Sia Presents Award to Fellow Aussie Colin Hay, Her 'Uncle Collie,' At Inaugural Global APRA Music Awards

Nick Demarais

Ashley Irwin, Colin Hay and Sia at the Global APRA Music Awards LA.

Sia provided the emotional highlight of the inaugural Global APRA Music Awards in Los Angeles on Wednesday night when she presented the Distinguished Services Award to Colin Hay, the former Men at Work frontman whom she has known most of her life.

Sia grew up knowing Hay, who is her father's former bandmate and a close family friend. She grew up referring to him as her "Uncle Collie."

Sia was born in Australia. Hay was born in Scotland and immigrated to Australia with his family at age 14 in 1967. Both artists have topped the Billboard 200 and the Billboard Hot 100.

The Global APRA Awards are presented by APRA AMCOS (Australasian Performing Right Association and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society). The Global APRA Awards are an outgrowth of the APRA Music Awards, which have been presented in Australia since 1982.

The organization is holding events in Los Angeles, Nashville and London to honor locally-based Australasian songwriters, composers and music publishers. The Los Angeles event was presented at the Clive Davis Theater at the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live. Similar events will be held in the coming week in Nashville (March 1 at Clementine Hall) and London (March 6 at Ham Yard Hotel Soho).

"Australian and New Zealand songwriters and composers are pushing musical boundaries and attaining incredible goals in a globally competitive environment," said Dean Ormston, chief executive of APRA AMCOS. "We want to acknowledge that in Los Angeles as well as in Nashville and London, where so many success stories are set, and where many of our members do their work and make a home."

Sarah Aarons was named songwriter of the year. Aarons has written recent songs for John Legend, Khalid, Jonas Brothers and the Justin Timberlake/SZA collab "The Other Side" from Trolls World Tour. Aarons received a 2018 Grammy nomination for song of the year for co-writing "The Middle," the genre-bending smash by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey.

Mallrat (Grace Shaw) was named breakthrough songwriter of the year. Mallrat released her Driving Music EP and opened for Maggie Rogers on tour.

Joel Little received the Overseas Recognition Award. Little, a New Zealand native, was among the producers on Taylor Swift's Lover, a No. 1 album on the Billboard 200. He and Swift co-wrote and co-produced three of the album's first four singles, "Me!," "You Need to Calm Down" and "The Man." Little also collaborated on recent songs by Jonas Brothers and Tove Lo. Little and Lorde shared the 2013 Grammy for song of the year for co-writing her smash, "Royals."