Mushroom founder among those recognized.
Michael Gudinski, founder of Mushroom Records, and singer Olivia Newton-John were among 67 recognized in Australia with Queen’s Birthday Honors today (June 12). 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.
Gudinski was made a Member of the Order of Australia for promoting the Australian music industry and advocating young people’s entry into the business.
“Most of these awards are given to people who have made sacrifices,” Gudinski told Billboard.biz. “I’ve worked in the music industry all my life, I’ve enjoyed it, and have been successful at it. But show business is a fantasy world. To get (an award) like this, out of that fantasy, is humbling indeed.”
Gudinski, who started his career at 15 running local dances, is chairman of the Mushroom Group, which operates Liberation Music, independent publisher Mushroom Music, the Frontier Touring Company and booking agencies Premier Artists and Harbour Agency.
Olivia Newton-John was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for services to entertainment, cancer research and the environment.
“I’m thrilled because this is an honor from my home country,” says Newton-John who has been based in Los Angeles since the mid-1970s.
Two others who received Member of the Order of Australia medals were late jazz drummer Len Barnard for his services to increasing the professionalism of the Australian jazz scene, and musical theatre producer Ben Gannon for his work with young talent.