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:: Spotlight :: 2004 APRA Music Awards - Winners

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

The 2004 APRA Music Awards were held in Melbourne recently. The elegant setting of the Plaza Ballroom at the Regent Theatre played host to the cream of the Australian music publishing industry as songwriters were recognised for their work from the last twelve months.

The event included performances from The Cat Empire, John Paul Young, Magic Dirt, jazz nominee Guy Strazzullo who performed with Slava Grigoryan, and The John Butler Trio. Presenters included Olivia Newton John, Tim Rogers, Brian Cadd, James Morrison, Ben Gillies, and Andy Van.

JOHN BUTLER made APRA Music Awards history by taking out the coveted award for SONG OF THE YEAR. This is the first time the award has been given to a self published, independent singer/songwriter. The success of John Butler‘s 'Zebra’, a song that almost didn‘t make it onto the acclaimed 'Sunrise Over Sea’ album, marks the first time a composer with no major label backing has received this honour.

The prestigious SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR award went to Bernard Fanning, Jon Coghill, Ian Haug, Darren Middleton and John Collins, otherwise known as POWDERFINGER. The band, that has won APRA Song of the Year twice, has established itself as top-class songwriters who can pen songs that run the emotional gamut. “We place ultimate value in song writing,” said Bernard Fanning in a message from Canada where the band is currently touring.

As a fitting tribute to her phenomenal success, DELTA GOODREM has been honoured with the APRA BREAKTHROUGH AWARD, which recognises the talents of an emerging composer. The award recognises the composer's achievements in the past year in terms of public awareness, commercial success and critical acclaim. Delta, who is currently in Europe, accepted her award via a taped speech. “I'm so honoured to be recognised for my songwriting as it is such a huge part of me and music is a wonderful way to express yourself. Keep the songs coming cos it's wonderful to support Australian songwriters and their music.”

The TED ALBERT AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICES TO AUSTRALIAN MUSIC was awarded to legendary musician DON BURROWS (AO, MBE) who has been at the forefront of the jazz world for most of his 60 plus years in the business. Renowned for his musicianship and his enthusiastic support for the jazz arts Don Burrows is known as one of the world's finest composers and interpreters of the jazz tradition. His musicianship, and his ability to communicate a passion for jazz, has become legendary. He remains one of Australia's pre-eminent artists; truly a Living National Treasure.

Singer/songwriter AMIEL took home the award for MOST PERFORMED AUSTRALIAN SONG for her hit ‘Lovesong’. The enduring Australian feel good classic ‘Love Is In The Air’ won the APRA Award for MOST PERFORMED AUSTRALIAN SONG OVERSEAS for the second time. The song, written by HARRY VANDA AND GEORGE YOUNG, and immortalised by John Paul Young, won the same award at the APRA Music Awards in 1982. The award for MOST PERFORMED JAZZ WORK was given to SHARNY RUSSELL for her composition ‘If You Love Me’ and CARTER AND CARTER received the award for MOST PERFORMED COUNTRY WORK for the popular ‘Lead Me Home’.

JONI MITCHELL received her first APRA Award courtesy of Counting Crows whose rendition of ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ received the gong for MOST PERFORMED FOREIGN WORK. DISCO MONTEGO took out the award for MOST PERFORMED DANCE WORK award for the second year running, this time with ‘U Talkin To Me’.

The full list of winners:

Songwriter of the Year - Powderfinger
APRA Breakthrough Award ­ Delta Goodrem
Ted Albert Award For Outstanding Services to Australian Music ­ Don Burrows

Song of the Year

Title - Zebra
Artist - John Butler Trio
Writer - John Butler

Most Performed Australian Work

Title - Lovesong
Artist - Amiel
Writer - Amiel Daemion
Publisher - Festival Music Pty Ltd

Most Performed Australian Work Overseas

Title - Love Is In The Air
Artist - John Paul Young
Writer - Harry Vanda & George Young
Publisher - Published by J Albert and Son Pty Ltd

Most Performed Dance Work

Title - U Talkin¹ To Me
Artist - Disco Montego
Writer - *Darren Dowlut / *Dennis Dowlut / ^Robert Woolf
Publisher - *Bomb Music Publishing Pty Ltd
(administered by Peermusic Pty Ltd) / ^Peermusic Pty Ltd)

Most Performed Country Work

Title - Lead Me Home
Artist - Carter and Carter
Writer - Merelyn Carter / David Carter

Most Performed Foreign Work

Title - Big Yellow Taxi
Artist - Counting Crows
Writer - Joni Mitchell (ASCAP)
Publisher - Sony/ATV Music Publishing (Aust) Pty Ltd

Most Performed Jazz Work

Title - If You Love Me
Artist - Sharny Russell
Writer - Sharny Russell
Publisher - ABC Music Publishing (administered by Mushroom Music)

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