Helen Reddy’s surprise gong on special day


As her feminist anthem I Am Woman rings out around the world today on International Women's Day, Helen Reddy's profound musical and activist legacy is back in the spotlight.

Australia's songwriting community chose this day to announce Reddy would be posthumously honoured at the 2021 APRA Awards next month with the prestigious Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music.

Think of it as a lifetime achievement award, the Music Olympics medal decades in the making.

Reddy was meant to receive it last year but the advent of COVID-19 forced the 2020 APRAs into a truncated virtual ceremony.


Reddy with her ARIA Hall of Fame gold trophy in 2006. Picture: AAP/Joe Castro.
Reddy with her ARIA Hall of Fame gold trophy in 2006. Picture: AAP/Joe Castro.

The record-breaking, chart-topping songwriter and singer, whose influence stretches from her breakthrough in the 70s with I Am Woman, Delta Dawn and Angie Baby across five decades, died in September at the age of 78.

Reddy's daughter Traci Donat said she was "deeply moved and grateful" her mother was being recognised with the APRA honour.

"I am so honoured to be accepting The Ted Albert Award on behalf of my mother who devoted her life and career to equal rights for all people," she said in a statement.

"And in honouring her you honour not just her music but also what she stood for."

There will be a second recipient of the Ted Albert Award this year, with the identity of the music legend to be revealed in April.



Reddy really was a superstar. Picture: Supplied/APRA Awards
Reddy really was a superstar. Picture: Supplied/APRA Awards

The awards are scheduled to be hosted by regular MC Julia Zemiro, with musicians Ziggy Ramo and Georgia Mooney, at the ICC Sydney on April 28.

Organisers remain hopeful they will be able to have a ceremony with its usual audience of artists, songwriters, producers, publishers and industry luminaries.

This year's APRAs will also pay tribute to Michael Gudinski; they would have hours of footage of his legendary speeches whenever his Mushroom Music writers won a gong.

The 2021 APRA Awards have also undergone a category shake-up post COVID.

The songwriters' body have ditched the Most Performed Urban Work gong and split it into two genre awards.

The new Most Performed Hip Hop/Rap Work and Most Performed R & B/Soul Work awards reflect not only the musical differences within the fluid genre of "urban" but also its collective dominance on streaming services, which generate the royalties collected by APRA for their writers.

The nominees for this year's APRAs will be announced on March 25.

Originally published as Helen Reddy's surprise gong on special day