2018 APRA Music Award winners revealed - Paul Kelly, Sarah Aarons and A.B Original honoured among peers

Tuesday, 10 Apr 2018

The 2018 APRA Music Awards have tonight been held at the International Convention Centre in Sydney, celebrating the talented songwriters and music publishers that have achieved outstanding success in the past year. An exciting mix of established pros including Paul Kelly and Birds of Tokyo were honoured as was a new wave of songwriters such as Ben Abraham, Amy Shark, Morgan Evans and Sarah Aarons.

Firewood and Candles, co-written by Australian national songwriting treasure Paul Kelly and Melbourne music all-rounder Billy Miller (The Ferrets) has taken out the coveted peer voted APRA Song of the Year. The rollicking tune written in between tea breaks during the cricket, was summed up by Billy Miller as - ‘Welcoming Aussie Pop.”

A.B. Original (Briggs and Trials) took out the 2018 Songwriter of the Year award. The powerful duo set the music world ablaze with their debut album Reclaim Australia. These socially conscious, outspoken Indigenous artists impressed the APRA Board of Writer and Publisher Directors with uncompromising songwriting that has lyrically brought attention to issues faced by our First Nations peoples. Briggs and Trials are the first hip-hop artists to be named APRA Songwriter of the Year.

The APRA Board of Directors have named Sarah Aarons the Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year. At just 23, Sarah has already had astonishing success as a behind-the-scenes songwriting force, co-writing the Billboard chart-topping hit Stay by Zedd featuring Alessia Cara, co-writing Jessie Ware's single Alone as well as writing with artists including Flume, Demi Lovato and Bishop Briggs. Now based in L.A, in late 2017 the LA Weekly included Sarah in The 20 Hottest Songwriters in Pop Music Right Now.

The Overseas Recognition Award has gone to Ben Abraham and Kylie Sackley - two equally deserving songwriters both having huge success internationally. Recently signed to Atlantic Records, Ben Abraham has become a sought-after writer, with credits to his name including Kesha’s game-changing platinum-certified Top 10 hit Praying, Demi Lovato, rising stars Wrabel and Wafia and many more. Nashville based songwriter and Cairns native Kylie Sackley has been blazing a trail since her arrival in the music city in the early 2000s. She wrote Leann Rimes' country comeback smash Nothin’ ‘bout Love Makes Sense and co-wrote Faith Hill’s Sunshine and Summertime (both of which went Top 5 on the US Billboard Country Chart). Most recently, Kylie co-wrote country-pop song You Broke Up with Me, for Walker Hayes which ended the year in the US top 100 most played country songs of 2017 and certified Platinum in the US.

Peking Duk’s Stranger (written by Adam Hyde, Reuben Styles, Kaelyn Behr (Styalz), Elliphant, Daniel Goudie and Ashley Milton) is a dual winner, scoring the Most Played Australian Work and Dance Work of the Year. Another two-time winner is M-Phazes, who along with Illy, Grant Michaels and Suzanne Shin has taken out the Urban Work of the Year award for Catch 22 (performed by Illy feat. Anne-Marie).

M-Phazes also receives an APRA Award for his collaboration with Amy Shark, whose monster hit Adore took out Pop Work of the Year. Amy caps off a huge year that has seen her perform on theTonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Telling triple j recently that she has a wealth of new material written, Amy has also contributed a song titled Sink In to the soundtrack of the feature film Love, Simon.

The Country Work of the Year was awarded to Kiss Somebody written by Morgan Evans, Chris De Stefano and Josh Osborne and performed by Evans, who was anointed by Billboard as one of 15 country artists to watch in 2018. Busby Marou’s song Best Part of Me written by Thomas Busby, Jeremy Marou and Jon Hume is the Blues & Roots Work of the Year winner.

With their fifth APRA Music Award is Birds of Tokyo (Ian Berney, Ian Kenny, Glenn Sarangapany, Adam Spark and Adam Weston) for Brace in the Rock Work of the Year category. Taking her APRA Music Awards tally to nine is international songwriting superstar Sia who has the Most Played Australian Work Overseas with her song Cheap Thrills.

Legendary rock group Midnight Oil accepted the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music, an honor that APRA confers on a group or individual who has contributed immensely to Australian music. Midnight Oil embody every attribute that the Ted Albert Award seeks to achieve.

As previously announced, The Licensee of the Year award was given to the Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA for their excellent music citizenship, while Ed Sheeran and cowriters Kevin Briggs, Kandi Burruss, Tameka Cottle, Steven McCutcheon and John McDaid received the International Work of the Year for Shape of You.

Finally, APRA Chair Jenny Morris delivered a moving tribute to much respected, outgoing APRA AMCOS CEO, Brett Cottle who leaves with more than 40 years’ service to APRA AMCOS, and 28 of those years as its Chief Executive.

The 2018 APRA Music Awards were hosted by Julia Zemiro while Robert Conley programmed a stellar list of performances for his final turn as Musical Director. In keeping with Music Awards tradition, artists put their own spin on the songs nominated in the APRA Song of the Year category. Tim Minchin performed 2018 Song of the Year Firewood and Candles, while Overseas Recognition Award winner Ben Abraham teamed up with All Our Exes Live in Texas for their rendition of Fallin’. Nat Dunn and Jeremy Marou hit the stage with their interpretation of Weekends by Amy Shark. Jack Gray and Teischa played Running Second and No Mono took on David Le’aupepe’s What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out?

In a musical tribute to outgoing APRA AMCOS CEO Brett Cottle, Song of the Year nominee Ainslie Wills performed her new Songhubs single, Society. Arnhem Land sensation Baker Boy opened proceedings with his anthemic Marryuna while an all-star super group featuring Suze DeMarchi and Baby Animals, Adalita and Isabella Manfredi paid musical tribute to the mighty Midnight Oil.

2018 APRA Awards presenters were Isabella Manfredi, Tracey Spicer, Kasey Chambers, Adam Eckersley, Brooke McClymont, Starley Hope, Andrew Farriss, Managing Director at Sony/ATV Music Publishing Australia Damian Trotter, Amber Lawrence, Ilan Kidron and Hilltop Hoods.

2018 APRA Music Awards Winners

Song of the Year

Title: Firewood and Candles
Performer: Paul Kelly
Writers: Paul Kelly* / Billy Miller
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing*

Songwriter of the Year 

Writer: A.B.Original(Briggs and Trials)

Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year 

Writer: Sarah Aarons
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Overseas Recognition Award

Ben Abraham (and) Kylie Sackley

Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music

Midnight Oil

Most Played Australian Work 

Title: Stranger
Performer: Peking Duk feat. Elliphant
Writer: Adam Hyde / Reuben Styles / Kaelyn Behr (Styalz)*/ Elliphant^ / Daniel Goudie+ / Ashley Milton+
Publishers: Universal Music Publishing / Sony/ATV Music Publishing* / Kobalt Music Publishing obo Publishing Company Ten AB and Prescription Songs^ / BMG

Country Work of the Year

Title: Kiss Somebody

Performer: Morgan Evans
Writers: Morgan Evans / Chris De Stefano*/ Josh Osborne^
Publishers: Warner/Chappell Music Publishing obo SongsByMe / Sony/ATV Music Publishing obo CDs Words & Music* / Kobalt Music Publishing obo Smackville Music and Anderson Fork In The Road Music^

Blues & Roots Work of the Year 

Title: Best Part of Me
Performer: Busby Marou
Writers: Thomas Busby / Jeremy Marou / Jon Hume
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Dance Work of the Year 

Title: Stranger
Performer: Peking Duk feat. Elliphant
Writer: Adam Hyde / Reuben Styles / Kaelyn Behr (Styalz)*/ Elliphant^ / Daniel Goudie+ / Ashley Milton+
Publishers: Universal Music Publishing / Sony/ATV Music Publishing* / Kobalt Music Publishing obo Publishing Company Ten AB and Prescription Songs^ / BMG+

Rock Work of the Year 

Title: Brace
Performer: Birds of Tokyo
Writers: Ian Berney / Ian Kenny / Glenn Sarangapany / Adam Spark / Adam Weston
Publisher: Mushroom Music

Pop Work of the Year

Title: Adore
Performer: Amy Shark
Writers: Amy Shark / M-Phazes*
Publishers: Mushroom Music obo UNIFIED Music Publishing / Universal Music Publishing*

Urban Work of the Year 

Title: Catch 22
Performer: Illy feat. Anne-Marie
Writers: Illy / M-Phazes*/ Grant Michaels^ / Suzanne Shinn^
Publishers: Mushroom Music obo UNIFIED Music Publishing / Universal Music Publishing* / Native Tongue Music Publishing obo SONGS Music Publishing^

International Work of the Year 

Title: Shape of You
Performer: Ed Sheeran
Writers: Ed Sheeran / Kevin Briggs* / Kandi Burruss^ / Tameka Cottle+ / Steven McCutcheon~ / John McDaid>
Publishers: Sony/ATV Music Publishing / BMG and Warner/Chappell Music obo She K’em Down and Pepper Drive Music* / Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Warner/Chappell Music obo Kandacy Music and Tony Mercedes Music^ / Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Warner/Chappell Music obo Tiny Tam Music and Tony Mercedes Music+ / Universal Music Publishing obo Rokstone Music~ / Kobalt Music Publishing obo Spirit B-Unique Polar Patrol>

Licensee of the Year 

Settlers Tavern (Rob and Karen Gough)


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