Helen Reddy to be Posthumously Honored at APRA Awards

Helen Reddy
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Helen Reddy

Helen Reddy, the late singer, songwriter and activist whose 1972 hit “I Am Woman” became a feminist anthem, will be honored with the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music.

Reddy cut her teeth in showbiz playing on the Australian vaudeville circuit from a young age, before immigrating to the United States in the 1960s to make it as a solo star.

The risk paid off when Reddy signed with Capitol Records, and landed a trio of No. 1s on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Reddy won a Grammy Award for “I Am Woman, co-written with Ray Burton, and went on to reach the summit of the Hot 100 with "Delta Dawn" in September 1973 and "Angie Baby" in December 1974.

Upon the latter's coronation, she tied the then-record for most No. 1s among solo women, sharing the honor with Cher, Roberta Flack and Connie Francis.

Across her career, Reddy notched 20 career entries on the Hot 100, and 25 million albums sold. She also chalked-up 24 entries on the Adult Contemporary airplay chart, with eight of those topping the tally.

Her place in history was confirmed in 2006 when she was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, and the story of her journey was documented in the 2019 biopic I Am Woman.

Traci Donat will accept the award the Ted Albert Award on behalf of her mother, who, she says, “devoted her life and career to equal rights for all people. And in honoring her you honor not just her music but also what she stood for. We couldn’t be more deeply moved and grateful.”

The accolade will be presented at the 2021 APRA Music Awards, to be held April 28 in Sydney.

The Ted Albert Award is one of the Australian music industry's highest decorations, and is decided by the APRA board of writer and publisher directors. Previous recipients include the late Michael Gudinski, Paul Kelly, Denis Handlin, The Seekers, Cold Chisel and Fifa Riccobono.

Reddy, who passed away in 2019, aged 78, will be the first of two recipients on the night, with the second Ted Albert Award winner to be announced in April.

The Melbourne native was to posthumously receive the plaudit in 2020, but those plans were shelved when Covid-19 forced organizers to pull the plug on a live event and pivot to a shortened virtual ceremony.

Nominations for the 2021 APRAs will be announced March 25.