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breaking News May 25, 2020

Aussie music shines despite ‘tech issues’ at APRA Music Awards

Executive Editor, B2B & Print
Aussie music shines despite ‘tech issues’ at APRA Music Awards

Monday night’s APRA Music Awards suffered a slow start, but better late than never.

Technical issues with live stream partner Hyvio resulted in a 25-minute delay before Senator Briggs finally appeared on screen, in a tuxedo, to host this year’s songwriter awards.

The big victors of the night were Tones And I and Hilltop Hoods, with two wins each.

Tones collected Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year, and the coveted peer-voted Song of the Year, for her chart-breaking viral hit ‘Dance Monkey’.

“This song has really grown for me, and really helped build my career, and I just want to say thank you for the recognition,” said Tones, real name Toni Watson.

Hip-hop trailblazers Hoods scored Most Performed Urban Work and Songwriter of the Year, one of the annual event’s most sought after honours in the songwriting community.

“We were very surprised and we really appreciate it,” said the Hoods. “Thank you so much for the APRA Songwriter of the Year award.”

The band thanked their managers, Dylan and Sophia Liddy, and Island Records Australia boss, Michael Taylor, who signed them to the Universal Music-owned label about a decade ago.

Photo: Hilltop Hoods by Richy Sandham.

Tonight’s affair was a shortened version of the usual live, gala experience. And despite the false start, proved that a live stream can rival that of a live television extravaganza.

The well-produced ceremony lasted just over one hour, leaving much of Simon Moor’s infamous acceptance speeches on the editing room floor.

Even APRA AMCOS boss Dean Ormston was willing to make light of the technical challenges that plagued the virtual broadcast, sharing a video on his Instagram after the delay.

“We’ve got a glitch with the show, so I’m just going to check on the casserole while we’re waiting,” he said. “Shit, there’s a glitch with the casserole, another 10 minutes in the oven.”

Seventeen-year-old songwriter Kian Brownfield, and co-writer Jerome Farah, won Most Performed Australian Work and Most Performed Alternative Work for their ‘Waiting’ collaboration.

“Thank you to commercial radio and all radio stations across Australia who put ‘Waiting’ on, thank you so much,” said Brownfield, a first-time winner.

For the third consecutive year, Sia, along with co-writer Greg Kurstin, took out the Most Performed Australian Work Overseas for ‘Cheap Thrills’.

Other winners included songs released by hitmakers Morgan Evans (Country), John Butler Trio (Blues & Roots), Hayden James (Dance), Dean Lewis (Pop) and Jimmy Barnes (Rock).

Aside from the male-dominated winners list, the breakout star was Briggs, who proved popular with viewers chiming in on Twitter, where #VAPRAs was tending before the stream began.

Missed the livestream? You can watch the 2020 APRA Music Awards here until June 24.


Peer-Voted APRA Song of the Year

Tones & I – Dance Monkey

Songwriter of the Year

Hilltop Hoods

Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year

Toni Watson aka Tones & I

Most Performed Australian Work

KIAN – Waiting

Writers: Kian Brownfield/Jerome Farah

Most Performed Alternative Work

KIAN – Waiting

Writers: Kian Brownfield / Jerome Farah

Most Performed Blues & Roots Work

John Butler Trio – Just Call

Most Performed Country Work

Morgan Evans – Young Again

Writers: Morgan Evans / Chris DeStefano / Joshua Kear

Most Performed Dance Work

Hayden James feat. Running Touch – Better Together

Writers: Hayden James / Matthew Kopp / Jack Glass / Cassian Stewart-Kasimba

Most Performed Pop Work

Dean Lewis – 7 Minutes

Writers: Dean Lewis / Nicholas Atkinson / Edward Holloway

Most Performed Rock Work

Jimmy Barnes feat. Troy Cassar-Daley – Shutting Down Our Town

Writer: Troy Cassar-Daley

Most Performed Urban Work

Hilltop Hoods – Leave Me Lonely

Writers: Barry Francis (DJ Debris) / Matthew Lambert (Suffa) / Daniel Smith (Pressure) / Leigh Ryan / Richard Berry

Most Performed Australian Work Overseas

Sia – Cheap Thrills

Writers: Sia Furler / Greg Kurstin

Most Performed International Work

Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – Shallow

Writers: Stefani Germanotta / Mark Ronson / Anthony Rossomando / Andrew Wyatt

Licensee of The Year

Meredith Music Festival


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