Ivor Novello was born David Ivor Davies, on 15 January 1893 to parents David Ivor and Clara Novello (nee Davies) Davies, in Cardiff, Wales. His mother, Dame Clara Novello Davies, was an accomplished singer and music teacher. Whilst studying at the Magdalen Choir School in Oxford, he began to write songs under the name Ivor Novello. He had his first song, “Spring of the year”, published when he was approximately 15.
In 1914, he wrote the popular song “Keep the Home Fires Burning”, which became a patriotic anthem in England during the war. In June 1916, he enlisted in the Royal Naval Air Service as a probationary flight sub-lieutenant. He was moved to the Air Ministry in London to undertake clerical duties, following two aeroplane crashes.
He died in Westminster, England on 6 March 1951, aged 58.
In 1956, the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) established the Ivor Novello Awards in honour of Ivor Novello. Also referred to as the Ivors, the awards recognise excellence in songwriting and composing. These awards are regarded as the "pinnacle to musical achievement and peer recognition in the music industry".