adele debuting her hit single “Hello” live on television. Ed Sheeran, Cats on Trees, David Guetta, Ellie Goulding and Sam Smith were among the other nominees.

The spectacular show is held at the Palais des Festivals, better-known as the venue for the Cannes Film Festival. The 2020 edition, however, was held in Paris. Winners included Dua Lipa,  Aya Nakamura, Dadju and The Weeknd.

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.

For updates about the NRJ Music Awards, follow Cannes or Bust.