The Middle hitmaker nabs Australia’s top songwriting gong

Aarons also took home the rock work of the year award for Never Ever, which she co-wrote and featured on with The Rubens.

Australian songwriter Sarah Aarons.

Australian songwriter Sarah Aarons.

The night’s other big winner was pop music darling Amy Shark who won the peer-voted song of the year category for her industry diss track I Said Hi.

Shark, real name Amy Billings, wrote the track in response to the record industry bigwigs that had once rejected her, but began courting her after the success of her breakthrough hit Adore.

It is the third year in a row Shark has been nominated for the coveted song of the year award and the first time she has won. I Said Hi was also named pop work of the year.

Dean Lewis, who burst onto the music scene with Waves before smashing his own success with the follow-up hit Be Alright, was named breakthrough songwriter of the year.


Lewis and his Be Alright co-writer Jon Hume were also honoured with an outstanding international achievement award after the song achieved phenomenal figures around the world, including more than a billion streams online. Be Alright also reached the top spot in the Billboard US Adult Top 40 chart in March.

The other outstanding international achievement award was given to 5 Seconds of Summer for their hit Youngblood, the group’s first track to break the top 10 in the US Billboard Hot 100.

Other winners on the night included Hilltop Hoods, who took home the award for best urban work for their track Clark Griswold; Morgan Evans, who won country work of the year for Day Drunk and Angus and Julia Stone, whose track Chateau was named Blues & Roots work of the year.

In the international awards category, Sia’s track Cheap Thrills was named the most played Australian work overseas, while Ed Sheeran’s Perfect, which has been certified 10 times platinum in Australia after shifting 700,000 units, was named international work of the year.

The awards were hosted by Brian Nankervis and performances were curated by singer and first-time APRA musical director, Kate Miller-Heidke, who will represent Australia at Eurovision in May.

Nathanael Cooper is the deputy entertainment editor at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

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