Denis Handlin, Michael Coppel and Paul Dainty Recognized in Queen's Honours List

Delta Goodrem and Denis Handlin
Courtesy Sony Music Australia

Delta Goodrem and Denis Handlin

Australian music industry legends Denis Handlin, Michael Coppel and Paul Dainty were recognized in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, published Monday (June 12).

Handlin, who serves as chairman and CEO for Sony Music Australia & New Zealand and president, Asia and is the long-time chairman of trade body ARIA, is appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) for his “distinguished service to the Australian recording industry” and for his philanthropic endeavors as a founding member of the Sony Foundation of Australia, which has raised almost A$27 million ($35 million) for youth-based charities since its inception in 1998.

“I am very humbled by this recognition,” Handlin tells Billboard. “For me, it’s also a recognition of the great people I have worked with over the years who share the same passion for helping our amazing artists create their magic. It is also a recognition of all the Sony family, our business partners and our artists who have come together to help change and save lives of thousands of young Australians through the Sony Foundation. Most of all it highlights the unsung heroes in this country, the doctors, nurses and careers and the inspirational youth battling life challenges with outstanding courage and will to live.”

Handlin’s AO is the latest in a long list of accolades. The Brisbane-born, Sydney-based exec was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia for his services to the music and for his fundraising activities in the Australia Day 2005 Honours List, and in 2009, Handlin earned the prestigious Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music at the annual APRA Awards. In 2014, he was bestowed the ARIA industry Icon Award and just last month he cracked Billboard's International Power Player's list. Handlin is now in his 47th year with Sony Music, including 33 years at the helm of the Australian company.  

Meanwhile, concert promoter Michael Coppel becomes a Member in the General Division (AM) for his contribution to the entertainment industry.

Coppel was recently promoted from president to chairman of Live Nation Australasia on the back of the company’s hugely successful Adele tour of these parts. The 11-date stadium tour of Australia and New Zealand sold more than 700,000 tickets and smashed attendance records at each venue along the way. Since taking the reins for LN’s Australasian activities five years ago, Coppel initiated a slew of game-changing deals from the acquisition of Auckland’s Vector Arena, winning the bid for the management of Melbourne’s Palais Theatre and acquiring Paul Piticco and Jess Ducrou’s Secret Sounds business.

Also honored this year is Paul Dainty, the British-born live music pioneer who, like Coppel, was awarded an AM for his significant service to the entertainment industry. 

Dainty, now president and CEO of TEG Dainty, has presented tours by The Rolling Stones (four times), Eminem (twice), Paul McCartney, Guns N’ Roses, Britney Spears, The Jackson 5,  Eminem, Michael Jackson’s solo stadium trek and many more. 

The awards—a system established by Queen Elizabeth II of England and the commonwealth states, which include Australia, in recognition of special achievements by the country's citizens—usually coincide with Queen Elizabeth II's birthday. Nearly 900 individuals were honored this year in a list described by some observers as the most progressive in Australian history.