Universal Music Group chief Lucian Grainge broke new ground for the music biz this week when was honoured as the Cannes Lions Media Person of the Year 2017, an award he promptly dedicated to his late brother, Nigel.

The accolade, established in 1999 and handed out during the annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, has never been awarded to a music executive, until now. Grainge’s latest win “says much about the convergence of entertainment with marketing and advertising,” enthused Cannes Lions CEO Philip Thomas as he introduced Grainge during a ceremony in the south of France.

Describing the British-born, U.S. based UMG chairman and CEO as the “great hope” for the music business and a champion of new business models and fresh approaches,” Thomas and his organization credited Grainge for “laying the foundation that has led to the music industry’s recent return to growth after nearly a decade of decline.”

It’s the latest in a swelling list of acknowledgments for Grainge, who was knighted by Prince William last year for his accomplishments in the music business, and by leading its biggest music company. A former A&R ­exec who spearheaded UMG’s acquisition of EMI’s recorded music assets and the revitalization of Capitol Records, Grainge has worked with acts from ABBA, The Rolling Stones, Queen and Amy Winehouse and was recognised as the top executive on Billboard’s 2016 Billboard Power 100 list.

Speaking from the podium at Le Petit Maison De Nicole, Cannes on Wednesday night, Grainge had this to say: “As a kid who started out as a talent scout, my job has since changed in many ways. While our labels seek out great new talent, today I scout for brands and digital platforms and new forms of technology as well as great people to collectively work on behalf of our artists.”

He continued, “Bearing that in mind I am very proud to report that at Universal we’re engaging a completely new generation of music lovers around the world on a scale that we’ve never seen.

Our business, our connectivity, all that we do has to be about the music, and the quality of the music and the creativity is what connects all of us. That is our key focus.”

Grainge wrapped things up by paying homage to his older brother Nigel, a “great music executive” who passed away June 11 at the age of 70.

Guests at the awards function included film director Ron Howard, Chinese pianist Lang Lang, and DreamWorks Animation co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Read Grainge’s full speech below.

“Thank you very much for that, and thank you Philip, I am deeply honoured for this award and also that I am the first member of the music industry to be here. That means a great deal to me and all of us.

No talent scout, no artist, no band, no label, no CEO, no creative executive ever succeeds on their own, and today I’d like to humbly thank those who made it possible for me to stand before you, including obviously, all of our recording artists and our songwriters. 

My incredible team at Universal Music including all our label heads, our A&R team, our CEO’s and our broader Vivendi family, in particular Vincent Bolloré, whose support and belief for me and us and the entire team has enabled us to achieve the kind of success and what we are trying to achieve in the transformation of this business.

As a kid who started out as a talent scout, my job has since changed in many ways. While our labels seek out great new talent, today I scout for brands and digital platforms and new forms of technology as well as great people to collectively work on behalf of our artists. 

Bearing that in mind I am very proud to report that at Universal we’re engaging a completely new generation of music lovers around the world on a scale that we’ve never seen. 

Our business, our connectivity, all that we do has to be about the music, and the quality of the music and the creativity is what connects all of us. That is our key focus.

At Lions, I have been incredibly inspired by what I’ve seen and the people I’ve met, by the diverse talents, even the presentations and the awards that have been given so far this evening…fabulous.

Everyone’s innovation and enthusiasm…that excites me and I’m sure it excites all of us in terms of all the things we can do together, so I thank you for that.

On one last note, I hope you don’t mind. I lost someone in my family last week and this is a big award for me, my older brother Nigel, who was a great music executive, so I’d like to dedicate this award on my behalf to my brother.”