For Those I Love Wins RTÉ Choice Album of the Year

David Balfe AKA For Those I Love (Photo: Graham Keogh)

For Those I Love Wins RTÉ Choice Album of the Year

Dermot Kennedy wins Irish Song of the Year for ‘Better Days'.

For Those I Love by Dublin songwriter David Balfe has been awarded the RTÉ Choice Music Prize Irish Album of the Year. It was selected from a shortlist of ten albums by a judging panel chaired by Jim Carroll of RTÉ.

The announcement was made during a live ceremony in Vicar Street yesterday (3 March) that was hosted by Tracy Clifford and broadcast on RTÉ 2FM. The awards featured performances from eight of the nominees, including Soda Blonde, Kojaque, Mick Flannery and Susan O’Neill, and Villagers.  

Balfe will receive a prize of €10,000 funded by the Irish Music Rights Organisation and the Irish Recorded Music Association.

In 2019, Balfe released his debut album For Those I Love before it was removed from all streaming services shortly afterwards. He later signed with UK label September Recordings and released the album in March last year. In November 2020 Balfe performed on BBC’s Later… with Jools Holland, and in December 2020 he performed as part of Other Voices. 

Also awarded on the night was the prize for Irish Song of the Year which was presented to singer-songwriter Dermot Kennedy for ‘Better Days’. Other nominees for the Song of the Year included Inhaler’s ‘It Won’t Always be Like This’, Soda Blonde’s ‘Small talk’, ‘No Forever’ featuring MayKay by Elaine Mai, Soulé’s ‘Queenish’, and ‘Always on My Mind’ featuring Charlotte Haining’ by Shane Codd. The Song of the Year prize was decided by public vote on the RTÉ and Choice Music Prize websites. The judging panel for Album of the Year included Ciara King of RTÉ 2FM, Craig Connolly of District magazine, Eve Blair of BBC Radio Ulster, and Kate O’Dwyer, booker on The Tommy Tiernan Show.  

Commenting on tonight’s awards, RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes said: 

We are so happy to be back in Vicar Street for RTÉ Choice Music Prize live event to celebrate our artists and musicians after two long and difficult years for the industry. Last year, with restrictions in place, we reimagined RTÉ Choice Music prize live on 2FM’s Tracy Clifford Show which we also simulcast on the RTÉ Player, along with a highlights programme on RTÉ2. One of the real learnings for RTÉ during this period has been the ways we have found to support our artists and musicians by providing them with a platform, across our TV, radio and online services to reach and connect with their audiences. It’s a role we want to build on into the future. 

RTÉ2 will broadcast a one-hour TV programme of the RTÉ Choice Music Prize on 13 March at 11pm featuring performances from nominated acts along with interviews by Bláthnaid Treacy.

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Published on 4 March 2022

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