Few songwriters have been as prolific or consistent as hitmaker Cathy Dennis, who was last week rightfully awarded an Ivor Novello for Best Song Collection.
Dennis has been a dominant, but low key, force in the music industry for more than 20 years, penning number ones for Kylie Minogue, Katy Perry, Britney Spears and S-Club 7.
She has enjoyed remarkable longevity in a traditionally male-dominated industry. (Progess here is slow, only three of this year’s 14 Ivor recipients were women).
Dennis now has six Ivors and one Grammy (for the Minogue hit Come Into My World) to her name. Not bad for a former insurance clerk who was spotted at the age of 17 by Simon Fuller (of Spice Girls and S-Club 7 fame) while playing with her dad’s band in Norwich.
Under Fuller’s management Dennis enjoyed a moderate success as a pop singer, with hits such as Touch Me (All Night Long).
But Dennis was never completely comfortable with life in the spotlight and switched to songwriting full-time, where she found her niche writing pure, adulterated pop songs.
She is credited with co-writing one of the best pop tunes of all time, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head. Other hits include Toxic by Britney Spears, I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry, Never Had a Dream Come True by S Club 7 and About You Now by the Sugababes.
She may make it look easy, but Dennis says songwriting is anything but. She told Songwriting Magazine: “You have to be prepared to knuckle down and put in the hours and really commit to what you want to do.”
Ivor Novello Awards 2018
Best Song Musically and Lyrically
Magnificent (She Says)
Written by Guy Garvey, Craig Potter, Mark Potter and Pete Turner
Published in the UK by Salvation Music Ltd – Warner/Chappell Music Publishing Ltd
Performed by Elbow
Best Contemporary Song
Written by Dave and Fraser T Smith
Published in the UK by Warner/Chappell Music Ltd and Kobalt Music Publishing
Performed by Dave
PRS for Music Most Performed Work
Shape of You
Written by Steve Mac, Johnny McDaid and Ed Sheeran
Published in the UK by Rokstone Music – Universal Music Publishing, Spirit B-Unique – Polar Patrol and Ed Sheeran Limited – Sony/ATV Music Publishing (UK) Ltd
Performed by Ed Sheeran
Gang Signs & Prayer
Written by Michael ‘Stormzy’ Omari
Published in the UK by Warner/Chappell Music Ltd
Performed by Stormzy
Best Original Film Score
Composed by Mica Levi
Published in the UK by Beggars Music
Best Television Soundtrack
Composed by Dan Jones
Published in the UK by Faber Music and Sony/ATV Music Publishing (UK) Ltd
Best Original Video Game Score
Horizon Zero Dawn
Composed by Joris de Man, Joe Henson and Alexis Smith
Outstanding Song Collection
PRS for Music Outstanding Contribution to British Music
PRS for Music Special International Award
Songwriter of the Year
The Ivors Classical Music Award
The Ivors Inspiration Award