Sarah Aarons, 5SOS, Amy Shark, Dean Lewis and Sia among 2019 APRA Music Awards winners
A number of high profile Australia songwriters made their mark at tonight’s APRA Music Awards in Melbourne.
Los Angeles-based Melbourne writer Sarah Aarons took home four trophies, including the prestigious songwriter of the year.
Over the past 12 months, she has written songs for or with Camila Cabello, Galantis, Khalid, Dua Lipa, Lykke Li, Demi Lovato, Mabel, Peking Duk and Jessie Ware.
Aarons also won most played Australian work and dance work of the year with Grammy-nominated ‘The Middle’ performed by Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (and co-written with Jordan Johnson, Stefan Johnson, Marcus Lomax, Kyle Trewartha, Michael Trewartha and Anton Zaslavski).
Aarons was also part of the team that took out rock work of the year with The Rubens’ co-writers Elliott Margin and Sam Margin for their collaboration on ‘Never Ever’.
Amy Shark trumped at the peer-voted APRA song of the year for ‘I Said Hi’, which also won pop work of the year.
For the second year running, Sia (along with co-writer Greg Kurstin) won most played Australian work overseas for ‘Cheap Thrills’.
Dean Lewis’ domestic and overseas success in the past 12 months was acknowledged with two wins – breakthrough songwriter of the year, while he and co-writer of his smash hit ‘Be Alright’, Jon Hume, were recipients of outstanding international achievement for its success in the US and Europe.
Also getting an international achievement gong were 5 Seconds of Summer for ‘Youngblood’, which became their first top ten single on th4 Billboard Hot 100, and opened the door to the Sydney band becoming the first Australian act to earn three number one albums on the Billboard chart.
Urban work of the year was ‘Clark Griswold’ (feat. Adrian Eagle) performed and written by DJ Debris (Barry Francis), MC Pressure (Daniel Smith), Suffa (Matthew Lambert) aka Hilltop Hoods and co-written by John Bartlett and Paul Bartlett.
Angus and Julia Stone slammed blues & roots work of the year with ‘Chateau’.
Country music identities took spotlight on the night as well.
Newcastle-bred Nashville based Morgan Evans received country work of the year for his crossover hit ‘Day Drunk’.
Also making a name for himself in Nashville and beyond is in-demand songwriter Lindsay Rimes who received the 2019 overseas recognition award.
Since relocating to the US four years ago, Rimes has built up a reputation as a go-to co-writer and producer, in pop, rock and country.
He’s written for a number of successful country artists, including co-penning Kane Brown’s smash ‘Heaven’, which reached #1 on Billboard’s country airplay chart in May 2018.
His songs have also been recorded by country acts including Jay Allen, Kelsea Ballerini, Chase Bryant, The Cadillac Three, Adam Craig, LoCash, Phillip Phillips, Thomas Rhett, Tyler Rich, Dylan Scott, Canaan Smith and Drake White.
His pop work included contributions to Troye Sivan’s 2014 EP TRXYE, which debuted at #5 in the US, and co-writing the title track of Kylie Minogue’s 2018 album Golden, which debuted at #1 in the UK and Australia.
Lee Kernaghan delivered a touching tribute to the late country music champion Rob Potts, who was posthumously honoured with the Ted Albert award for outstanding services to Australian music.
The ceremony at Melbourne Town Hall was hosted by Brian Nankervis and featured live performances curated by Kate Miller-Heidke, serving for her first time as music director for the awards.
Performances included The Rubens teamed with Sarah Aarons for ‘Never Ever’, and Dean Lewis with a live depiction of current single ‘Stay Awake’.
Multi-instrumentalist JP Shilo teamed with Middle Kids for an
Interpretation of Paul Kelly’s ‘With the One I Love’ and again took to the stage with Fanny Lumsden and Henry Wagons to perform Angie McMahon’s ‘Slow Mover’.
Radical Son and internationally-acclaimed bassist Samuel Pankhurst interpreted Mojo Juju, Joel Ma and Rita Seumanutafa’s ‘Native Tongue’.
Electro-pop duo Electric Fields took on the night’s song of the year winner ‘I Said Hi’ and pop singer Max Sharam reinvented Ainslie Wills’ ‘Society’, along with Louise Goh (keys), Caerwen Martin (cello) and Maria Moles (drums).
Special guest presenters were Tina Arena, Briggs, Tania Doko, Tim Rogers, Dallas Frasca, Louis Schoorl, Megan Washington, François Tétaz, M-Phazes and G Flip.