• A.B. Original have won songwriter of the year at the APRA Awards. (NITV News)
Indigenous artists become first ever hip hop group to win prestigious award.
12 Apr 2018 - 8:44 AM  UPDATED 12 Apr 2018 - 10:48 AM

Indigenous duo A.B. Original have won Songwriter of the Year at the APRA Awards in Sydney, making history as the first hip-hop artists to win the coveted gong.

Trials and Briggs - Ngarrindjeri and Yorta Yorta men respectively - were honoured at the annual songwriting awards for their debut album, Reclaim Australia, a politically-charged record with a progressive sound, bringing Australian hip-hop influences more in line with West Coast America.

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The duo's sometime collaborator, Paul Kelly, took home the Song of the Year award for his tune Firewood and Candles which he co-wrote last year with former Ferrets frontman Billy Miller.

The song features on Kelly's first number one album, Life Is Fine - a pop/rock album, described by many as a return to the sound of his classic 80s recordings,In the spirit of the time, artists at the event were encouraged to wear a 'touch of purple' to show their support for the Now movement, spear-headed by journalist Tracey Spicer to end sexual harassment, intimidation and abuse in our workplaces.

The Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year went to 23-year-old Sarah Aarons who co- wrote the US number one song Stay by Zedd featuring Alessia Cara. She has also written with artists including Flume, Demi Lovato and Bishop Briggs.

Gold Coast musician Amy Shark capped off an impressive year, which included a performance on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, to win Pop Work of the Year for her track Adore while global superstar Sia took her APRA award tally to nine taking home the Most Played Australian Work Overseas with her song Cheap Thrills.

Dance duo Peking Duk and producer M-Phases were multiple award winners, winning two gongs each.
Midnight Oil were given the Ted Albert Award for their outstanding services to Australian music, following in the footsteps of previous winners including Archie Roach, Paul Kelly, The Seekers and Cold Chisel.

The APRAs are known for the interesting performances during which artists put their own spin on the songs nominated in the APRA Song of the Year category.

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This year, Tim Minchin performed Paul Kelly's Firewood and Candles, other performers included Ben Abraham and All Our Exes Live in Texas, while a super group featuring Suze DeMarchi and Baby Animals, Adalita and Isabella Manfredi paid musical tribute to Midnight Oil.

Apra Music Award winners 2018:

Song of the Year - Firewood and Candles, Paul Kelly
Songwriter of the Year - A.B. Original (Briggs & Trials)
Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year - Sarah Aarons
Overseas Recognition Award - Ben Abraham (and) Kylie Sackley
Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music - Midnight Oil
Licensee of the Year Award - Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA
Most Played Australian Work - Stranger, Peking Duk feat. Elliphant
Country Work of the Year - Kiss Somebody, Morgan Evans
Blues & Roots Work of the Year - Best Part of Me, Busby Marou
Dance Work of the Year - Stranger, Peking Duk feat. Elliphant
Rock Work of the Year - Brace, Birds of Tokyo
Pop Work of the Year - Adore, Amy Shark
Urban Work of the Year - Catch 22, Illy feat. Anne-Marie
International Work of the Year - Shape of You, Ed Sheeran
Most Played Australian Work Overseas - Cheap Thrills, Sia

With AAP