Mounting controversy surrounding the multiple ARIA Award nominations for New Zealand artist Ladyhawke is a beat-up, says the executive who signed the rising global star.

In an interview with Billboard.biz, Modular Recordings managing director Steve "Pav" Pavlovic has come out fighting for his protégé, New Zealand-born Pip Brown, who has come under attack in some quarters over her eligibility for an Australian awards gala.

"It's a total storm in a teacup," says Pavlovic. "She's lived in Australian since 2003, has maintained residence in Australia since 2006. And she's having a global career, which means she has to tour the world. Good luck to her."

Ladyhawke was nominated for five awards, including best female artist, when the ARIA shortlist was revealed Oct. 8. On the same day, the pop artist was the big winner across the Tasman Sea at the New Zealand Music Awards in Auckland, where she won six gongs, including best female solo artist.

The artist, who hails from Wellington and has homes London and Sydney, will join the likes of Robbie Williams, Keith Urban and Empire of the Sun as performers at the Nov. 26 ARIA Awards in Sydney. While Ladyhawke will have the spotlight to herself, three of Australia's rising female artists -- Sarah Blasko, Lisa Mitchell and Kate Miller-Heidke - will perform in succession.

Some Australian indie label executives are crying foul. The stoush reached the platform of the Oct. 16-18 One Movement for Music industry summit in Perth, when ARIA chairman Ed St John was asked for an explanation from the floor.

Ladyhawke meets ARIA's criteria by having lived in Australia for six months, and applied for residency.

Pavlovic has played-down reports that Ladyhawke was contemplating withdrawing from her planned performance.

"In the last 24 hours, we've had a lot of discussions with her management [IE Music] and the ARIAs," he explains. "Everyone's happy that she meets the criteria, and that she's a deserved nominee. On that basis, it's all going ahead."