Wed. May 29th, 2024

No Fixed Address’ Bart Willoughby to Receive Australia’s Ted Albert Award

By Michael Apr 18, 2024

Trailblazing Indigenous artist Bart Willoughby is the recipient of the 2024 Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music.

The prestigious honor will be presented at the 2024 APRA Music Awards, to be held May 1 at ICC Sydney, on Gadigal land.

Willoughby was a founding member and the driving force behind No Fixed Address, Australia’s first and arguably most influential First Nations reggae-rock band, and the first Aboriginal band to sign a major label deal.

The group’s 1981 protest song “We Have Survived” continues to resonate and is preserved in the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

Willoughby’s “fusion of reggae with traditional Indigenous influences is a testament to the richness and diversity of Australia’s original cultural identity,” reads a statement from the PRO. “His illustrious career has garnered numerous accolades, yet his influence transcends music, encompassing roles as a cultural ambassador, a master storyteller, a nurturing mentor, and a steadfast advocate for truth within Indigenous communities nationwide.”

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 Mushroom Group chairman Michael Gudinski, Paul Kelly, The Seekers, Cold Chisel, former Alberts CEO Fifa Riccobono and last year’s honoree, Colin Hay of Men at Work.

“I am very proud to receive the Ted Albert Award for my services to Australian music,” comments Willoughby, a Kokatha and Mirning man. “The best advice I received as a young musician was from Aunty Leila Rankin at CASM whilst I was preoccupied practising; she kindly opened the door and forced me out telling me ‘I’ll learn my craft on the road, it’s been a Long Road.’”

Ahead of this year’s APRAs, Taylor Swift and co-writer Jack Antonoff win most performed international work for “Anti-Hero,” her hit lead single from her chart-topping 10th studio album Midnights. “Anti-Hero” wins from a shortlist that included songs by Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus, Sam Smith, and David Guetta.

As previously reported, Sarah Aarons leads the pack heading into 2024 APRAs, with Troye Sivan, Budjerah, Ainslie Wills, Styalz Fuego, Amy Shark, The Kid LAROI, James Johnston and MAY-A close behind.

Established in 1982, the Australasian Performing Right Association’s annual songwriters’ ceremony is one of the Australian music industry’s most treasured events, a worthy counterpart to Britain’s Ivor Novello Awards.

By Michael

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