Courtney Love celebrates sobriety at NME Awards 2020

Courtney Love celebrated being 18 months sober whilst picking up the Icon Award at the 2020 NME Awards on Wednesday (12.02.20).

The 55-year-old music icon – who is best known as the lead vocalist of Hole – was awarded the prestigious honour at the annual awards ceremony held at the O2 Academy in Brixton in London, and used her acceptance speech to express her pride at being sober for a year and a half.

She told the crowd: "Thank you so much, I didn’t prepare any speech, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to be disrespectful. I woke up this morning and I have the honour of picking up this f**k you thing [waves NME award], which is fantastic, in the capital of this fantastic country where I first picked up a New Musical Express in I don’t know, 1981 in f***ing Liverpool where I read the other day I lost my virginity to Joy Division’s ‘Isolation’.

"I think that’s psychotic. I’m also 18 months sober today. I can’t believe that and that’s pretty wild. Thank so much, I’m very honoured. Thanks a lot."

Elsewhere in the evening, The 1975 bagged the Innovation Award, and frontman Matty Healy said the honour was "really humbling" and unexpected.

The ‘Girls’ singer – who also took home the trophy for Best British Band – said on stage: "We genuinely didn’t know we were getting this. I don’t really know what to say. This is really, really humbling, I don’t know, f***ing hell.

"One of my heroes is Brian Eno and he splits art into kind of two categories – cowboys and farmers. Farmers like to cultivate their thing and keep it the same and cowboys like to go out and find new pastures and I think there are so many wonderfully talented people in this room and I don’t have any advice because I’m really scared and I feel really small but my only advice would be, just be a cowboy. Thank you so much."

Slowthai picked up the fan-voted Hero of the Year award, but was escorted off stage during his acceptance speech following an altercation with the crowd.

The rapper directly engaged with members of the audience during his speech, but following a verbal exchange and objects being thrown, he jumped into the crowd before security intervened.

Billie Eilish continued her mammoth year with another award for Best Song in the World for ‘Bad Guy’, whilst Lana Del Rey’s album ‘Norman F***ing Rockwell’ was named Best Album in the World.

NME Awards 2020 winners:

Best Live Act


Best Festival Headliner

The Cure

Best New Act In The World


Best Festival In The World


NME Radar Award


Innovation Award

The 1975

Best Music Video

Yungblud – ‘Original Me’

Best New British Act

Easy Life

Best Collaboration

Slowthai & Mura Masa

Icon Award

Courtney Love

Best Film

‘Blue Story’

Best Podcast

‘Have Your Heart George’s Podcast?’

Best TV Series

‘Peaky Blinders’

Best Music Film

‘Liam Gallagher: As It Was’

Best British Song

AJ Tracey – ‘Ladbroke Grove’

Best Song In The World

Billie Eilish – ‘Bad Guy’

Best British Album

Little Simz – ‘GREY Area’

Best Album In The World

Lana Del Rey – ‘Norman F***ing Rockwell’

Songwriter of the Decade


Best British Solo Act

FKA Twigs

Best Solo Act In The World

Taylor Swift

Best British Band

The 1975

Best Band In The World


Godlike Genius Award

Emily Eavis

Hero of the Year


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