Sia made history on Tuesday night by winning songwriter of the year, the top honor at the APRA Music Awards, for the third successive time. “This is an unprecedented, and very likely, a never-to-be-repeated achievement by one of our most talented songwriters,” comments APRA CEO Brett Cottle.
It’s an effort not even Daniel Johns can match. The former Silverchair frontman jointly won songwriter of the year in 1995, 1998 and 2000 and earned it on his own in 2003 and 2008. Johns opened this year’s proceedings with a performance of his new solo song, “Preach”.
But the night was all about Sia, again. The Adelaide-raised singer also took out the peer-voted APRA song of the year category (with co-writer Jesse Shatkin) for “Chandelier”, giving her a career total of six APRA Awards.
The publicity-shy artist reprised an old trick by having a male friend deliver the acceptance speeches on her behalf. On this occasion, Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz donned the platinum wig in a taped thank-you. “I am the Michael Jordan of the APRAs,” he told guests, many of whom were trying to figure out who was the guy with the wild hair. “He won three. And then three more. Hopefully I’ll do that too.”
After accepting song of the year, he noted, “I feel more powerful with this wig on.”
Sheppard converted two of their leading four nominations, taking out pop work of the year and most played Australian work for “Geronimo.” The song is lifted from the band’s debut album Bombs Away, which peaked at No. 2 Down Under and recently cracked the top 40 of the Billboard 200. The band’s manager and mentor Michael Chugg accepted the award on their behalf, telling the crowd: “They’re in London working their little arses off at the moment. They’ve been in the U.S. for six weeks freezing their arses off.” Chugg updated the industry audience on the six-piece group’s sophomore album, which he said would be ready for next year. “They know all about the dreaded second album so we’ll do our best.”
Sibling act Angus & Julia Stone won the blues & roots work of the year award for “Heart Beats Slow,” lifted from their self-titled third album which was produced with Rick Rubin. Angus, wearing a “Rolling Stoned” t-shirt, turned to his sister and said, “I love you Julia. Everything you do is inspiring,” before thanking Rubin. “He got us back together,” he explained. “He called us up and put us under his wing.”
Click here for the full list of winners.