The Smiths legend was hailed as “off the charts cool” by Chic legend Nile Rodgers, who had pre-recorded a video message to the 55-year-old rocker for the ceremony – which celebrates independent artists and labels – at London’s Roundhouse on Tuesday night (03.09.19).
The ‘Le Freak’ hitmaker – who personally picked Johnny to play at Meltdown festival last month – said: “Hey, this is Nile Rodgers and I’m here to congratulate Johnny Marr.
“There is no one more deserving of this award than you.
“You are off the charts cool, you are so independent minded, music is such a great journey for you.
“I love you and your family, and I love your son – of course, he’s named after me.
“Anyway my brother, big ups to you – peace out.”
In his own speech, the ‘Getting Away With It’ star thanked everyone in the “independent sector”, especially Tony Wilson and Beggars Banquet Records – who supported his solo career from the start.
And he rounded off his speech by declaring himself an “indie musician”, which he said is “good enough” for him.
He said: “As an independent musician, and an independent fan … I’d like to thank everyone.
“Thanks to all you guys working in the independent sector.
“The weird thing that this tiny island continues to do is spread really good independent music across the world.
“I’ll finish by saying I’ve often been asked what kind of music I make – I’m an indie musician and that’s good enough for me.”
Elsewhere, Blondie’s Debbie Harry received the Outstanding Contribution to Music prize and was handed the gong by The Kinks’ Sir Ray Davies.
The ‘You Really Got Me’ hitmaker said of the ‘Heart of Glass’ singer: “Wherever she goes she steals the show. And today her star will shine brighter than ever”.
And the 74-year-old icon quipped: “The reason I’m late is that I’m just so goddamn independent, thank you.”
Rapper Dave and IDLES were the big winners of the night, both scooping two awards each.
Dave’s acclaimed Mercury Prize-shortlisted LP ‘Psychodrama’ won Best Independent Album and his hit song ‘Funky Friday’ featuring Fredo was named Best Independent Track.
Whilst indie stars IDLES, who revealed they are working on album number three, won Best [Difficult] Second Album for ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’ and UK Independent Breakthrough.
The band admitted it was “confusing” to win both awards.
They said: “Thank you … very confusing to be winning Breakthrough and [Difficult] Second Album as well.
“It’s taken us a very long time to get here. It’s true, it was that difficult.
“And it’s also weird to be writing this while we’re writing album three today.
“Thank you, thank you very much.”
This year’s AIM Awards also saw ‘Lost Without You’ hitmaker Freya Ridings named the Most Played New Independent Artist, Scottish rocker Gerry Cinnamon was crowned Best Live Act, Jade Bird won International Breakthrough and Hot Chip were handed the Innovator Award for ‘Hungry Child’.