MTV announced Monday that its O Music Awards will honor Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello with an award created specifically in response to the “music spontaneity, artistry, and virility of the Occupy Wall Street performances” — “Most Memorable #OWS Performance.”
Morello, who performs as a solo musician under the moniker “The Nightwatchman,” is winning the award for his performance of “The Fabled City” on Oct. 12 at New York City’s Zuccotti Park.
“It’s an unusual title for an award, but it’s an award that is for the worldwide rebels who are now occupying 1,300 cities around the planet,” Morello told TheWrap. “The one thing that all the Occupy cities have in common is everyone pitches in and cooperates. I’m a musician, so I pitched in and played.”
The second O Music Awards, which honor the multi-platform and digital aspects of the music industry, will be filmed at an undisclosed location in Los Angeles tonight and premiere on an online live stream.
“The O Music Awards are about celebrating the artists, fans and innovators impacting digital music culture right now,” Shannon Connolly, Vice President of Digital Music Strategy, MTV Music Group said in a statement. “With almost everyone armed with a smartphone, many of the Occupy Wall Street performances are spreading virally and in the process inspiring people all over the world. This recognition pays homage to the artists and fans who are using digital platforms to share this music globally.”
Morello, who has been a political activist throughout his career, recently released an album titled “World Wide Rebel Songs” that he sees as being prescient of this burgeoning movement. He has since performed in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver.
“Music is a crucial component of every successful progressive struggle,” Morello said. “In order to be successful you need a good soundtrack.”