APRA Awards to honour country music legend Joy McKean, announce full lineup
Plans for this month’s APRA Awards are ramping up, with the association announcing that country music matriarch Joy McKean OAM will be honoured on the night, and unveiling a host of live performances from new and established writers.
McKean will be the second recipient of the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music in 2021, alongside the late Helen Reddy, who was announced earlier this year. Her 70-year career began with writing songs in her early teens, before performing, recording and broadcasting with her sister Heather in the 1940s and ’50s.
She wrote some of Australian country music’s most celebrated songs including ‘Lights On The Hill’, ‘The Biggest Disappointment’, ‘Ringer From The Top End’, ‘Walk A Country Mile’ and ‘Indian Pacific’.
McKean defied archaic expectations of the woman as a homemaker. During her marriage to Slim Dusty, she served as his manager, ran their business empire, wrote some of his hits and toured alongside him in rough regional and remote areas.
She also co-founded the Country Music Association of Australia, which showed its gratitude with seven Golden Guitar wins and the Industry Achiever Award.
“After what has been a lifetime of working in the music industry, and loving just about every minute of it, I find it fascinating to reflect on the changes that have taken place,” McKean said this morning.
“I’ve seen a lot of them, and no doubt there will be many more than I will ever see.
“One thing I do look for is that awards such as this will continue to honour and support Australians in our music industry the way Ted Albert always did.”
Also announced this morning were the night’s performers including Jimmy Barnes, Lior, first-time nominees Lime Cordiale and The Teskey Brothers’ singer and rhythm guitarist Josh Teskey, who is making his live debut at the event.
It also features Gadigal Elder Uncle Allen Madden while Alex Lahey will host the red carpet for APRA’s Instagram account.
For the first time, viewers can check out the APRA AMCOS YouTube channel as the event unfolds.
Also joining the lineup are experimental pop artist Odette – joined by Beau Golden, Daniel Walsh and Dave Jenkins Jr – and Cat & Calmell, who will show off their live chops after catapulting into 2020 with their debut release ‘dumbshit’.
Taka Perry joins the lineup with guests Gia Vorne, Emalia and rising Western Sydney hip hop artist A.GIRL, while songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Hauskey rounds out the talent bill for an on-stage collaboration with Brisbane singer and producer Sycco and prodigy Stevan.
In another update, UK pop star Dua Lipa has taken out Most Performed International Work for the disco-inspired ‘Don’t Start Now’, co-written with Caroline Ailin, Ian Kirkpatrick and Emily Schwartz.
The APRAs are held Wednesday April 28 at the International Convention Centre Grand Ballroom in Sydney. They are hosted by Julia Zemiro, Ziggy Ramo and Georgia Mooney with PJ Harding as musical director.