Austin, TX– mtvU, MTV’s 24-hour college network, tonight named Childish Gambino, Porter Robinson, Years & Years, Hoodie Allen with Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Jack & Jack and WPTS Radio from the University of Pittsburgh as winners of the “2015 mtvU Woodie Awards.” The annual event at the forefront of breaking some of the biggest names in music aired live on MTV with host Jack Antonoff, from a wet and wild day in Austin, Texas during SXSW.
The network also honored iconic rock band Fall Out Boy as the first-ever inductee into the “Hall of Wood,” while fans in Austin and those watching at home were treated to an incredible, career-spanning set of greatest hits performed by the band that included “Thnks for th Mmrs,” “Sugar, We’re Goin Down,” “Centuries,” “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race,” “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)” and “Uma Thurman.” In a special video tribute that featured Mark Hoppus, Big Sean, Brendan Urie of Panic at the Disco and Steve Aoki, mtvU celebrated the fact that Fall Out Boy has achieved chart-topping success while sticking to their roots and maintaining their loyal fan base. The band has a long history with the Woodies that includes winning an award at the first ever show in 2004.
Another artist with strong Woodies ties, Childish Gambino,was the night’s biggest winner with two awards presented to him by Action Bronson and Rae Sremmurd. Gambino, a former Woodies host and performer, won “Best Video Woodie” for “Sober” and “Next Level Performance Woodie” for creating an app that allowed users to display messages onto his tour stage.
”Thank you mtvU Woodies for giving me my first Woodie. I really appreciate it – this is really cool,” said Childish Gambino. “I want to thank Royalty, I want to thank MTV, I want to thank mtvU, I want to thank everybody who voted for me and supported me this year. I don’t win these a lot so this is really special.”
Special guest The Fat Jew joined host Jack Antonoff in giving away the night’s biggest honor, “Woodie of the Year” to emerging music producer and electronic musician Porter Robinson. The award celebrates the artist that completely owned the past 12 months.
"I’m super thankful to win a Woodie for artist of the year,” saidPorter Robinson. “I have a lot of faith in the future of electronic music. Beyond just the fun, dancy stuff, there's tons of beautiful, emotive electronic music out there – I'm hoping through 2015 and beyond it continues to get recognition."
From the banks of Lady Bird Lake in South Austin, the “2015 mtvU Woodie Awards” opened with host Jack Antonoff of Bleachers introducing emerging U.K. trio Years & Years. The band boldly made its U.S. television debut on the Woodies stage by bringing the video for hit song “King” to life with local dancers clad in white, draped against the gleaming Austin skyline in the distance. It was the start of an epic night for the U.K. trio as they were later awarded the “Artist to Watch Woodie” by presenters Ellar Coltrane and Marina and the Diamonds.
Antonoff followed with his own impressive showcase, delivering a one-man medley of hit songs from artists who have used previous Woodie Awards and Festivals as a launch pad for future success. Antonoff performed acoustic versions of Modest Mouse’s “Float On” (“Woodie of the Year” winner in 2004), Foo Fighters’ “Everlong” (“2011 mtvU Woodie Awards” performer), Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” (“Woodie of the Year” winner in 2014); and Bleachers’ “I Wanna Get Better” (“2014 MTV Woodies Festival” performer).
The “2015 mtvU Woodie Awards” was bookended by another rousing performance, as Zoe Kravitz and A$AP Rocky introduced Big Sean, who closed the show and electrified the crowd with a medley of “Blessings” and “IDFWU,” descending a staircase from the middle of the stage, amid a space covered in LED screens. The rapper created his own “Dark Sky Paradise” in Texas, as rains fell on the crowd but did not stop the determined Detriot emcee from delivering an impassioned set. The evening’s other standout performer is one of the artists garnering the most buzz at SXSW, James Bay. The young Brit did not disappoint at the Woodies, delivering a powerful performance of “Hold Back” after being introduced by Tove Lo.
Prior to the official start of show, Jack Antonoff announced that friend and collaborator Taylor Swift won a “Cover Woodie” for her take on rising artist Vance Joy’s “Riptide.” Rapper Hoodie Allen claimed the “Co-Sign Woodie” award for his work with Ed Sheeran on the track “All About It.” Jack & Jack claimed the first-ever “Social Climber Woodie,” which spotlights independent artists who have built a significant following by distributing and promoting their music on social media. mtvU also honored WPTS Radio from the University of Pittsburgh with the “College Radio Woodie,” presented annually to pioneering stations dedicated to bringing students the best emerging music.
“Thank you so much for the Co-Sign Woodie. I’ve never won anything in my life before so this is amazing,” said Hoodie Allen, who sent in an acceptance video from his hospital room after a surgery. “Thank you Ed Sheeran for collaborating on the song, thank you to all the fans who made this possible by voting. Thank you for letting me win an award in a hospital gown. Hoodie got a Woodie, bitches.”
The “2015 mtvU Woodie Awards” also included a recap of the marathon day of music that led into the show, the “MTV Woodies Festival.” The festival included a performance by Robert DeLong, followed by sets from 2015 MTV “Artists to Watch” Ty Dolla $ign, Raury, MisterWives and Rae Sremmurd, in addition to Action Bronson and Clean Bandit featuring Jess Gylnne.
Throughout the hour-long broadcast, Rita Ora and Charli XCX took over in pre-taped segments “Woodie You Rather,” offering their opinions on various hypothetical pop culture quandaries such as shopping with Taylor Swift vs. “hanging out” with previous Woodie winner Wiz Khalifa.
The winners of the “2015 mtvU Woodie Awards” are:
Woodie Of The Year (Artist of the Year)
· Porter Robinson
Artist to Watch Woodie (Best Emerging Artist)
· Years & Years
Best Video Woodie (Best Video of the Year)
· Childish Gambino – “Sober”
Cover Woodie (Best Cover Song)
· Taylor Swift covering Vance Joy – “Riptide”
Next Level Performance Woodie (Finding New Ways to Reach Audiences)
· Childish Gambino
Co-Sign Woodie (Best Collaboration Between Artists)
· Hoodie Allen featuring Ed Sheeran – “All About It”
Social Climber Woodie (Independent Artists Using Social Media for Success)
· Jack & Jack
College Radio Woodie (Best College Radio Station)
· University of Pittsburgh (WPTS)
Official sponsors of the "MTV Woodies Festival" and "2015 mtvU Woodie Awards" include CLEAN & CLEAR®, ICE BREAKERS Mints, Pepsi®, Taco Bell® and U.S. Army.
Ryan Kroft, Amy Doyle, Gina Esposito and Jesse Ignatovic are the Executive Producers of the "2015 mtvU Woodie Awards," with Andria Parides acting as supervising producer. Joe Buoye is the Executive in Charge of Production.
Broadcast to nearly 750 college campuses as well as via top cable distributors in 700 college communities nationwide, mtvU reaches more than 8 million U.S. college students – making it the largest, most comprehensive television network just for college students. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, mtvU can be seen in the dining areas, fitness centers, student lounges and dorm rooms of campuses throughout the U.S., as well as on cable systems from Charter Communications, Verizon FiOS TV, Suddenlink Communications, AT&T u-Verse and nearly 70 others. mtvU is dedicated to every aspect of college life, reaching students everywhere they are: on-air, online and on the campus. mtvU airs music videos from emerging artists that can’t be seen anywhere else, news, student life features and initiatives that give college students the tools to advance positive social change. mtvU is always on campus, with hundreds of events per year, including exclusive concerts, giveaways, shooting mtvU series and more. For more information about mtvU, and a complete programming schedule, visit www.mtvU.com.