Multi-platinum hit-makers Duran Duran have added a top civic award from home city Birmingham to their vast collection of accolades, calling it “quite an honour”.
The synth pop pioneers, who have just completed a UK tour, were handed a Lord Mayor’s Award ahead of their May 5 homecoming show at the city’s Utilita Arena.
Councillor Maureen Cornish, Lord Mayor of Birmingham, was pictured back stage with current line-up, Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, Roger Taylor and John Taylor, handing over the framed gong.
The award was “in recognition of Duran Duran’s outstanding achievement and exceptional service to Birmingham and its people through inspirational and dedicated work as world-renowned musicians, writers and producers of music”, a Birmingham City Council spokeswoman said.
The band, famed as being part of the early-1980s New Romantics movement, had “raised the city’s reputation for music and creativity”, the local authority added.
Ms Cornish said: “The past weekend has been very busy with the Coronation and Great Birmingham Run, but it was great to kick it off by presenting a Lord Mayor’s Award to Simon, John, Roger and Nick at their homecoming gig.
“Birmingham is very proud of these Wild Boys, as am I, for putting Birmingham on the international stage.”
Duran Duran posted on social media about the moment they were handed the award, and said: “The band receiving their Lord Mayor’s Award from Councillor Maureen Cornish, Lord Mayor of Birmingham, before their show.”
“Quite an honour,” they added.
Duran Duran have sold more than 100 million records and were among the biggest bands of the 1980s, enjoying meteoric success from early days as resident band at the Rum Runner club in Birmingham’s popular Broad Street nightspot, to conquering the United States with sell-out shows.
In December 2022, the Lord Mayor unveiled a blue plaque at the site of the former nightclub, demolished in 1987, which was created along the lines of New York’s Studio 54, and later featured in the video of The Beat’s Mirror In The Bathroom.
As pathfinders for the new wave and synth pop genres, Duran Duran enjoyed immediate chart success following the release of debut single Planet Earth in 1981, and are again about to embark on 30-date tour of North America, later this month.
They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, last year, in recognition of their creative achievements, and played a mini-gig at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, in 2022.
The band receiving their Lord Mayor’s Award from Councillor Maureen Cornish, Lord Mayor of Birmingham, before their show on 5 May. You may remember the Lord Mayor unveiled the blue plaque commemorating the site of the Rum Runner as well this past December. Quite an honour. pic.twitter.com/lMCqMZ0Jkm
— Duran Duran (@duranduran) May 9, 2023
John Taylor, Nick Rhodes and Taylor’s art school friend Stephen Duffy formed the band in Birmingham in 1978, adding drummer Roger Taylor the following year.
After Duffy departed, there were further changes in personnel, but by the mid-1980s the group had settled on the line-up that would become globally famous including lead singer Simon Le Bon and guitarist Andy Taylor.
Following splits, reunions and hiatuses, the five-member line-up have been recording new material for a release later this year, which comes after Andy Taylor was diagnosed with terminal metastatic stage four prostate cancer.