Fifa Riccobono to Receive Australia's Ted Albert Award

Fifa Riccobono, the first female CEO in Australian music business history, is this year's recipient of the prestigious Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music.

The pioneering exec will receive the honor at the 2015 APRA Music Awards, to be held March 24 at Carriageworks in Sydney.

Riccobono's 40-year-plus career is nothing short of legendary. After leaving business college, Riccobono landed at Sydney-based Albert Productions as assistant to the professional manager. In the decades that followed, she worked with some of the country's biggest names in rock, from AC/DC to The Easybeats, John Paul Young, Rose Tattoo, Vanda & Young and The Angels, and in 2000 was promoted to CEO of the Albert Productions label and its parent, J. Albert & Son. To this day, she continues to work closely with Alberts in a consultation capacity.

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The Ted Albert Award is one of the Australian music industry's highest accolades, and is decided by the APRA board of writer and publisher directors. "I'm truly honored to be receiving this award especially as it's the Ted Albert Award," Fifa tells Billboard. "Ted gave me my start in the music industry and strongly supported and encouraged me during the 20 years that I worked with him. I'm honored to be included amongst the wonderful industry luminaries recognized for their contributions in previous years."

She also served as a director on the boards of trade bodies APRA, AMCOS and AMPAL for 15 years, and helped build Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy during her decade-long stint as the organization's Director. Riccobono launched her own publishing company, Viola Jade Music, in 2006. 

Riccobono describes Ted as "a visionary" who "always strived for the best.  He was known for his encouragement and respect which brought out the best in both those that worked for him and the wonderful artists and writers he signed to Alberts."

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Previous recipients of the Ted Albert Award include Paul Kelly, Michael Gudinski, Denis Handlin, Slim Dusty, The Seekers and last year's recipient Lindy Morrison.

In other news, organizers of the APRAs have announced Pharrell Williams' "Happy" is the winner of the international work of the year category. Pharrell's 10-million selling global hit beat out songs by Sam Smith, Eminem and Rihanna

It's the first time APRA has announced the category's winner ahead of its flagship awards.

Winners of the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music:

1991 -- Allan Hely
1992 -- John Sturman
1993 -- Peter Sculthorpe
1994 -- Ian Meldrum
1995 -- Harry Vanda and George Young
1996 -- Ron Tudor
1997 -- No awards
1998 -- Michael Gudinski
1999 -- Slim Dusty
2000 -- Triple J
2001 -- Charles Fischer
2002 -- Barry Chapman
2003 -- Angus Young, Malcolm Young and Bon Scott
2004 -- Don Burrows
2005 -- Michael Chugg
2006 -- Bill Armstrong
2007 -- Michael McMartin
2008 -- Roger Davies
2009 -- Denis Handlin
2010 -- Jimmy Little
2011 -- Paul Kelly
2012 -- Mary Lopez
2013 -- The Seekers
2014 -- Lindy Morrison
2015 -- Fifa Riccobono