Morgan Evans, Seaforth Honored At APRA Music Awards

Seaforth (Mitchell Thompson and Thomas Jordan) accepting the award for Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year – Nashville.

The Global APRA Music Awards completed the second of three around-the-world stops, with awards handed out last night in Nashville at Clementine Hall. The awards, hosted by O’Shea, were presented by APRA AMCOS (Australasian Performing Right Association and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society) and given to Nashville-based Australasian songwriters, composers and publishers achieving artistic excellence and commercial success.

The Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year Nashville went to Mitchell Thompson and Thomas Jordan of country-pop duo Seaforth. They released their debut EP Love That on Sony Nashville in 2019 and have been touring in the States. They return to Australia this month for CMC Rocks and a Sydney headline show.

The Overseas Recognition Award Nashville was presented by two longtime Nashville-via-Australia songwriters, Kylie Sackley and Lindsay Rimes, and awarded to Rick Price. Artist manager Gina Mendello presented the Distinguished Services Award Nashville to world-renowned guitarist and songwriter Tommy Emmanuel, who has been playing live and wowing audiences since his childhood in Australia. With a deep discography and a non-stop touring schedule, Emmanuel’s fingerpicking style is lauded for its virtuosity. He has collaborated with Jason Isbell, Mark Knopfler, Rodney Crowell, among countless others, and is one of just a few Certified Guitar Players in the world, as named by his hero Chet Atkins.

Chris DeStefano presented Morgan Evans with the Outstanding International Achievement Award Nashville for his global success. Evans’ ‘Day Drunk’ collaboration with Destefano and Lindy Robbins was the 2019 APRA Music Awards Country Work of the Year and his single ‘Kiss Somebody’ was a No. 1 Country Aircheck/Mediabase hit and made Evans one of country music’s ones to watch.

The final award of the night, Songwriter of the Year Nashville, was presented to Phil Barton, who was introduced by his good friend and Grammy-winning songwriter Liz Rose. Barton relocated to Nashville in 2005 and has written hits for Lee Brice (“A Woman Like You”), Sara Evans, David Nail and fellow award winner Morgan Evans. Recently, he’s been writing with the next wave of country stars American Young, Catherine McGrath, and Kalsey Kulyk.

“It’s wonderful to celebrate the nominees, performers, presenters, and our special honorees with the Nashville community, a community of songwriters,” said APRA Chair Jenny Morris.

“A lot of our members work behind-the-scenes crafting songs day in and day out, playing a vital role in the Nashville music ecosystem, and we’re here to acknowledge all the hard work and artistry they contribute,” said APRA AMCOS Chief Executive Dean Ormston.

The Nashville awards came on the heels of a similar event in Los Angeles (Feb. 26) and ahead of London (March 6) events.

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About the Author

Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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