Country music champion Rob Potts to receive the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music

Tuesday, 16 Apr 2019

The APRA Board of Writer and Publisher Directors will posthumously bestow the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music upon Rob Potts, the celebrated manager, promoter and country music champion who passed away in 2017.

In a career spanning more than three decades, Potts’ passion and belief in country music and its potential in Australia never wavered. Originally from Hobart, Potts moved to Sydney and became the booking agent for the likes of an up-and-coming Keith Urban, Tommy Emmanuel, Lee Kernaghan and James Blundell, and more recently he guided the career of Newcastle native and bona fide Nashville star Morgan Evans, a dual nominee at the 2019 APRA Music Awards.

As CEO of his company Entertainment Edge, Potts helped open doors for Aussies into the competitive Nashville scene thanks in part to the connections he made as the Australian concert promoter to some of the biggest artists in country music, including Brooks & Dunn, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Dixie Chicks and many more. In 2009, he brought a pre-superstar Taylor Swift to Australia for her first shows in the market. 

The success of his tours led to Potts establishing the CMC Rocks festival brand and forging a long running partnership with Michael Chugg’s Chugg Entertainment. Their flagship CMC Rocks Queensland is now the biggest country music festival in the southern hemisphere. It sold out for the first time in 2016 and every year since.

In 2018, he was honoured with the prestigious Academy of Country Music’s Jim Reeves International Award, presented to an artist or industry leader for outstanding contributions to the acceptance of country music internationally.

On hearing news of the honour Michael Chugg AM said:

I am so proud and very pleased that APRA is honouring my late and great mate and partner, Rob Potts with the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to the music industry. Rob Potts is a shining example of everything that is wonderful about our industry.

For many, many years he led the battle to break Australian country music in Nashville and became a Board member of the CMA, Country Music Association of America. Many of us are saddened every day that Rob is not with us to see all his hard work come to fruition; Keith Urban, Tommy Emmanuel and Morgan Evans are just 3 of the acts he championed. And of course, the greatest country music festival in the Southern Hemisphere now 13 years old, CMC Rocks Queensland. God Bless you Rob”

Arts Centre Melbourne CEO Claire Spencer said: “The Australian Music Vault is extremely privileged to be working with APRA AMCOS in honouring this year’s recipient of the Ted Albert Award, the late Rob Potts. He was a true pioneer working against the tide of ‘90’s rock music to develop and raise the profile of country music in Australia. His illustrious career means we can share in the stories of some of the world-class artists he helped create.”

First time Music Awards Musical Director Kate Miller-Heidke has curated live performances of the Peer-Voted APRA Song of The Year nominated works that will be lovingly interpreted by an eclectic music line-up. Performing at the event will be multiple APRA nominees The Rubens and Dean Lewis. Anthemic, indie rock trio Middle Kids will team up with JP Shilo, the multi-instrumentalist, and founding member of Hungry Ghosts. Also hitting the stage will be soul singer, rapper and spoken word artist Radical Son, electronic pop duo Electric Fields and theatrical pop music singer and songwriter Max Sharam. Winner of an APRA Professional Development Award in 2017, Fanny Lumsden will join creative forces with singer, songwriter, musician, and front man of his own outlaw country rock band Henry Wagons.

Stepping onto the APRA Music Awards stage as guest presenters will be Tina Arena, Briggs, Tania Doko, Tim Rogers, Dallas Frasca, Louis Schoorl, Megan Washington, François Tétaz, and Lee Kernaghan.

With back-to-back wins, International Work of the Year goes to Ed Sheeran, this year with Perfect, the fourth single from his third studio album Divide. Perfect became the UK Christmas number-one song for 2017, and also peaked at number one in sixteen other countries, including Australia, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand.

The 2019 Licensee of the Year is Clancy’s Fish Pub in Western Australia. Located in four premises across W.A (Fremantle, Canning Beach, City Beach and Dunsborough), the operators of Clancy’s Fish Pub receive this honour in recognition of their excellent music citizenship and, for their ongoing support of live music. The original Clancy’s in Fremantle is an iconic music destination, welcoming first time acts and school bands, to world-renowned touring acts as well as local living legends of the music industry. Clancy’s Fish Pub – we salute you!


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