Jill Furmanovsky has been revealed as So.Co Music Awards ‘Legend of the Year’ winner. Jill was the resident photographer at legendary venue The Rainbow Theatre, shooting the likes of The Who, Blondie, The Clash & more. She later worked closely with Oasis, documenting their landmark Knebworth and Maine Road concerts, captured Pink Floyd’s historic performance at Live 8 in 2005, and shot countless others on the biggest stages and on the road – from Bob Marley to Björk. Jill was also recently award AP’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2024 AP Awards.

The winners of the 6 remaining categories will be revealed on 26th March 2024 at the awards ceremony happening in London.

From So.Co Music Awards: The So.co Image of Music Awards has announced Jill Furmanovsky as this year’s recipient of the ‘Legend of The Year’ award – a photographer who has documented the rise of some of the most legendary rock artists, and graced album covers, music magazines, and books to become recognised all over the world.

Born in Zimbabwe (known then as Rhodesia), Jill moved to London in 1965 when she was eleven years old. She quickly became fascinated with The Beatles and many other rock bands of the time, with this passion leading her to pick up a camera to get closer to her heroes.

Noel Maine Road jill furmanovsky gig crowd image from the stage
Image credit: Jill Furmanovsky archive

Jill never looked back from there, as her career saw her capture unforgettable images of artists on the biggest stages as well as intimate on-the-road shoots. She documented Oasis’ landmark Knebworth concerts, captured Pink Floyd’s rehearsals and historic performance at Live 8 in 2005, and has photographed countless other icons including Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, The Clash, Blondie, The Pretenders, Bob Dylan and Kate Bush. Her work has been celebrated in several exhibitions including current show No Music No Life.

Jill Furmanovsky says: ‘I’m thrilled to be receiving this prestigious photography award from So.co, especially as I only ever had a two-week course in photography! While on that course I got a lucky break and became the in-house photographer at the Rainbow Theatre. That was in 1972. Since then, I’ve had the most wonderful career, well more of a calling really, photographing many of the world’s greatest musicians for more than 50 years.  I’m still a music fan, that’s the bottom line.”

The clash performing at the rainbow theatre 1977 jill furmanovsky
Image credit: Jill Furmanovsky archive

Jill follows on from last year’s honouree David Hogan, who was the inaugural ‘Legend of the Year’. David has been a long-time admirer of Jill’s work ever since she taught him photography as part of his Ceramics degree at the Central School of Art & Design in 1978, an experience David said, “changed the course of my career and made me realise it was going to be easier to see the world with a camera than a potter’s wheel.”

So.co CEO Vince Bannon adds: “Jill’s incredible work has touched the lives of millions of music fans globally, from the iconic images of Van Halen and The Jam at the Rainbow Theatre to Oasis at Maine Road and beyond. Music photographers are the heartbeat of what we do at So.co, and we couldn’t be more excited to honour Jill’s legacy at this year’s awards.”

Born out of a desire to champion the often unsung heroes behind the lens, music storytelling platform So.co created the So.co Image of Music Awards as a way to shine a spotlight on the best music photographers. The awards’ other six categories are: Image of Music ‘People’s Choice’ Award 2024, Music Photographer of The Year, Young Music Photographer of The Year, Venue of The Year, Innovation of The Year and The ‘Must See’ Artist of The Year.

Winners will be revealed at the award ceremony taking place at Amazing Grace, London, on 26 March 2024. For further information, head to https://so.co/awards.

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