John Waite to Host 19th Annual Parnelli Awards

October 3, 2019

The Parnelli Awards Board of Advisors announces that prolific songwriter and one of rock’s greatest singers, John Waite, will be the host for the 19th Annual Parnelli Awards held at The 2020 NAMM Show inside the Hilton Anaheim on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020.

Waite says he’s pleased to be part of the Parnelli Awards. “When it comes to showtime, the road crew are the real heroes of the night,” he says. “They make the whole thing come together. Without them I wouldn’t be here today. I owe them my career.”

Waite first burst on the scene as lead singer and bassist of The Babys, which had two hit songs that both peaked at No. 13 onBillboard’s Chart – “Isn’t it Time” (1977) and “Every Time I Think of You” (1979). After the group disbanded, in 1981, he launched a wildly successful solo career that continues to this day.

His first solo album, Ignition (1982) included the hit single, “Change,” and his second solo album, No Brakes (1984) featured the monster hit “Missing You,” which topped the charts and got nominated for a 1985 Grammy Award. Waite then joined the supergroup Bad English in the late 1980s, with a 1989 debut album release that included “When I See You Smile” and other hit songs.

In 1995, he returned to the recording studio and concert trek as a solo artist, and has produced a string of solid, existentially eccentric, eclectic, and electric rock n’ roll records, including Temple Bar(1995), When You Were Mine(1997), Figure in a Landscape(2001), The Hard Way (2004), Downtown: Journey of a Heart (2006) and Rough & Tumble (2011).

Along with his studio creations, Waite has continued to perform live, releasing three live albums in the 2000’s, including Live & Rare Tracks (2001), In Real Time (2010) and Live – All Access (2013). His discography also includes compilation albums The Essential John Waite (1992), Complete (1996), Best (2014) and Wooden Heart (I, an EP, in 2014, and II, an album, in 2017).

“John has a long career filled with great music and hit songs, and this will be our first host whose had a number-one hit on Billboard,” says Parnelli Awards Executive Producer Terry Lowe. “But beyond his artistry and storytelling through song, he is greatly admired for his honesty, integrity, and sense of humor, all of which make him a perfect fit for an award show that honors the professors in the live event industry.”

Wait was born in Lancaster, Lancashire, and actually played bass for a band in Cleveland before returning to England to form The Babys. He’s also recorded songs for movie soundtracks (Days of Thunder), a duet of “Missing You” with Alison Krauss, and toured with Ringo Star’s All Star Band (2003). After a successful tour of Australia last year (his first on that continent), he’s back touring the U.S. to sold-out crowds.

“John will join the distinguished list of musicians who have taken the opportunity to give back to the road crews who make up our Parnelli audience who, like him, are still living life on the road,” says Marshall Bissett, Chairman of the Parnelli Advisory Board.

Since 2001, hundreds of the live event industry’s highest achievers and most admired innovators have received a Parnelli Award; view the 2019 Parnelli Award winners here. 

The Parnelli Awards will be held at The 2020 NAMM Show, the global crossroads of the music products, pro audio and entertainment technology communities. Held in Anaheim, California, The 2020 NAMM Show returns January 16-19. Learn more and register for a badge by visiting

About NAMM

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. NAMM is comprised of approximately 10,300 members located in 104 countries and regions. NAMM events and members fund The NAMM Foundation's efforts to promote the pleasures and benefits of music, and advance active participation in music making across the lifespan. For more information about NAMM, please visit, call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.