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Brussels, 24 January 2005

“Border Breakers”: the second year of awards for European debut albums with the highest sales in other EU countries in 2004

On Sunday, 23 January at MIDEM (International Music Market) in Cannes, European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA) were handed out for the second year. These awards go to artists whose debut albums have achieved the highest sales in the European Union outside their country of origin over the year. The awards were created at the initiative of the European Commission in cooperation with professionals from the world of European music[1] and the Billboard Information Group.

“These awards are a testimony to the diversity of European music and the potential of the single market” said Ján Figel’, the Member of the European Commission responsible for education, training, culture and multilingualism, at the opening ceremony. "They unite professionals from the world of music, writers, composers, performers and leading or independent producers in helping to improve the dissemination of European music across the European Union”. On 23 January, EBBA were awarded for the second year to European artists or groups and their record companies, authors and publishers who had achieved the highest sales of a debut album in 2004 in the European Union outside its country of production.

Winners were selected on the basis of statistics provided by the Billboard Group in accordance with the following criteria:

  • original debut album of artists or groups from an EU Member State;
  • sales in EU Member states outside the country of production
  • sales between 01/09/2003 and 31/08/2004.

The Border Breakers prizes were awarded to:

  • Katie Melua (United Kingdom) for “Call off the search” (Dramatico)
  • Damien Rice (Ireland) for “O” (DRM/14th Floor)
  • Wir Sind Helden (Germany) for “Die Reklamation” (Capitol)
  • Corneille (France) for “Parce qu'on vient de loin” (Wagram)
  • Redrama (Finland) for “ Everyday Soundtrack ” (Virgin)
  • Ana Johnsson (Sweden) for “The way I am” (Epic/Sony)
  • Benny Benassi & The Biz (Italy) for “Hypnotica” (Off limits production)
  • Raveonettes (Denmark) for “Chain gang of love” (Columbia/Sony)

This year, to mark the enlargement of the Union in 2004, a special “European Breakthrough” prize was awarded to the Polish group Myslowitz for its album “Korova Mily Bar” (EMI).

MIDEM also provided an opportunity for an informal meeting of the Ministers of Culture of the European Union on 23 January at the initiative of Ján Figel’ and Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, the French Minister of Culture and Communication. The participants mainly reviewed the current situation in the music industry in Europe and the negotiations on cultural diversity at UNESCO.

The European Union supports many cooperation projects in the field of music (tours of music ensembles, concerts and festivals) mainly through the Culture 2000 programme. The Commission has also set up pilot projects to promote European music both within and outside the EU.

For further information:

[1] EMO (European Music Office), GESAC (European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers), ICMP/CIEM (International Confederation of Music Publishers), IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), Impala (Independent Music Companies Association)

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