The countdown is on to the 2020 ARIA Awards in partnership with YouTube Music, this year paying tribute to iconic Australian trailblazer Helen Reddy after her passing in September. Born in Melbourne in 1941, Helen Reddy ARIA Hall Of Fame inductee lived her life a true pioneer who united music with a deep passion for gender equality, impacting an entire social movement and leaving a profound mark on history with her 1972 feminist anthem, “I Am Woman”.
Performing in this tribute:
TONES AND I
Joining in the tribute as part of the virtual chorus Amy Sheppard, Christie Wheelan-Browne, Clare Bowen, Dami Im, Emma Donovan, Erika Heynatz, Fanny Lumsden, GRAACE, Kate Miller-Heidke, Katie Noonan, KLP, Missy Higgins, Mo’Ju, Odette, Samantha Jade, Teeny Tiny Stevies, Thandi Phoenix and Wendy Matthews.
Having won a radio talent contest in 1966, Helen Reddy travelled from Australia to New York City to audition for Mercury Records. Despite being unsuccessful, she remained in the US working as a singer. She would go on to tell of her own experiences in her songwriting, detailing injustices she had seen and felt as a female in the music industry - at the time unaware of how profound her own impact upon, what was then known as, the Women’s Liberation Movement would be.
“I Am Woman'' became the unofficial anthem of female empowerment, for millions of women around the world the track represented hope and change. Having hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts in the US in late 1972, six months after it’s initial release, growing demand and popularity of the track had become so widespread throughout the world that it could no longer be ignored; it’s lasting impact already evident. The following year, she accepted the GRAMMY award for Best Female Pop Vocal.
For the next decade, Reddy would go on to have over 20 entries into the Hot 100 Billboard Chart. She would also secure the number one spot on the charts for “Delta Dawn” in 1973 and again with “Angie Baby” in 1974, for which saw her tie the then-record for most No. 1s by a female artist, along with Cher, Roberta Flack and Connie Francis.
Helen Reddy has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to both the music industry and to female empowerment, in 2018 she was the first inductee into the Australian Women in Music Awards honour roll and was inducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame in 2006, was also presented with a lifetime achievement award at the 16th annual G’Day USA Gala in Los Angeles in 2019. Her then impact upon the future of women in the music industry is immeasurable, however, women, both in Australia and internationally, have since continued to dominate the charts and make history - following in the footsteps of iconic trailblazers such as Helen Reddy.
The epic performance takes place at the 2020 ARIA Awards, partnership with YouTube Music. Tune in live from 7:30pm on 25 November 2020.