Abbey Road Studios will honor photographer Eric Johnson with an Icon Award
As London’s famed Abbey Road Studios celebrate their 90th birthdaythe sacred recording studio prepares for its first Music Photography Awardwhich will take place on May 14. Prior to the ceremony, the organizers announced that American photographer Eric Johnson would be the recipient of their first-ever Icon Award.
Hailing from Newark, NJ, the New York-based photographer’s work has appeared in a variety of high-profile publications – from vogue for rolling stone — over his three-decade career. In the late ’90s and early ’90s, Johnson rose to prominence for documenting the rise of hip-hop and R&B’s biggest artists, including Nas, Missy Elliott, The Notorious BIG, Lauryn Hill, Aaliyah and many more. Outside of music, Johnson has photographed an array of luminaries, ranging from Muhammad Ali and Floyd Mayweather to Peter Bogdanovich and Jim Jarmusch. In recent years, he has collaborated with the likes of Doja Cat and MPA judge Shygirl.
“It’s super surreal to be the first recipient of the Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Icon Award,” Johnson said in a statement. “I’m very low-key by nature and in all these years I never realized that after taking all these pictures, it would all come back to me eventually. That people would be curious about me. I kinda knew that my photos would stand the test of time, but being considered an icon wasn’t something I really thought about. Wow! I’m into it.
Isabel Garvey, Managing Director of Abbey Road, added: “The jury wanted the recipient of our inaugural MPA ‘Icon’ award to be a photographer whose impact and contribution to the art of music photography has been pronounced and unprecedented and we have no doubt that Eric meets these criteria. She continued, “We are delighted that Eric has accepted the award, as his work throughout his career to date has been some of the most vital and memorable in music photography.”
Other accolades at the 2022 Music Photography Awards include open-entry competitions for Studio, Live, Championing Scenes and Undiscovered Photographer of the Year, as well as guest categories for Icon (for which Johnson was nominated), Portrait, Editorial and Artist at Work . This year’s jury includes Garvey, musician Moses Sumney, director Rankin, rock archive founder Jill Furmanovsky, photographer Dana Scruggs and rolling stone assistant director of photography, Sacha Lecca.