CBE Awarded to Producer Steve Lillywhite
Award-winning record producer, Stephen (Steve) Lillywhite, has made Queen Elizabeth’s 2012 New Year’s Honors List by being named a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to music. With a career spanning decades, and being linked with a multitude of celebrated artists and bands, Steve Lillywhite has been an enduring presence in the highly competitive music industry – on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been involved in the production of more than five hundred records and has seen unknown bands become international stars since he first entered the music industry in 1972 as a tape operator for Polygram.
In the mid-1970s, Lilywhite produced the Ultravox demo that secured a recording contract with Island Records, where he later became a producer, launching him on his successful career path. Some of Lillywhite’s more notable achievements in the 1980s included producing U2’s debut album Boy, as well as the debut album for The Psychedelic Furs. Other artists he worked with in the 1980s included Simple Minds, Talking Heads, Morrissey, The Rolling Stones and XTC.
By the 1990s, Lillywhite was well established as a record producer as he co-produced U2’s Achtung Baby and the Dave Matthews Band’s Under the Table and Dreaming, Crash, and Before These Crowded Streets. He was also featured in a documentary series for BBC Radio 1 that focused on record production.
The 21st century presented many opportunities for this accomplished producer. He collected Grammy’s for his work on U2’s singles Beautiful Day and Walk On, as well as for the album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Other artists/bands he has worked with include Chris Cornell, Switchfoot, Crowded House, Matchbox Twenty, 30 Seconds to Mars, Oasis, Guster, Big Country and MGMT.
Although the honor of a CBE does not put a “Sir” in front of Steve Lillywhite’s name, or make him a Knight – only GBEs, KBEs and DBEs have that privilege – it is nonetheless a noteworthy achievement to be added to his very impressive résumé.