Breakthrough Australian acts the Temper Trap and Empire of the Sun joined veteran rockers AC/DC on the winners' podium at the APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Awards in Sydney.

AC/DC's "Rock 'N Roll Train" (Albert Music) was deemed the most played Australian work overseas, while the Young brothers - Angus and Malcolm - received the prestigious songwriters of the year acclaim.

Empire of the Sun's songwriters Luke Steele, Nick Littlemore and Jonathan Sloane earned a brace of trophies, winning breakthrough artist of the year gong and dance work of the year for "We Are the People" (Universal Music Publishing/Sony/ATV Music Publishing Australia).

On both occasions, Steele gave thanks by means of a taped acceptance speech. During the second trophy presentation, the absent frontman wore a pink wig in a bath and told the audience, "It's nice to win especially against the Vegemite of Australian dance music." Empire of the Sun beat out the Presets, Zoe Badwi and Sneaky Sound System in the dance category.

The Temper Trap converted their first APRA nomination, claiming the coveted APRA song of the year trophy for the top 10 U.K. hit "Sweet Disposition" (Mushroom Music).

Eskimo Joe's band members graced the stage twice. The Perth-formed rock act won a brace of awards, their hit "Foreign Land" ("Mushroom Music") taking out most played and rock work of the year.

"I love the camaraderie between Australian bands. I had coffee today with Chris Cheney [frontman of the Living End, winner in 2009 of the song of the year gong]," Eskimo Joe guitarist Stuart MacLeod told guests at the Sydney Convention Centre. MacLeod then raised the trophy to Cheney in the crowd and joked, "sucked in. That's two, buddy."

Ash Grunwald's "Breakout" (Mushroom Music) was named blues and roots work of the year, Troy Cassar-Daley collected the country work of the year honor for "Big, Big Love" (EMI Music Publishing), while hip hoppers Hilltop Hoods collected the urban work of the year for "Still Standing" (Sony/ATV Music Publishing Australia/Mushroom Music), lifted from their No. 1 domestic album "State of Art."

Joseph King and Isaac Slade of the Fray grabbed the international work of the year award for the American four-piece's global radio hit "You Found Me" (EMI Music Publishing).

The prestigious Ted Albert Award was presented to Jimmy Little, the pioneering indigenous pop singer whose 1963 song "Royal Telephone" was a huge mainstream hit in these parts. Little, who has recovered from a kidney transplant, is an ARIA Hall of Fame inductee and a recipient of the Australian Order (AO) for his career in the entertainment industry and his ongoing work with indigenous education and health

The singer later teamed with the Church on stage to perform a rendition of the Australian alternative rock act's classic track "Under The Milky Way."

The June 21 gala, which recognizes the achievements of the APRA society's songwriters, composers and publisher members, will be broadcast on pay TV channel MAX on July 4.

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