Heavy Music Awards 2023 announces first wave of live performers

At London’s OVO Arena Wembley on 26th May

Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale, and Sophie Lloyd

Author: Scott ColothanPublished 2 hours ago

The Heavy Music Awards has announced its first wave performers and hosts for the gargantuan 2023 event.

Kerrang! Radio is the official radio partner for the event, which takes place on Friday 26th May 2023 at London’s OVO Arena Wembley making it the biggest rock music awards ceremony ever held in the UK.

Once again celebrating the most influential and ground-breaking artists and creatives in the heavy music world, the 2023 Heavy Music Awards will once again boast a glut of phenomenal live talent.

Having been nominated in four categories – including the prestigious Best International Live Artist and Best Album awards – Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale and Joe Hottinger will perform a very special intimate ‘unplugged’ show at the awards, and they’ll be joined by rising guitar virtuoso Sophie Lloyd for the performance.

Other acts set to take to the Wembley stage include Florida metalcore outfit Underoath, dramatic gothic punks Creeper, Blackpool alt-rockers Boston Manor, and incendiary rock outfit Vukovi (HMAs record makers, boasting 5 nominations this year), joined by pink provocateur Scene Queen in an exclusive one-off collaboration.

Kerrang! Radio’s very own Alex Baker and Alyx Holcombe will host the ceremony alongside Nels Hylton.

Tickets for the Heavy Music Awards go on sale from the OVO Arena Wembley website at 10am on Wednesday 19th April 2023.

Buy Heavy Music Awards tickets

Heavy Music Awards with Kerrang! Radio

Cementing its status as one of the biggest events on the rock music calendar, the Heavy Music Awards received an astonishing 1.3 million votes received from fans across 163 countries. Voting is now closed.

Other artists who picked up nominations across the various categories include Ghost, Slipknot, Creeper, Skindred, Nova Twins, Architects, Witch Fever, Cassyette, Enter Shikari, Biffy Clyro, Sleep Token, My Chemical Romance, Parkway Drive, Wargasm, Neck Deep and many more.

The Heavy Music Awards 2023 nominatons:


Architects – The Classic Symptoms of a Broken Spirit

Bad Omens – The Death of Peace of Mind

Ghost – Impera

Halestorm – Back From The Dead

Nova Twins – Supernova

Slipknot – The End, So Far

Vukovi – NULA


Bloodywood – Rakshak

Cassyette – Sad Girl Mixtape

Charlotte Sands – Love And Other Lies

Heriot – Profound Morality

Static Dress – Rouge Carpet Disaster

Wargasm – EXPLICIT: The MiXXXtape

Witch Fever – Congregation


Presented by MNRK Heavy

Bob Vylan


Holding Absence


Nova Twins

Sleep Token



Presented by Arising Empire

Bad Omens

Electric Callboy



I Prevail



BEST UK LIVE ARTIST Presented by Allianz Musical Insurance:

Biffy Clyro


Enter Shikari

Neck Deep

Nova Twins





Electric Callboy



My Chemical Romance

Parkway Drive



As Everything Unfolds



Joey Valence & Brae

Lake Malice

Static Dress

Witch Fever


As December Falls


Cody Frost

Delilah Bon

Kid Bookie

Lake Malice



Charlotte Sands

Chat Pile

LS Dunes

Scene Queen


Soul Blind


BEST FESTIVAL Presented by Ticketmaster:



BMTH Malta Weekender




Slam Dunk


Architects – When We Were Young

Bring Me The Horizon – sTraNgeRs

Creeper – Ghost Brigade

Enter Shikari – The Void Stares Back ft. Wargasm

Ghost – Call Me Little Sunshine

Ithaca – They Fear Us

Neck Deep – STFU


Architects – The Classic Symptoms of a Broken Spirit

Bad Omens – The Death of Peace of Mind

Halestorm – Back From The Dead

Ithaca – They Fear Us

Rolo Tomassi – Where Myth Becomes Memory

Static Dress – Rouge Carpet Disaster

Vukovi – NULA


Cassyette – Sad Girl Summer

Coheed And Cambria – The Liars Club

Electric Callboy – Hurrikan

Motionless In White – Werewolf

Nova Twins – Choose Your Fighter

Parkway Drive – Glitch

Polyphia – Playing God


Coheed And Cambria – Vaxis – Act II: A Window of the Waking Mind

Malevolence – Malicious Intent

Parkway Drive – Darker Still

Polyphia – Remember That You Will Die

Vukovi – NULA

Witch Fever – Congregation

Zeal & Ardor – Zeal & Ardor

Buy Heavy Music Awards tickets

28 rock bands named after real people:

Pink Floyd

Rock legends Pink Floyd took their moniker from the given names of two Piedmont blues artists that Syd Barrett had in his record collection, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.

Pink Floyd – Pink Anderson and Floyd Council

Photos of Pink Anderson and Floyd Council at the Pink Floyd exhibition Their Mortal Remains at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in 2017.

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd are named after high school gym teacher Leonard Skinner who taught Ronnie Van Zant, Gary Rossington, and Bob Burns at Robert E. Lee High School in Florida in the 1960s. Skinner was reportedly notorious for enforcing the school’s policy against boys having long hair, and the Lynyrd Skynyrd band name was seen as an act of rebellion against him.

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Leonard Skinner

A high school yearbook photos of Leonard Skinner in 1969. He died in 2010 aged 77.

The Yardbirds

The influential British band’s name was partially inspired by the nickname of American jazz saxophonist Charlie ‘Yardbird’ Parker. It’s also the name given to rail yard hobos in Jack Kerouac’s 1957 novel On the Road.

The Yardbirds – Charlie ‘Yardbird’ Parker

Jazz musician Charlie ‘Yardbird’ Parker in 1955 – the year of his death aged just 34.


New York punk trailblazers Ramones were named by Dee Dee Ramone (Douglas Glenn Colvin) after Paul McCartney’s briefly adopted pseudonym Paul Ramon in his Silver Beetles days in 1960.

Ramones – Paul Ramon with The Silver Beetles

Paul McCartney (aka Paul Ramon) performs with The Silver Beetles in 1960. John Lennon and George Harrison were also in the group.

The Hollies

The Hollies’ co-founder Graham Nash revealed in a 2009 interview that they coined their band just moments before they were due to step on stage at the Oasis Club in Manchester in December 1962. The name comes from their admiration for Buddy Holly.

The Hollies – Buddy Holly

Rock legend Buddy Holly in the late 1950s who inspired The Hollies band name. He died aged just 22 in the 3rd February 1959 plane crash that also claimed the lives of Ritchie Valens, “The Big Bopper” J. P. Richardson and their pilot Roger Peterson. It was later known as ‘The Day the Music Died.’


Previously called City Kidd, the Sacramento rockers renamed themselves Tesla in homage to inventor and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla during the recording of their debut album ‘Mechanical Resonance’ in 1986. Some of the band’s song and album titles nod towards Nikola Tesla too.

Tesla – Nikola Tesla

An 1890 photo of 34-year-old inventor Nikola Tesla. He lived until he was 84 and was famously portrayed by David Bowie in the 2006 movie The Prestige.

Jethro Tull

With Ian Anderson struggling to settle on a name for his band in the late 1960s (names included Navy Blue, Ian Henderson’s Bag o’ Nails, and Candy Coloured Rain), a member of the band’s booking agent’s staff christened them Jethro Tull after the 18th-century agriculturist.

Jethro Tull

Jethro Tull, who helped to bring about the British Agricultural Revolution of the 18th century. He perfected a horse-drawn seed drill in 1701 that economically sowed the seeds in neat rows, and later developed a horse-drawn hoe. What a guy!

Creedence Clearwater Revival

In 1967 the band toyed with renaming themselves Muddy Rabbit, Gossamer Wump, and Creedence Nuball and the Ruby, however they settled on Creedence Clearwater Revival with the ‘Creedence’ a nod towards guitarist Tom Fogerty’s friend Credence Newball.

Crazy Horse

Formerly known as The Rockets, the American band became known as Crazy Horse in 1969 when they first teamed up with Neil Young. The band was named after the 19th Century Sioux Tribe leader Crazy Horse.

Crazy Horse

The Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Work began on the sculpture in 1948 and it’s still unfinished.

ZZ Top

Billy Gibbons took direct inspiration from blues artists BB King and ZZ Hill as he liked the way the initials sounded in their stage names. He was initially going to call his band ZZ King but became concerned it sounded to similar to the original artist. Gibbons ultimately settled on ZZ Top as he remarked the “king is at the top.”

ZZ Top – BB King and ZZ Hill

Late blues icons BB King and ZZ Hill.

Greta Van Fleet

The retrogressive rockers are named after a bluegrass musician called Gretna VanFleet, who hails from their home town of Frankenmuth, Michigan. Although Greta Van Fleet didn’t initially ask her for permission, the 93-year-old subsequently gave them her blessing.

Molly Hatchet

Just like their fellow Jacksonville rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet were named after a real person. Molly Hatchet’s moniker is more steeped in history, however, as they’re named after an infamous 17th-century axe murderess dubbed ‘hatchet molly’.


Leicester indie rockers Kasabian take their name from Linda Kasabian who was a member of Charles Manson’s cult, the Manson Family, in the late 1960s and 1970s. Linda Kasabian was present at both the Tate and LaBianca murders committed by the cult in 1969, but received immunity for her testimony as a key witness in the trial of Manson.

Kasabia – Linda Kasabian

Linda Kasabian at a press conference in 1970. She passed away on 21st January 2023 aged 73.

Mookie Blaylock (Pearl Jam)

Huge fans of the New York Jets basketball player Mookie Blaylock, the Seattle rockers decided to name their band in his honour. After playing a series of shows as Mookie Blaylock, they renamed themselves Pearl Jam in October ’90 after signing to Epic Records.

Mookie Blaylock (Pearl Jam) – Mookie Blaylock

Basketball player Mookie Blaylock when he played for Golden State Warriors

Franz Ferdinand

Scottish indie rockers Franz Ferdinand are named after Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria whose assassination in Sarajevo in June 1914 sparked World War I.

Franz Ferdinand – Archduke Franz Ferdinand

A portrait of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.

Dead Kennedys

The politicised punk rockers’ somewhat controversial name references the deceased members of the Kennedy family, including the assassinated President John F. Kennedy. Guitarist East Bay Ray said they weren’t trying to insult the Kennedys. “The assassinations were in much more poor taste than our band,” he argued. “We actually respect the Kennedy family. When JFK was assassinated, when Martin Luther King was assassinated, when RFK was assassinated, the American Dream was assassinated. Our name is actually homage to the American Dream.”

Dead Kennedys – John F Kennedy

The 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in November 1963.

Kings of Leon

The three Followill brothers (Caleb, Jared and Nathan) and their cousin Matthew named Kings of Leon after their grandfather Leon Followill, who died in January 2014.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Founder and leader Anton Newcombe named his band after late-great Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones and the 1978 Jonestown Massacre.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Brian Jones

Late-great Rolling Stones guitarist, founder and original leader Brian Jones in 1964.

Jimmy Eat World

Jimmy Eat World indirectly take their moniker from guitarist Tom Linton’s brother Jim. He explained in 1999: “My brother Jim beat up my younger brother Ed, and Jim ran into his room and locked his door, and Ed drew this picture that said ‘Jimmy Eat World’, and it was a picture of him eating the world. My brother Jim is kind of a big guy. A stupid name.”

The Dandy Warhols

The Oregon alt-rockers’ name is a play on the name of revered American pop artist Andy Warhol.

The Dandy Warhols – Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was an artist and experimental filmmaker and one of the founders of the Pop Art movement.


Melvins are named after a man called Melvin who was frontman Buzz Osborne’s supervisor when he worked at a supermarket in Montesano, Washington. The real Melvin was widely disliked by staff and Osborne thought it would be a gloriously ridiculous name for his band.

James Gang

James Gang are named after the 19th-century gang of American outlaws led by Jesse James. The band’s final album ‘Jesse Comes Home’ references Jesse James and the artwork features a painting of the folk hero riding off into the sunset.

James Gang – Jesse James

Jesse James (5th September 1847 to 3rd April 1882) was an American outlaw, gang leader, bank robber, train robber, and murderer from the state of Missouri and the most famous member of the James-Younger Gang.

The Dillinger Escape Plan

Morris Plains metalcore merchants The Dillinger Escape Plan were christened by their friend Matt Makowski after he watched a documentary about 1930s bank robber John Dillinger, who made multiple escapes from jail.

The Dillinger Escape Plan – John Dillinger

Bank robber John Herbert Dillinger in a colourised photo from 1933. He was shot dead while running from police the following year aged just 31.

Hootie and the Blowfish

In 1986, American soft rockers Hootie and the Blowfish named themselves after the nicknames of two friends from college – ‘Hootie’ was Ervin Harris, and ‘Blowfish’ was Donald Feaster. ·

Van Der Graaf Generator

A few months after the death of pioneering American physicist Robert J. Van de Graaff in January 1967, Chris Judge Smith paid homage by christening his and Peter Hammill’s newly formed band Van Der Graaf Generator after the scientist’s famous high-voltage generators.

Van Der Graaf Generator – Robert J. Van de Graaff

Robert J. Van de Graaff with a spherical atom-bursting terminal in 1933.

Jane’s Addiction

Jane’s Addiction’s name honours Perry Farrell’s housemate, Jane Bainter, who was their muse and inspiration. Farrell’s then girlfriend Casey Niccoli initially suggested the name ‘Jane’s Heroin Experience’ but Farrell decided to tweak the idea.

Dropkick Murphys

The American Celtic punk band are named after professional wrestler and sanatorium owner John ‘Dropkick’ Murphy, who died age 66 in 1977.

The Marshall Tucker Band

South Carolina rockers The Marshall Tucker Band are named after a blind piano tuner from Columbia, South Carolina. While rehearsing in a warehouse in their embryonic days, the fledgling band saw the name ‘Marshall Tucker’ inscribed on a key. They dubbed themselves The Marshall Tucker Band and later discovered the real Marshall Tucker had previously hired the rehearsal space. Marshall Tucker died in January 2023 at the ripe old age of 99.

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