Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The gambler who hasn't made the list - yet; A serious man; When the crowd funds a flop, what next?


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The gambler who hasn't made the list - yet - 24th May 2012

An honorarble mention in this year’s Rich 200 must go to David Walsh. While his estimated wealth falls short of the $210 million cut-off in this year’s ranking, the Taswegian stands out this year for his ability to make Australians feel uneasy.

It’s not just the contents of his Museum of Old and New Art (Mona), perched on the banks of the Derwent River just outside Hobart, with its excrement-producing Cloaca exhibit, display of human ashes and artist Chris Ofili’s The Holy Virgin Mary depicting the mother of Jesus surrounded by female genitalia and including elephant dung that will discomfort some.

It is the fact that in a year when arguments about gambling reforms have drawn vicious lobbying from the pubs and clubs industry and threatened to bring the machinery of parliament to a halt and when there’s growing concern about gambling generally that Walsh has so overtly used a fortune accrued from wagering to build a temple to art – celebrated by many of the same people who decry gambling.

In fact, the country’s largest private museum, which opened early last year, has contemporary Australian art fans salivating. Its contents include Sidney Nolan’s Snake, a 46-metre-long, nine-metre-high collation of 1620 different painted panels, and works by Brett Whiteley, Arthur Boyd, Charles Blackman and Russell Drysdale. Mona also treads solidly into ancient territory with the mummy and coffin of Pausiris and a cast bronze votive figure of Isis and the Infant Horus, from 600-300BC.

The public loves it. Mona drew more than 330,000 visitors last year – almost half from outside Tasmania. The collection is doing great things for tourism to the Apple Isle and for Australia as a whole.

“The only time I can think of in recent history that [we had] something this big, audacious, generous and gifted was probably in America,” Edinburgh Festival director Jonathan Mills gushed last year. “It’s the Getty, the Guggenheim, it’s on that level.”

And yet, revelations that Walsh’s $175 million project was funded in part by his friend and fellow gambler Zeljko Ranogajec, whose gambling syndicate makes money out of the rebates that totalisers give in exchange for placing large bets – reducing the pool of winnings for ordinary punters placing smaller bets – only adds to the unease.

It’s no doubt a contradiction the private Walsh enjoys. If he were a miner or industrialist, his generosity would be unambiguously celebrated. That’s the sort of background Australia has come to expect of its arts patrons. Still, taking from the poor and giving to middle-class causes is something state-owned lotteries have always done. Walsh could argue he is doing the redistribution more directly, by cutting out the need for a lot of grant applications. Or he might not.

“I invent a gambling system,” Walsh writes in the introduction to his book Monanisms. “Make a money mine. Turns out it ain’t so great getting rich using someone else’s idea. Particularly before he had it. What to do? Better build a museum; make myself famous. That will get the chicks.”

The extent of Walsh’s own fortune is unclear. He has a collection of properties in and around Hobart, one of which he co-owns with Ranogajec, along with the premium Moorilla Estate winery and vineyard and Moo Brew brewery.

It remains to be seen how Walsh views his own cash flow. Is Mona, with its stated $100 million worth of artworks, simply vanity spending? Is Walsh a patron in the traditional sense or should this be seen as an initial investment into a new realm of money-making ventures?

Features of the museum, with its iPod-based self-guide system, which explains exhibits while simultaneously collecting useful data for curators on what visitors are viewing and the length of time they spend at each artwork, along with a bar in the museum selling Moo Brew beers and Moorilla wines lend themselves to replication. A side project is the 10-day Mona Foma (Festival of music and art), which this year ran for the fourth time.

It may all be just another investment. The 50-year-old Walsh has already said in interviews he intends to exploit his high-profile attraction.

“I want to use Mona as a marketing tool to drive some products that I hope will make some serious money.” (Fairfax Media)

A serious man - 28th May 2012...

Tom Waterhouse just lost $400,000. It's 2.25pm on a Saturday in Melbourne and Waterhouse is working, with 20 of his staff, in his weekend "office", a gloomy bunker at Moonee Valley Racecourse. The course itself is a ghost town - there are no races here today - but the bunker, a low-ceilinged and exceedingly unglamorous space, is animated by the kind of urgency you see in a termite colony that has just been kicked. There are lots of computers, screens, mobiles, TVs tuned to six race meetings, and young guys with fashionable facial hair - Waterhouse's "wagering officers" - who yell out stuff like "The eight in Sydney to win $5000" or "$4000 each way on Top Fluc One!"

At the centre, meanwhile, is Waterhouse, standing at a high table, sucking on a vitamin C tablet. He is dressed in a dark-blue suit and mint-green tie. His eyes are blue, his skin pale, his teeth ruler straight and pearly white. On the table before him are four computer screens and 10 mobile phones, the numbers of which are known only to VIP clients, 100 "high net worth individuals" whose minimum bet is $1000. He won't tell me their names or, in fact, anything about them, except that all but one are men.

The first thing you notice about Waterhouse is that he is the exact opposite of what you expect. He doesn't drink alcohol or coffee, nor does he smoke or swear. Instead, he says "Oh, gosh". He is distractingly, almost distressingly polite: "When I first met him he was so nice I thought he was taking the piss," his marketing manager, Warren Hebard, tells me. Above all, he does not get ruffled. Getting ruffled would indicate either a lack of control, which he has in spades, or a surfeit of emotion, which he hasn't. And yet, like his mega-risk-taking grandfather, Bill, Waterhouse is known for taking on the biggest punters, for winning and losing bathtubs full of money in the course of an afternoon. In 2008, he lost $1.175 million in 10 minutes, only to make it all back by sundown. Not long after, he lost a further $2 million (for good, this time). When, this afternoon, it becomes apparent that he has just done $400,000 on one race, he issues only the slightest wince, pops another vitamin C and returns to his screens.

Waterhouse, who turns 30 this June, is the managing director of www.tomwaterhouse.com, one of Australia's largest corporate bookmakers. The company, which has offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin, offers odds on not only thoroughbreds, harness racing and greyhounds but also on rugby league and rugby union, cricket, tennis, Australian rules and, as Hebard puts it, "every other sport you can think of, from Swedish handball to two flies crawling up a wall".

Waterhouse makes the most of his family name, which has been intimately associated with bookmaking and horse racing for 112 years. (His father, Robbie, still works as a bookie; his mother, Gai, is a celebrated trainer.) But his real business is in creating as many markets as possible for punters to wager on: Waterhouse now offers odds on everything from who will win Dancing with the Stars and the Miles Franklin Literary Award to the final sale price of painter Edvard Munch's masterpiece, The Scream. "As long as it meets my licensing conditions and it passes the smell test, meaning it's not too weird, I will bet on anything," he says.

Perhaps more than any other bookie, Waterhouse embodies the changes that have recently transformed Australian gaming. Ever since the easing, in 2008, of regulations governing cross-border betting and gambling advertisements, overseas and domestic bookmakers have been battling each other for a piece of the local market, where punters wager more than $20 billion a year. Corporate bookmakers such as the foreign-owned SportingBet and SportsBet barrelled in, going toe to toe with on-course operators, including Waterhouse, who had been working "on the rails" since 2003, building his VIP business under the tutelage of father Robbie and grandfather Bill. By 2008, Tom was Australia's biggest on-track bookie; at the Melbourne Cup that year, he held more than $20 million over four days, more than all the other bookies combined.

But there is only one Melbourne Cup a year. Thanks to the advent of pay TV and online gambling, normal race-day attendances plummeted throughout the 2000s. "I haven't been to the races in three years," Waterhouse says. "It's dead. At the same time, I realised people still want to have a punt, they just wanted to do it from their couch or on their iPhone."

And so, in 2010, Waterhouse launched his online business, which he promoted in a multi-million-dollar campaign of free-to-air, print and online advertisements, including paying $70,000 to have his face plastered on a Melbourne tram. The company now has 80,000 clients, boosted by the purchase last year of the databases of two corporate bookmakers who had recently gone bust. Waterhouse employs 60 staff, and is recruiting overseas for 40 more. Robbie Waterhouse calls the strategy "growing broke", explaining, "The business is expanding at such a rate that it requires every dollar Tom has."

According to Warren Hebard, the marketing spend is now $20 million a year, a mere fraction of company turnover, which he puts in the "hundreds and hundreds of millions".

Recently I had dinner with Waterhouse at Nobu, a Japanese restaurant in Melbourne's Crown complex, where he lives in a $1900-a-night villa apartment on the 31st floor. Waterhouse has a perfectly acceptable home in Sydney - an apartment in Balmoral on Middle Harbour, just around the corner from his parents, that he bought in 2009 for $3.5 million. But Victoria's more favourable gambling laws mean he spends half his life south of the border, necessitating a yoyo-like schedule of at least three business-class flights to Melbourne and back a week. Such an arrangement is fine for now - he and wife Hoda Vakili, whom he married last year, don't have any children, a situation Waterhouse plans to remedy.

"I want to have six kids," he says. "As soon as possible."

"Seriously?" I ask.

"Seriously," he says.

Thanks to his 2006 appearance on Dancing with the Stars (he was knocked out in the third round), and his frequent partying with the likes of Charlotte Dawson and Tim Holmes à Court, Waterhouse has become known as something of a red-carpet junkie. He certainly knows how to spend his money: there are the skiing trips to Aspen, the holidays in Italy and, of course, the yearly pilgrimage to London, where he attends Royal Ascot and picks up a new suit from his father's tailor in Savile Row. His marriage last year was similarly five-star: bucks' and hens' nights in London, ceremony in the Sicilian seaside town of Taormina, followed by, as one newspaper put it, "lunch in Switzerland" and the honeymoon in Monte Carlo.

Not surprisingly, plenty of people don't like Waterhouse. The consensus is that he is too rich, too young and too lucky. Others don't like the fact he's a bookie. "Self promoter, making $ off the misery of others," one tabloid newspaper reader commented after an article on him last year. When news emerged that Vakili had undergone emergency surgery in January after injuring herself in Aspen, readers responded with an outpouring of indifference: "Should wipe the smug smile off their faces for a few weeks at least," one wrote.

I'm as jealous as the next guy, but "smug" isn't the right word for Waterhouse, who, in person at least, is self-effacing to the point of invisibility. He is softly spoken and reflexively formal. "Mum thinks I dress very boringly," he says. "Always in a dark suit and white shirt." When he was nominated for the Cleo Bachelor of the Year Awards in 2005, he was one of only two people out of 50 who opted to keep their shirts on for the photo. (The other was Guy Sebastian.) For now, he says, his life is defined by work: he goes to bed at midnight and rises at 7am, and takes only one day off a week. "Until I was married I worked seven days a week," he says. "Even when I'm on holidays I'm on my computer six or seven hours a day."

He is partial to fast cars: he has owned a Porsche 911 and currently drives a silver Mercedes SLS Gullwing (retail price: $496,000). But to picture him driving it fast, let alone crashing it, is to picture the Pope smoking crack. His optimum mode of relaxation is going to the movies with Vakili, which he does at least once a week. "We'll get the choc tops, a Slurpee," he says. "It's really great."

He also likes tennis, though playing him requires a certain kind of patience. "This is the problem with Tom at tennis: he is so formulaic and robotic," friend Jason Dundas says. "He never goes for a winner, because he knows the formula is that whoever can hold the rally longest wins. And so he plays the game to never hit a foul, and just hits these lollipops; he never goes for that Rafael Nadal cross-court winner because he knows that the chance it will go out is higher than it will go in, and he calculates that all in his head and wins the game every time. It's so annoying."

It's impossible to separate Waterhouse from his family, which has, since the First Fleet, shown a Flashman-like knack for controversy. When Governor Arthur Phillip was speared by Aborigines at Manly in 1790, it was Lieutenant Henry Waterhouse who was there to pull out the spear; Henry also brought the first thoroughbred racehorse to the colony, along with the first merino sheep. Later the family operated a Sydney ferry service, ran pubs and a sly-grog operation, even dabbled in opium smuggling.

The first bookmaker in the family was Charles Waterhouse, who got his licence in 1898, but it was his son, Bill, who would take it to another level. Through a combination of brains, balls and ruthlessness, Bill, who had initially practised as a barrister, became arguably the world's biggest gambler, a "leviathan bookie" who in the 1960s took on high-stakes punters like "Filipino Fireball" Felipe Ysmael and "Hong Kong Tiger" Frank Duval in million-dollar betting duels.

With his suit, hat, tote bag and cigarettes - 100 a day at one stage - Bill, who turned 90 this year, epitomised the old-style bookie. In his autobiography What Are the Odds?, he writes about arming himself with a .38 Smith & Wesson in the 1970s, and about his various entanglements with gangster George Freeman, "marijuana salesman" Robert Trimbole and the late Kerry Packer, who apparently died owing him $1 million. ("You can go and get f...ed and whistle for it," Packer reportedly told him. "You'll get nothing from me.")

"I don't pretend to be Simon Pure," Bill Waterhouse writes. "I have sometimes cut corners to get what I needed, but I am certainly no crook." Yet his name has been associated with virtually every scandal in horse racing bar the death of Phar Lap. Chief among these was, of course, the Fine Cotton affair of 1984, in which a handy sprinter named Bold Personality was painted with Clairol hair dye and substituted for a weaker horse called Fine Cotton. Bill and son Robbie, who had put money on the horse, were both charged by the Australian Jockey Club with "prior knowledge" - something they have always denied - and banned from racetracks for 14 years.

Tom insists he can't remember much about it: "I was two years old!" he tells me. Nor did it feature much in conversation. "It's a little bit like religion; I try not to bring it up."

It's tempting to see in the younger Waterhouse a reaction, conscious or otherwise, to the family's picaresque backstory. But it seems Tom has always been serious. Like his father before him, he attended the elite Sydney private school Shore. But where Robbie had gained a name for running a student betting ring, Tom became a senior prefect and house captain. "He is a seriously, like very, very, very ambitious guy," long-time friend David Chambers says. "He controls his emotions, he doesn't let them control him."

Chambers, who grew up around the corner from Waterhouse, says "Tom was always super competitive ... and a little bit bizarre. One day he came to school and said, 'You guys are all taking sick days: that's soft. I am never going to take a sick day.' He just thought it would be fun. And we were all like, 'Yeah, whatever.' But he never did, the whole time we were at school."

Horse racing dominated the Waterhouse home. "It was always discussed around the dinner table," Robbie says. "Every aspect of it." Tom got his first horse, a Shetland pony, for Christmas when he was five. Yet he had no interest in an on-course career. Instead, after school, he started a commerce degree, majoring in finance and marketing, at Sydney University. "I wanted to go into finance," he says. "It seemed like a good industry to be in."

Then one day in 2001, Robbie asked him if he'd come and "help out on the bag" at Rosehill. "Within about 20 minutes I was hooked," he says. Waterhouse was only six months into his course, but he immediately rearranged his timetable, moving his classes to Monday and Tuesday so that he could attend the races for the rest of the week. He got his licence for the dogs, then for thoroughbreds. Coming from racing royalty had its advantages. Gai, daughter of legendary trainer Tommy J. Smith, taught him horses; Robbie taught him analysis. ("Dad still gets up every day at 3am so he can do seven hours studying all the results and times.") And Bill showed him how to gamble. (Bet bigger if you're winning, smaller if you're losing, and always keep an eye on cash flow.)

Yet there were mishaps. In 2007, one of Waterhouse's biggest punters, the CEO of a big listed company in the US, placed a bet with him of $1.2 million. As he had never taken a bet that big, Waterhouse laid off the risk by "betting back" $800,000 with other bookies. When the CEO's horse lost, "I thought, 'Oh gosh, I've won $400,000! I'm going to buy a Ferrari!' But come Monday I had to pay $800,000 to those other bookies while my guy took the knock [refused to pay]."

Waterhouse pursued the debt through the courts, but has never got all of it back. (Courts are a recurring motif with bookies. In 2010, Waterhouse was in the Federal Magistrates Court chasing $2.6 million that he said Sydney businessman Andrew Sigalla owed him. And in January this year he placed a caveat over brothel-owner Eddie Hayson's Parramatta Road business, Stiletto, as security for $1 million in gambling debts.)

The movement of money away from the track and onto the internet has done much to sanitise racing. "In the days of the SPs, if you took the knock they'd come round and cut your toes off," veteran race writer Max Presnell says wistfully.

The perils of 21st-century gambling are more prosaic. Addiction. Bankruptcy. Family break-up. Waterhouse was raised in a religious household. "We went to church every Saturday night," he says. "I still pray occasionally, just to reflect on family and loved ones." But the moral dimension of his business doesn't trouble him. "I always say to people who bet with me, 'Anything in excess is bad for you: shopping, eating, gambling.' "

When in doubt, he invokes what he calls The Toilet Test: "If you feel uneasy about the bet, if you need to duck off to the toilet all the time, then you're betting too much. It's like anything else - if you feel uncomfortable doing it, chances are it's not a great thing to be doing."

The boardroom of Waterhouse's North Sydney office is an impressive space: there's a giant antique table, a cabinet full of trophies and a life-sized portrait of Bill Waterhouse, form guide folded under his arm, standing beneath the Harbour Bridge. Tom is explaining how he prices his odds when I spot, high up in the cabinet, Bill's original white leather tote bag.

"Do you want to see it?" Tom asks excitedly.

"Yes," I reply, imagining it to be full of interesting stuff: betting stubs, track programs, old pencils worn to the nub. But when Tom opens it up, it's empty. "Oh," I say, disappointed.

"It's basically just like a big purse," Tom says. "That's the way it worked." (Fairfax Media)

When the crowd funds a flop, what next? - 29th May 2012

Backers of high-tech video glasses have had enough of waiting for their crowdfunded returns.

Crowdfunding website Kickstarter was used to raise $US340,000 for a project to build a pair of HD-video recording glasses, but almost a year on, people who invested in the project have not received their products and the project creators have seemingly disappeared.

Kickstarter has denied responsibility for a growing number of apparently failed crowdfunding projects, but donors who claim to have been ripped-off are fighting back.

Crowdfunding is a way for individuals to make their dreams a reality, as touted by websites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo which provide the social media tools to tap friends, family, and their extended networks for the capital needed to build a product.

In the embryonic stages the quirkier ideas garner media attention and are oversubscribed, often raising more money than initially requested.

While the success stories are well-documented, there is a growing list of stillborn projects where money has been collected by the project owner (95 per cent) and by Kickstarter (five per cent) but donors haven't received their promised returns.

The websites stress the responsibility rests with the project owner and the donor - they shy away from calling them "investors" as this would attract different regulatory compliance - but some frustrated donors are taking action.

The ZionEyez project trajectory is typical other Kickstarter consumer tech product success stories, but so far it doesn't feature the same happy ending.

The four founders asked for $US55,000 to build Eyez, a pair of glasses that could record HD video. After extensive media coverage (including by Engadget, Mashable, Forbes and Rolling Stone) it raised $US343,415 from 2106 backers when the funding round closed on July 31.

Since then the founders have missed the original delivery deadline of the northern "Winter 2011" and donors' growing concerns over product delivery are not being directly addressed.

There are more than 850 comments on the project page, some asking for a class action, and including one donor's correspondence with ZionEyez.

"Thanks for reaching out to us. We will be releasing another engineering update for our KS Backers in the near future. Thanks for your patience and support!"

Bill Walker was one of the donors who committed the $US150 required to secure a pair of the glasses.
In an attempt to claw back the donations he built the site zionkick.com to organise legal action against the founders of the ZionEyez project.

They must provide a reasonable time for the product to be delivered, he said.

"At the present time we (interested backers) are playing the waiting game," Walker wrote via email. "We have to give them a period of time in which to perform before filing fraud charges. When a period of time elapses that would satisfy the legal eagles...then we attack. Until then we bide our time."
"Their attorney CEO knows the heat is on so he might be insisting they produce something, even if it's on the level of the $US59.95 products currently on the market. Produce anything that will satisfy the spirit of what they said they were going to produce.

"In the meantime Kickstarter takes their 5 per cent and insists the backer is totally responsible for vetting the money grubbers."

Kickstarter did not respond to specific questions about whether it would intervene in the ZionEyez project, and pointed to their frequently asked questions (FAQ) page which says the creator is responsible for fulfilling a project's promise.

"Kickstarter doesn't issue refunds since transactions are between backers and creators, but we're prepared to work with backers as well as law enforcement in the prosecution of any fraudulent activity. Scammers are bad news for everyone, and we'll defend the goodwill of our community."
ZionEyez did not respond to requests for comment.

Crowdfunding projects fall outside the general consumer protections afforded by the Australian Consumer Law and NSW Fair Trading's jurisdiction, according to a Fair Trading spokesperson.

This is because the project is not a form of business trading, and a consumer-supplier relationship does not exist. The risk is amplified when dealing with international sites, the spokesperson said.
"Whenever dealing with an entity that is from outside Australia, consumers should be aware that should something go wrong, redress can be much more difficult to achieve than when the trader is domestically-based," the spokesperson said.

Donors do have some avenues for legal recourse but this could be expensive, according to Rouse Lawyers special counsel Kurt Falkenstein, who specialises in start-ups and has helped some raise money via crowdfunding.

The crowdfunding websites should take responsibility, he said.

"The principles of contract law still apply to crowdfunding – and if you misrepresent or falsify information that induces someone to enter a contract, you are liable – so the terms and conditions of the crowdfunding platform are vital," Falkenstein said.

"The hard thing with contract law is enforcement – are you going to go to court over tens or hundreds of dollars?

"Consumer law may apply where goods or services are promised but not delivered – you can't promise to provide something and not do it – but then you are relying on the ACCC.

"For me, if hundreds or thousands of people are ripped off, the platform should help those people band together and enforce their rights."

There is always a risk that these websites can be exploited, according to Alan Crabbe, co-founder of local crowdfunding website Pozible. He did not respond to a question whether the site had any undelivered projects.

There are safeguards against this, including filtering projects based on national/state investment laws, checking the project creator and holding photo ID, and tracking unusual activity on projects, he said.

Crowdfunding websites are not legally responsible for failed projects, according to StartSomeGood.com co-founder Tom Dawkins, but this does not mean they won't be judged in the court of public opinion.
The key is to curate the projects , he said, so the sites, project creators, and donors are ensured of the greatest chance of success.

"We don't believe we are legally or functionally responsible but, after the project concludes, we know people will hold us responsible anyway."

"We reject a lot of projects because they're too fantastic and unachievable. We try and make sure that we do feel proud of every project on our site, that we feel comfortable and stand by it."

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Monday, May 28, 2012

APRA Music Awards; Sydney, Australia


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Wally De Backer Scores APRA’s Songwriting Trifecta!!!

World-beating songwriter Wally De Backer (aka Gotye) has tonight added to his accolades by taking out three APRA Music Awards, including the coveted, peer-voted APRA Song of the Year.

APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) is proud to reveal the winners of the 2012 APRA Music Awards, announced this evening during a red carpet event at the Parkside Ballroom, Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre. Hosted by Jonathan Biggins and Missy Higgins, the awards have celebrated composers and songwriters across 12 categories who have achieved excellence in their
craft over the last year.

At tonight’s 30th anniversary event for the APRA Music Awards, Wally De Backer (and Luiz Bonfa’s) global smash hit Somebody That I Used To Know walked away with the top prize (APRA Song of the Year) and has also won the category of Most Played Australian Work. The APRA Board of Writer and Publisher Directors has also rewarded Wally De Backer with the crown of Songwriter of the Year. This caps off a
staggering year for Wally De Backer. His haunting break-up ode, Somebody That I Used To Know (from the album Making Mirrors) featuring a sample from Luiz Bonfa’s classic song Seville, has become a chart-topping hit in 11 countries around the world. It was number one for eight weeks on the Australian singles chart and recently hit the coveted number-one spot on the American Billboard chart – a feat not achieved by an Australian artist since Savage Garden in 2000. It still sits atop the US Billboard chart, now for the 6th consecutive week. The single also won triple j’s Hottest 100 in 2011, took out Single of the Year, Best Pop Release and Best Video, with Gotye himself winning Best Male Artist and Producer of the Year at the 2011 ARIA Awards. The statistics on this song (and its accompanying video clip) grow daily, but what we’ve witnessed is a songwriter at the top of his game. Part fanatical recording boffin, part pop genius, Wally De Backer is the APRA 2012 Songwriter of the Year.

The APRA Board of Directors have named Killian Gavin, Jonathon Hart, Timothy Hart, David Hosking and Jacob Tarasenko (Boy & Bear) the Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year for their songwriting achievements on the debut album Moonfire. The phenomenal success of their 2010 EP, With Emperor Antarctica, transformed the Sydney quintet from promising newcomers to bonafide international sensations, helping them land two songs in triple j's 2010 Hottest 100. With all these accolades Boy & Bear found themselves perfectly placed to take things to the next level for their first full-length effort Moonfire. The first single Feeding Line led the way and saw Boy & Bear shift effortlessly into darker, deeper moods, melding huge atmospheres with sonic adventurousness. “Honesty resonates,” says lead vocalist David Hosking. “And I think that if it resonates with you as a writer, then it is going to resonate with the listener as well. I think that just happens naturally.”

Shane Nicholson, one of Australia’s most prolific songwriters, has taken out the Country Work of the Year category with Famous Last Words Music critics have been unanimous in their praise of Shane Nicholson and have delivered high praise for the lyrical depth of Shane’s songs and the extent of his honest and emotional vocal delivery.

The Blues & Roots Work of the Year has gone to first-time APRA nominees Busby Marou for the emotive Biding My Time from the band’s debut self-titled album. Hailing from Rockhampton, the duo of Tom Busby and Jeremy Marou last year won the Deadly Award for ‘Most Promising New Talent in Music’. The duo are a rare musical talent with a distinctly Australian way of sharing stories has developed into a unique song writing flavour - roots tinged with cracking harmonies, breathtaking musicianship and a natural feel for each others guitars.

The Potbelleez (David Green, Ilan Kidron, Marisa Lock and Jonathan Murphy) along with co-writer Justin Shave has received the APRA Award in the category of Dance Work of the Year for From The Music, a song which reached number one on the ARIA Australian Singles chart, made it into the Top 100 Singles chart of 2011 and has achieved Platinum sales in Australia.

Marvin Priest, the son of reggae royalty Maxi Priest has taken out the category of Urban Work of the Year, along with co-writers Antonio Egizii and David Musumeci for Own This Club, Priest’s official debut solo single and collaboration with Sydney-based hit makers, DNA Songs. Own This Club peaked at #6 on the ARIA chart and stayed in the top 10 for 10 weeks with over 250,000 downloads.

Rock Work of the Year has gone to Birds of Tokyo for Wild at Heart, the third single from the band’s self-titled album. Featuring uplifting guitar riffs within dark and driving introspective rock lyrics, the single achieved Gold status and was voted number 47 in triple j’s Hottest 100 of
2010. More recently, in 2012 the band has been recording its new album in LA.

It is the second-highest-selling single in Australian history, and now the irresistibly catchy Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO (written by LMFAO members Skyler Gordy and Stefan Gordy along with co-writers David LIstenbee and Peter Schroeder) has won International Work of the Year. Heard in clubs and at parties all over the planet, the song has been number one on music charts around the globe including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

AC / DC has won the APRA Award for Most Played Australian Work Overseas for the rock n’ roll classic Highway to Hell, written by Bon Scott and the 2010 APRA Songwriters of the Year Angus and Malcolm Young The song was released way back in 1979, but continues to prove that old is gold.

Widely respected talent agent Mary Lopez was presented with the 2012 Ted Albert Award For Outstanding Services to Australian Music.

Mary’s flair for capturing the spirit of Australia through themed productions, huge cast variety spectaculars and ceremonial events is legendary.

With her unique talent for bringing together a dazzling range of musical and dramatic performers, Mary is committed to helping young people be the best they can be.

Subscription television partner MAX will broadcast an exclusive APRA Music Awards special on MAX on TUESDAY 12TH JUNE at 8.00PM along with an encore presentation at 10.30am on THURSDAY JUNE 14TH. Featuring exclusive interviews from the red carpet and backstage, as well as a wrap up of all the award winners, this is a special broadcast not to be missed! MAX is available on FOXTEL and AUSTAR.
The 2012 APRA Music Awards were hosted by Jonathan Biggins and Missy Higgins, and featured performances by Tina Arena with Tex Perkins (performing their rendition of APRA Song of the Year Somebody That I Used To Know), Kate Miller-Heidke (who performed The Beards You Should Consider Having Sex With a Bearded Man) , Bob Evans (who performed I Started a Joke by the Bee Gees), Kram
(who performed Lanie Lane’s Oh Well, That’s What You Get For Falling in Love With a Cowboy), PVT who performed The Real Thing with Russell Morris ,Bertie Blackman (who performed Matt Corby’s Brother) Sophia Brous (who performed Kimbra’s Cameo) and special guest presenters Yusuf Islam, NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, Imogen Heap, Felicity Urquhart and Philip Mortlock.

APRA sends hearty congratulations to all the winners for the 2012 awards.

Monday 28th May
Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre
Hosted by Jonathan Biggins and Missy Higgins


Song of the Year
Title: Somebody That I Used To Know
Artist: Gotye feat Kimbra
Writers: Wally de Backer* / Luiz Bonfa (ASCAP)^
Publishers: J Albert and Son Pty Ltd* / Warner/Chappell Music Australia Pty Ltd

Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year
Writers: Killian Gavin / Jonathon Hart / Timothy Hart / David Hosking / Jacob Tarasenko (Boy and Bear)
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing Australia Pty Ltd

Songwriter of the Year
Wally De Backer
Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music
Mary Lopez
Most Played Australian Work
Title: Somebody That I Used To Know
Artist: Gotye feat Kimbra
Writers: Wally de Backer* / Luiz Bonfa (ASCAP)^
Publishers: J Albert and Son Pty Ltd* / Warner/Chappell Music Australia Pty Ltd^

Country Work of the Year
Title: Famous Last Words
Artist: Shane Nicholson
Writer: Shane Nicholson
Publisher: Mushroom Music Pty Ltd
Blues & Roots Work of the Year
Title: Biding My Time
Artist: Busby Marou
Writers: Thomas Busby / Jeremy Marou
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing Australia Pty Ltd

Dance Work of the Year
Title: From The Music
Artist: The Potbelleez
Writers: David Greene* / Ilan Kidron* / Marisa Lock^ / Jonathan Murphy* / Justin Shave^
Publishers: Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd obo MCDJ Music* / Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd^
Rock Work of the Year
Title: Wild At Heart
Artist: Birds of Tokyo
Writers: Anthony Jackson / Ian Kenny / Adam Spark / Adam Weston
Publisher: Mushroom Music Pty Ltd
Urban Work of the Year
Title: Own This Club
Artist: Marvin Priest
Writers: Antonio Egizii* / David Musumeci* / Marvin Priest^
Publishers: EMI Music Publishing Australia Pty Ltd* / Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd

Most Played Australian Work Overseas
Title: Highway To Hell
Artist: AC/DC
Writers: Angus Young / Malcolm Young / Bon Scott
Publisher : J Albert and Son Pty Ltd
International Work of the Year
Title: Party Rock Anthem
Artist: LMFAO
Writers: Skyler Gordy (ASCAP)* / Stefan Gordy (ASCAP)* / David Listenbee (ASCAP) / Peter Schroeder (ASCAP)
Publisher: Kobalt Music Publishing Australia Pty Ltd*

Want to know how the APRA nominees and eventual winners are determined?
The following categories are awarded based on APRA's statistical analysis of radio and TV broadcasting as well as digital activity:

• Most Played Australian Work
• International Work of the Year
• Most Played Australian Work Overseas
The list of eligible works for all genre categories are sourced from relevant industry charts, from which the nominations are determined
based on the level of broadcast and digital activity. These categories include:
• Blues and Roots Work of the Year
• Country Work of the Year
• Dance Work of the Year
• Rock Work of the Year
• Urban Work of the Year
Song of the Year

Is decided by the votes of APRA members. All songs written by an APRA member and released in the preceding calendar year are eligible for consideration.

Songwriter of the Year
Is decided by APRA's Board of Writer and Publisher Directors rewarding the songwriter who has recorded the most impressive body of work in the previous year.

Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music
Is decided by APRA's Board of Writer and Publisher Directors.

Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year
Is decided by APRA's Board of Writer and Publisher Directors for an emerging songwriter or group of writers.

For the complete list of nominee selection criteria please go to:

*Eligibility for APRA Song of the Year is determined by:
•All songs written by an APRA member and released in the preceding calendar year are eligible for consideration.
•The song must have been written principally (i.e. minimum 50% share) by an APRA writer member that has their principal residence in Australia.
•The songs are voted by APRA members (songwriters) making this a 100% peer-voted music award.
**Works of the Year categories are based on statistical analysis. Criteria is determined by:
•All songs written by an APRA member and released in the period July 2010 to December 2011 are eligible for consideration.
•The song must have been written principally (i.e. minimum 50% share) by an APRA member that has their principal residence in Australia
*Nominations are derived from broadcast performance activity including radio, television and online.


With the red carpet set to roll out in just over a week, the 2012 APRA MUSIC AWARDS are the grand finale to Song Summit 2012 and will be held on the closing night of the three-day music industry expo on Monday May 28th at the Parkside Ballroom, Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Along with details of special Music Awards guest presenters and performers, APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) is proud to announce that MARY LOPEZ AM will receive the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music at the 2012 APRA Music Awards.

Chosen by the APRA Board of Writer and Publisher Directors, the TED ALBERT AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICES TO AUSTRALIAN MUSIC has been bestowed upon some of Australia’s most respected music industry heavyweights including Don Burrows, Michael Chugg, Slim Dusty, Triple J, Bill Armstrong, Angus & Malcolm Young, Roger Davies, Denis Handlin AM, the late Jimmy Little and last year’s recipient Paul Kelly for their contribution in shaping and developing the Australian music landscape.

A highly respected talent consultant committed to finding ways to develop and showcase talented Australians of all ages, MARY LOPEZ is also committed to leveling the playing field, working hard to ensure that all aspiring and talented young Australians are given an equal opportunity to follow their music and entertainment dreams. Her love for, and admiration of, the performers she has mentored shines through in the success of the almost 60 significant and spectacular productions she has staged over her career, including the Schools Spectacular which she directed for 25 years. Mary has been responsible for dozens of other major public events including ‘An Australian Christmas’ at Darling Harbour, the NSW Premier’s Concert, the World Indigenous People’s Conference Opening and Closing Ceremonies and many more.

Mary’s passion for promoting and nurturing talented young people led her to co-found the Talent Development Project (TDP) in 1991, a widely respected music industry training program which prepares gifted young performers for careers in the music and entertainment industry. She has been the Artistic Director of this unique scheme since its inception. Mary’s ability to identify the potential in young performers has been shown by the success of the program. Star TDP graduates include recording artists Human Nature, Angus & Julia Stone and Paulini, Music Director and Composer John Foreman, Hi 5 star Nathan Foley, Jazz singer Emma Pask and a host of award-winning country music performers including Darren Coggan, Felicity Urquhart, Drew McAlister, Jedd Hughes, Travis Collins and The McClymonts. Mary’s success also lies in her use of the TDP and the Schools Spectacular to provide a level playing field for disadvantaged young performers. As a result, ATSI (Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander) students, and those with mental or physical disabilities are now being given a chance to excel, regardless of their circumstances.

Mary’s development of talented young Australian entertainers and her contribution to the performing arts was recognised by her appointment as a member of the Order of Australia, one of this country’s highest honours. In 2007, she received the Variety Humanitarian of the Year Award and in 2010 her contribution to Public Education and the Arts was recognised with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Western Sydney.

The TED ALBERT AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICES TO AUSTRALIAN MUSIC will be presented to MARY LOPEZ by country music singer songwriter FELICITY URQUHART at the 2012 APRA Music Awards. One of the leading lights of the Australian country music scene, Felicity is still very much involved in Mary’s NSW Talent Development Project and in between a hectic schedule which includes being a presenter on Channel 7’s Sydney Weekender, other TV and radio roles, and being the face of The Heart Of Country for Tourism NSW, she is widely regarded as one of the country’s finest vocalists and songwriters.
In addition to our hosting team of JONATHAN BIGGINS and MISSY HIGGINS, APRA is delighted to welcome YUSUF ISLAM as a special guest presenter for the 2012 APRA Music Awards. Singer songwriter, activist and philanthropist, Yusuf Islam is one of popular music's most famous and intriguing figures. Having
sold in excess of 60 million records sold worldwide, and with a phenomenal fan base, Yusuf is now focusing on a new musical he has produced called 'Moonshadow' which had its world premiere in Melbourne. The musical fantasy written by Yusuf, features the songs which he penned as Cat Stevens, weaving together new songs with his classics, hits such as Father & Son, Wild World, Matthew & Son and The First Cut is the Deepest. YUSUF ISLAM will present the award for APRA SONG OF THE YEAR. Widely respected music industry veteran PHILIP MORTLOCK, Head of Creative Services at Alberts will also present at the 2012 APRA Music Awards.

TINA ARENA one of Australia’s most iconic voices, will perform at the 2012 APRA Music Awards. From her humble beginnings in Moonee Ponds and a career defining slot on Young Talent Time in the early 80’s, TINA ARENA’s inner artist emerged and she has become a songwriter with emotional experience and depth of feeling and an internationally-acclaimed singer with the ability to touch and capture hearts through song. Tina joins us just ahead of a national orchestral tour scheduled for June to August.
Also performing at the APRA Music Awards will be TEX PERKINS, another bona-fide legend and founder of seminal bands Beasts of Bourbon, The Cruel Sea and Dark Horses. Most recently Tex has been channeling another legend in Johnny Cash receiving a Helpmann Award for Best Contemporary Concert, for THE
MAN IN BLACK where he takes to the stage as Cash for two hours of magnificent music interwoven with the story of his rise to stardom, his fight for survival and his eventual redemption.

Also performing at the 2012 APRA Music Awards will be the wonderful BOB EVANS (aka Kevin Mitchell). Renaissance man Mitchell has had a wonderful career with band Jebediah and his alter ego Bob Evans showing his skills as a champion songwriter and troubadour. His performance at the APRA Music Awards
preceeds an appearance at Splendour In The Grass under his original persona of Kevin Mitchell performing 50 Years of Bob Dylan!, where he will team up with Holly Throsby, Kav Temperley (Eskimo Joe) and Patience Hodgson (The Grates) as well as surprise guests.

With a restless creative energy that has seen him make a killer solo album, join forces in numerous projects and supergroups including The Wrights and Hot Rollers as well as being founder and co-vocalist of a little band called Spiderbait, KRAM joins the APRA Music Awards as a special guest performer. An accomplished singer-songwriter, drummer and musical all-rounder, expect the unexpected when KRAM hits the stage.

We all know her voice by now. The wonderful talent that is KATE MILLER-HEIDKE joins us as a special guest performer at the 2012 APRA Music Awards.

Following double-platinum sales for her last album (2008’s Curiouser), sets at Coachella, international dates supporting Ben Folds, acclaimed opera performances in Australia and the UK, Kate Miller-Heidke has returned with her panoramic new album Nightflight, her first solo album in three years which debuted at #2 on the national ARIA Chart.

Singer-songwriter and performer extraordinaire BERTIE BLACKMAN rose to fame with her debut album in 2004, Headway, which came after years of prolific
performances in which she developed a dedicated following. Bertie delivers pop music with depth. Her voice is seductive, her lyrics are inventive and honest and she mesmerizes as a live performer. "When I’m playing music, I just disappear into what's going on," she says.

Touted as a “human powerhouse” (The Australian) and “prodigious chanteuse” (Rolling Stone), ascendant pop songstress SOPHIA BROUS (known as BROUS) brings to the APRA Music Awards an uncompromising vision for pop. Her songs evoke the widescreen majesty of Scott Walker and classic melodies of Morricone's Mina - unforgettable choruses crowned by Brous' extraordinarily expressive voice.

Performing live at the 2012 APRA Music Awards is RUSSELL MORRIS, one of Australia's most enduring singers. A major pop star in the late '60s, he went on to become one of the country's first singer-songwriters scoring five Australian Top 10 singles during the late 1960s and early 1970s. On 1 July 2008, the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) recognised Morris' iconic status when he was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.

Sydney outfit PVT has established themselves as a beacon of the Sydney music scene – awarded best local release of the decade by FBi Radio. Renowned for their live performances, the trio have approached recording as an ‘opportunity to create new space on stage’. They harness all their power for a special performance at the APRA Music Awards.

The 2012 APRA Music Awards, which will celebrate the achievements of Australian composers and publishers from the previous twelve months, will announce the winners in the categories of: Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year, Most Played Australian Work, Most Played Australian Work Overseas, International Work of the Year, Country Work of the Year, Blues & Roots Work of the Year, Urban Work of the Year, Dance Work of the Year and Rock Work of the Year.

The recipients of the prestigious Songwriter of the Year (as determined by the APRA Board of Writer and Publisher Directors) will also be announced at the gala industry event. And of course, the event will feature the announcement of the coveted peer voted music prize – the APRA Song of the Year.
The 2012 APRA MUSIC AWARDS will be filmed by subscription television partner MAX for a special that will be broadcast exclusively on MAX on TUESDAY 12TH JUNE at 8.00PM along with an encore presentation at 10.30am on THURSDAY JUNE 14TH. Featuring exclusive interviews from the red carpet and backstage, as well as a wrap up of all the award winners, this is a special broadcast not to be missed! MAX is available on FOXTEL and AUSTAR.

Hosted by Jonathan Biggins and Missy Higgins, the 2012 APRA Music Awards will feature performances by Tina Arena, Tex Perkins, Kate Miller-Heidke, Bob Evans, Kram, Sophia Brous, Russell Morris, PVT and Bertie Blackman and special guest presenters Yusuf Islam, Felicity Urquhart and Philip Mortlock.


Song of the Year
Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year
Most Played Australian Work
Most Played Australian Work Overseas
International Work of the Year
Country Work of the Year
Blues & Roots Work of the Year
Urban Work of the Year
Dance Work of the Year
Rock Work of the Year.
The APRA Board of Writer and Publisher Directors determine the following:
Songwriter of the Year
Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music

Monday May 28th
Parkside Ballroom,
Sydney Exhibition and Convention Centre,
Hosted by Jonathan Biggins and Missy Higgins



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Nicole Richie launches her House of Harlow at David Jones' Sydney store - 26th May 2012


Music Television Celebrities Hollywood Sydney Fashion

Nicole Richie this morning made her first official Sydney public appearance since husband Joel Madden joined The Voice.

The mum of two - who was being pitched around as "available for paid appearances" earlier this year - has found a taker and fronted up to David Jones' Elizabeth St store this morning.

The fashionista launched the new sunglasses and handbag range from her label House Of Harlow at a press conference and meet-and-greet with shoppers.

Any fans who wanted a photo with Australia loving Nicole had to part with about $100 to buy product, before a photo and meet and greet could happen.


Nicole Richie is planning to spend 'more time' in Australia.

The fashion designer and famous wife of rocker Joel Madden, has been in the country while her husband works on the Australian version of 'The Voice', and she admits she has become enchanted with Sydney and wants to find a way of spending more time in sin city Sydney.

She said: "We're going to be out here for a while, both of us love it. Sydney is my favourite city, we're definitely going to be looking to spend more time here, what's not to love!"

Nicole - who has daughter Harlow, four, and two-year-old son Sparrow with Joel - loves the city because people are "very respectful" when she is enjoying time with her family.

She said: "Part of the reason I love Sydney so much and why I love Australia as a whole, I find that people are very nice and very respectful, especially when I'm with my family, I really cannot complain about anything, we are so blessed to be here, I love Sydney so much, everyone is so nice and welcoming."

In addition to the welcoming people, Nicole has also enjoyed watching rugby Down Under, and she especially likes the hunky men who play the sport.

She told 2Day FM radio's Kyle Jackie O Show: "It was so fun, first of all I don't even understand American football, we were sitting in a box, we had the best time, that's the best view in Sydney of those guys running around in those outfits!".

Nicole is the latest in a long list of American celebrities who have looked to Australia as a new place to market their wares.

More facts...

Nicole Camille Richie (born Nicole Camille Escovedo; September 21, 1981) is an American fashion designer, author, actress, singer and television personality. Richie rose to prominence for her role in the Fox reality television series, The Simple Life which lasted five seasons. Afterwards she turned her focus on other projects including charity work and environmental issues. In November 2007 Richie and husband, Joel Madden, created "The Richie Madden Children's Foundation". She is currently one of the three mentors on NBC's Fashion Star.


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Monday, May 21, 2012

Adele, LMFAO big winners at Billboard Music Awards - 21st May 2012


Music Television Celebrities Fashion

Adele and LMFAO were the big winners at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday, with the British soul singer snatching 12 trophies, including Top Artist and Top Female Artist.

Adele's Rolling in the Deep hit and her smash-hit album 21 earned her four awards, including Top Alternative Song, Top Billboard 200 Album and Top Pop Album.

She also won trophies for Top Hot 100 (singles) Artist and Billboard 200 (album) Artist.

LMFAO were the big winners at the ceremony, which Adele did not attend, claiming six awards - five for their 2011 smash-hit Party Rock Anthem and one for Top Duo or Group.

Other multiple winners included Coldplay who took home four awards, including Top Rock Album and Top Alternative Album for Mylo Xyloto.

But few music fans will be talking about who won what after a string of spectacular performances and showstopping tributes to 2012 Millennium Awards winner Whitney Houston, Donna Summer and late Beastie Boys rapper Adam Yauch.

LMFAO kicked off the show with a high-energy medley of their 2011/2012 hits Party Rock Anthem, Sorry For Party Rocking and Sexy & I Know It, but it was Cee Lo Green's and Goodie Mob's return to Las Vegas and Jordin Sparks and John Legend's tribute to Whitney Houston that stood out as highlights.

Sparks landed one of the night's many standing ovations after performing a pitch-perfect rendition of Whitney's I Will Always Love You and Cee Lo and his rap posse also brought the audience at the MGM Grand Garden Arena to its feet with their rousing rendition of the Beastie Boys' Fight For Your Right (to Party).

Other performance highlights came from Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Usher, Carrie Underwood, Linkin Park and Chris Brown, while 2012 Icon Award winner Stevie Wonder closed out the show by performing a medley of hits, like Higher Ground and Overjoyed with Alicia Keys.

The blind soul man, joking, "This is my time ... and I'm looking good too", then asked for a birthday gift from his duet partner and insisted she sing her Jay-Z collaboration, Empire State of Mind, a capella. Keys gladly obliged as Wonder sang, "You gave me my gift."

The singer then handed over the Icon Award to her personal icon, prompting the soul legend to drop his dark glasses and pretend to look at his trophy.

He said, "I can touch it and see it more than seeing it." Wonder urged fans to "commit yourselves to using your heart and joining with me to putting your best love forward ... and committing yourselves that if we come together and bring our hearts together for unity, we can change the world by being as one".

Aside from the stunning performances, there were award wins for Bieber, Perry, U2, Foster The People and Coldplay while Taylor Swift was named Billboard Woman of the Year and Lil' Wayne was crowned Top Male Artist.

The winners of the 2012 Billboard Music Awards:

Social Artist of the Year - Justin Bieber
Top Artist - Adele
Woman of the Year - Taylor Swift
Top Female Artist - Adele
Top Billboard 200 Artist - Adele
Top Hot 100 Artist - Adele
Top Digital Songs Artist - Adele
Top Radio Songs Artist - Adele
Top Streaming Artist - Rihanna
Top Digital Media Artist - Adele
Top Pop Artist - Adele
Top Country Artist - Lady Antebellum
Top Alternative Artist - Coldplay
Top Latin Artist - Shakira
Top Christian Artist - Casting Crowns
Best New Artist - Wiz Khalifa
Top Duo/Group - LMFAO
Top Male Artist - Lil Wayne
R&B Artist of the Year - Chris Brown
Top Rock Artist - Coldplay
Top Touring Act - U2
Top Dance Act - Lady Gaga
Top Billboard 200 Album - 21 by Adele
Top Pop Album - 21 by Adele
Top R&B Album - 4 by Beyonce
Top Rap Album - Tha Carter IV by Lil Wayne
Top Country Album - My Kinda Party by Jason Aldean
Top Rock Album - Mylo Xyloto by Coldplay
Top Alternative Album - Mylo Xyloto by Coldplay
Top Latin Album - Formula: Vol. 1 by Romeo Santos
Top Dance Album - Born This Way by Lady Gaga
Top Christian Album - Come To The Well by Counting Crowns
Hot 100 Song of the Year - Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO
Top Rock Song - Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People
Top Digital Song - Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO
Top Radio Song - Give Me Everything by Pitbull Feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer
Top Streaming Song (Audio) - Rolling in The Deep by Adele
Top Streaming Song (Video) - Super Bass by Nicki Minaj
Top Pop Song - Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO
Top R&B Song - Motivation by Kelly Rowland & Lil Wayne
Top Rap Song - Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO
Top Country Song - Dirt Road Anthem by Jason Aldean
Top Alternative Song - Rolling in the Deep by Adele
Top Latin Song - Danza Kuduro by Don Omar & Lucenzo
Top Dance Song - Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO
Top Christian Song - Blessings by Laura Story
Icon Award - Stevie Wonder
Spotlight Award - Katy Perry
Millennium Award - Whitney Houston
Battle of The Bands Dreamseeker Artist of the Year - Patent Pending





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Friday, May 18, 2012

An Officer and a Gentleman The Musical To Play Sydney Lyric Theatre, The Star - 18th May 2012


The Star Echo Entertainment Casinos Clubs Theatre Sydney Australia

Tonight of An Officer and a Gentleman enjoyed its Sydney, Australia premiere at The Star's Lyric Theatre at Ultimo.

The red carpet premiere was well attended by media and celebrities, and its understood the production is likely to match if not exceed the hype.

Producer John Frost said that more hard-won world premieres were in store.

"Not just Australian stories, but international stories that can be exported to international markets," Frost said.

Producers from Germany, South Korea, Canada, New York and London were at tonight's opening.

Frost said the $6 million budget for An Officer And A Gentleman was about half what it might have been if it was developed in New York or London.

"Things are just easier and cheaper here, and in New York and London, you're so far out of town (doing the set building) trying to get it right and get it fixed," he said.

Frost said the process of developing new musicals, as opposed to simply remounting a successful overseas version, would help build production skills for the creation of new musicals in the future.

"What this is doing is establishing people like (An Officer And A Gentleman) director Simon Phillips, his choreographer and his assistants, to do new stuff they're not used to doing, because they are used to doing stuff that's already been done and what we are trying to do is to broaden that experience so a lot more directors and a lot more writers get that opportunity," Frost added.

Later next year and early 2014 Frost expects to mount world premieres of Dream Lover: The Bobby Darin Show and Red Dog. His production of Doctor Zhivago is approaching the end of a six month-long run in Seoul and will then be mounted in New York.

The Media Man and Music News Australia agencies were overheard agreeing "Another world class production put on by The Star and Lyric Theatre".

The pitch:

A new musical based on the Paramount Pictures-Lorimar movie "An Officer and a Gentleman" written by Douglas Day Stewart

Music and lyrics by Ken Hirsch and Robin Lerner
Book by Douglas Day Stewart and Sharleen Cooper Cohen
Director Simon Phillips
Choreographer Andrew Hallsworth
Set and Costume Designer Dale Ferguson
Lighting Designer Matt Scott
Musical Director Dave Skelton
Associate Director Dean Bryant
Producers Sharleen Cooper Cohen and John Frost

In association with Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros Theatre Ventures

Based on the hugely successful Academy Award-winning film, this new production has been adapted for the stage by the original screen writer, Douglas Day Stewart and co-writer Sharleen Cooper Cohen, with music and lyrics by Kenny Hirsch and Robin Lerner. It will be produced by Sharleen Cooper Cohen and John Frost, and directed by Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical).

The talented cast that will bring this timeless story to life includes Ben Mingay (Jersey Boys) as Zack Mayo, the classic angry young man who grew up in a "sewer" and dreams of flying jets and parlaying this skill into a better life; Amanda Harrison (Wicked) as Paula Pokrifki, the young factory worker who dreams of becoming a nurse and finding a better life without selling out for it, like everyone around her; Kate Kendall (Next to Normal) as Lynette Pomeroy, Paula's best friend who is determined to marry a flier to escape her dead end life, no matter what it takes; and Alex Rathgeber (The Phantom of the Opera) as Sid Worley, the likeable Okie son of a Navy Admiral who is the class "superstar" at the Naval Academy.

A hit across the ages, the 1982 film has become a phenomenon in cinema history, recently listed by the American Film Institute as one of the top ten love stories in cinema history. Featuring the iconic hit song "Up Where We Belong" and a new score by hit song writer Ken Hirsch and Grammy nominee Robin Lerner this timeless tale of struggle, success, friendship and love promises to be the musical blockbuster of 2012.

An Officer and a Gentleman is a triumphant story of working class heroes surviving great tests; a classic modern day love story about a working class boy and girl who must overcome their upbringing and personal weaknesses to accept life and love.

His Story, Her Romance.


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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Wrestling with face paint, bodyart and human statues; Ultimate Warrior, Sting, Jeff Hardy, Lord Tensai and more, by Greg Tingle


Human Statue Bodyart Eva Rinaldi Wrestling Jeff Hardy Hulk Hogan Face Painting Sydney Australian Sports Entertainment

Pro wrestling is different things to different people, but it's widely accepted as one of the most popular forms of entertainment - especially for men and kids.

Every week millions of fans tune into television to watch promotions like the famous WWE and Impact Wrestling.

Pro wrasling may be as American as apple pie, but Australia is one of the world's biggest non U.S fan bases, and we back it up with impressive PPV buy rates via Foxtel as well as weekly top 10 number crunching for programs such as RAW and SmackDown!

There are many elements that make the pseudo sport exciting. The spectacular moves, the amazing bodies, the ring entrances, the storylines, the costumes and face paint. Say what - face paint! Yes, even most casual fans would have heard of the man they call Sting (currently with Impact Wrestling, but featured on the WWE website), Jeff Hardy, The Ultimate Warrior, and let's also include the recently renamed WWE super heel - villain, Lord Tensai (tattoos and bodyart galore). It also appears that current WWE champion Sheamus aka 'The Great White', uses a little white paint or some other substance on his chest area (you need to look closely, but check out the WrestleMania 28 footage and judge for yourself).

We think that Australian pro wrestlers might soon more readily adopt face painting as another way to help stand out from the pack.

Famous Pro Wrestling Stars With Face Paint...


The Man Called Sting. Icon or not, he has an impressive pro wrestling body of work and knows how to work the crowd.

He has the 'It Factor' and is almost as famous for his face paint, as he is his matches with fellow legend Ric Flair.

His red version of the paint during his time in the NWO Wolfpac was something to behold.

He even had previous face paint along the lines of Ultimate Warrior styling when he still had blond hair and more recently at Impact Wrestling with Joker type face paint. No wonder WWE seem to be making a play to sign Sting, or at least to have him officially inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

The different changes have lent him to using his face paint as both intimidation and character enhancement.

Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal)

Considered by many as one of the greatest tag teams of all time, if not the greatest, The Road Warriors both had simple but awesome face paint.

Hawk and Animal had their Mad Max-inspired gimmick down to a science, spiked shoulder pads and all.

This face paint seems to be a combination of character inspiration and intimidation.

RIP Hawk. Ah, what a rush!

Jeff Hardy

Jeff Hardy aka 'The Charismatic Inigima' might just be the king of the face paint in professional wrestling.

His use of face paint is pure character enhancement, but nobody has ever done it better.

He changes it frequently, and usually it comes up looking amazing. Most hardcore fans will tell you that Hardy's face paint has been better and more creative in Impact Wrestling than in the WWE. Maybe Hardy has more control in his current promotion, which is also a scary thing. Great paint, and well done on cleaning up your act Jeff, if we should believe the press.

The Ultimate Warrior

The Ultimate Warrior had some of the coolest face paint of all time.

Some have noted a dash of Batman themes in the mix.

Add the paint to the interviews, chiseled body and unique and crazy ring style, and this guy was one of a kind wacko (and successful). Will Triple H bring back the Warrior? Stranger things have happened, and Triple H has hinted via the WWE website and leaked elsewhere that he would be interested in getting a 1-2-3 over Warrior, so stay tuned.


I can remember it like yesterday "I'm Axe and "I'm Smash" and we're going to kick your stinking teeth in". The them went something like "Here comes the Ax and here comes the Smasher. The Demolition is coming to get ya". Red, black and silver have never looked so good (or scary).

Like The Road Warriors, Demolition also employed a Mad Max-inspired theme in their gimmick.

Demolition seemed to use their paint as intimidation and character enhancement.

The KISS Demon

The KISS Demon was created with a licensing agreement with KISS the band. Supposedly the beginning of a stable that was to include wrestlers modelled after each of the KISS band members. Only The Demon came to pass, and it didn't last. Another WCW idea that went south. I would have trusted my marketing and promotion with KISS top brass Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley more than with the then WCW marketing department. How about you KISS Army fans?

The Powers of Pain (The Warlord and The Barbarian)

The Powers of Pain was a team that consisted of the Warlord and The Barbarian. Managed by Mr. Fuji, who for a few years was one of best managers in my estimation. Their face paint was fairly generic but nevertheless intimidating.

After the team split up, they both stepped away from using facepaint and each gained a new manager—Warlord being paired up with Slick and Barbarian joining Bobby Heenan.

The Missing Link

The Missing Link was a character not so unlike to that of George 'The Animal' Steele and Madog Vachon - a crazy man that needed a handler to bring him to the ring and keep him under control.

He would repeatedly smash his own head into turnbuckles during matches and use his head as a weapon (but in reality his forearm appeared to take most of the blow). Kayfabe!

His face paint seemed to be geared more towards furthering his character.

'Dewey' Robertson passed away in August 2007. RIP.

Yoshi Tatsu

Yoshi wrestled in WWE for some time before debuting the above look.

During a feud with Tyson Kidd, where he was written off of television for a few weeks, Yoshi debuted this look when he returned citing it as a tribute to The Great Muta and his Japanese heritage. You have to long his ring entrance music and video, but his win - loss record is not on par with the rest of his act. Maybe he would have had more impact 10 years ago. Sadly we will never know. Tipped to enter a feud with Lord Tensai at some point, judging by Twitter, or might soon end up being shown the door, thanks to new WWE talent coming in. We like your work Yoshi and hope things pick up for you whatever happens.

Kamala The Ugandan Giant

The Ugandan Giant wrestled mainly in the 80's and 90's and his gimmick was that of a head hunter. Slap that huge belly. Recently told some dirt sheets that he wasn't happy with his paydays and guys like Hogan were making millions. Kamala, you were never Hogan (but we get your point).


Was a very good wrestler, especially by old WCW standards.

He has mainly competed in smaller organizations and wrestled in WCW for awhile. Face paint was simple, but effective.

Bull Nakano

Competed in Japan for most of her career. Many fans from North America know Nakano from feuding with Alundra Blayze / Madusa in WWE and WCW.

Her face paint is fairly understated most of the time save for the crack like streaks down her face.

Nakano is understood to have given professional golfing a swing!

Papa Shango

The man that would go on to become Kama and The Godfather. A good gimmick (geared to kids).

His voodoo gimmick of causing wrestlers to vomit and ooze oily looking stuff out of their heads was only enhanced by his skull inspired face paint.

The Great Kabuki

The man credited with being the first to blow 'Asian Mist' into his opponent's face has pretty cool face paint. Almost looks like he was on the receiving end of the Asian Mist himself.

He held a series of retirement matches in 1998 and was always a very solid worker.

The Great Muta

The Great Muta has had many different styles of face paint throughout the years.

Mostly known in North America for his stints in WCW and short time in WWE, Muta has always been a top wrestler wherever he has competed.

Changed over to wearing a mask since shaving his head. Check out Muta VS Hogan which took place in Japan about 15 years ago. Classic.


The whole gimmick of Hakushi 'tatooing' his face and body with Kanji characters was very cool. Very good worker.


Dustin Rhodes eccentric character has one of the coolest paint jobs ever. You have to love the Hollywood theme and intro, and how about the trademark promo "You will always remember the name... GOLDUST".


The Samoan Bulldozer was awesome. Umaga's face paint appeared to be an extension of his tribal tattoo art that he had across the rest of his body.

Umaga used his face paint to enhance his character and as a source of intimidation to his opponents with it resembling war paint of certain tribes.

Sadly, Eddie Fatu passed away in 2009. RIP.

Damien 666

While the colours and styles of Damien 666's paint changed throughout the years, the number 666 has always emblazoned his forehead.

Wrestling for most of his career in Mexico, Damien uses his paint as a character enhancer as well as for intimidation purposes.

The Bogeyman

If any gimmick was perfect to have face paint associated with it, the Boogeyman is it. He made a few alterations to it throughout his WWE career, but all consisted of a blood red backdrop on to which he superimposed other weird things.

His apparent eating of worms added additional intimidation factor to the whole gimmick.


Lord Tensai, a major heel (villain) in the WWE has heavy face and body tattoos and body piercings, most if not all of which are legit. A former name he wrestled under was 'Prince Albert' (look it up and draw your own conclusions). A tough and legit SOB with loads of talent. Give the hardcore fans more time and they should come around and back him up more in current WWE storylines.

So wrestling and face paint fans. There you have it.

Got a wrestling match or fancy dress party coming up? Why not contact face painting and costume specialists, Human Statue Bodyart, for more details about how you can bring your pro wrestler to life. Masks and other costumes and accessories are also available.

Thank you to the extremely talented pro wrestlers who keep entertaining the fans each week, and Sting, Jeff Hardy and friends... please keep wowing us with your artistic creations.

That's it for the wrestling and face painting unmasked news today, but stay turned for developments as the countdown towards AWF 'Australia VS The World' and WWE 'Over The Limit' continues.

*The writer is the business manager of Human Statue Bodyart, Eva Rinaldi Photography and the director of Media Man and Australian Sports Entertainment.


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Friday, May 4, 2012

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia: Day 5 - 4th May 2012


Events Fashion Celebrities Mercedes-Benz Sydney

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia today officially enjoyed day 5 - its final day in Sydney, Australia.



Australian based fashion label nANA JUDY was established in 2006 starting a new era in men’s fashion. Due to a unique vision & style the label was immediately stocked in leading boutiques nationwide in its first season. nANA jUDY is now also positioned in selected international stores and premiere department store David Jones.

nANA jUDY designs seasonal ready to wear collections, each range including classic styling emphasising fit, quality & design. What sets this label apart is its focus on trend forward pieces with detailed design elements. nANA jUDY prides itself with presenting these on trend collections across style categories including jackets, shirting, printed & conceptual pieces together with denim . Over the seasons each collection evolves taking on a new story inspired by pop culture, vintage reminiscence, art and the underground scene.

nANA jUDY’s continued runway presence at Australian Fashion Week and reputation for exclusive parties, has lead to a strong cult following of the label. This media presence alongside editorials in street & gloss magazines around the world make nANA jUDY a key brand in the men’s fashion market. (Credit: MBFWA)

New Generation 2 - Susan Rep

Susan Rep, Melbourne’s designer, is proud to announce the launch of her line. The collection is designed around women’s lifestyle that perfectly translates easily from day to night – from lounging around home to the beach to a night out.

Sourcing exquisite, quality and breathable fabrics from around the globe, Susan’s desire is to create pieces of elegance with simple silhouettes that compliment women’s shape and form.

Australian designed and manufactured with signature touches and embellishments that make the pieces exclusive to Susan Rep designs.

Susan Rep has worked in the fashion industry for over a decade. After completing her studies at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Susan began her career as a grade/marker maker/designer. During her time in the industry, she has worked with brands such as Mossimo, Osh Kosh, Scanlan & Theodore, Peter Alexander and Anthea Crawford.

The desire for nice pajamas was the start of her inspiration. Never quite finding what she wanted, with her experience in the demanding fashion industry, Rep set out to create something truly unique and original.

Susan Rep is a Lifestyle label of being ever modern, classic and beautiful with quality. (Credit: MBFWA)

Style Hong Kong...


Born and raised in Hong Kong, DoDo Leung started her career as a fashion designer for ladies’ high fashion and evening wear, with specialization in unique cutting & embroidery over 15 years. In 2009 Mondovi® debuted as DoDo Leung’s designer label for high-end lingerie couture collection for today’s modern women. Leung’s design principle behind Mondovi is to show the ravishing feminine physique with luxurious lingerie features as finest gown.

The first collection of Mondovi®, “Secret Garden,” was showcased at the 2009 World Boutique Hong Kong, Australia’s “Fashion Exposed & Preview” in Sydney and Taiwan’s Taipei IN Style. The second and third collection “Fairies Whisper” and “M Wild” are now being introduced in Hong Kong and Taiwan, with online purchasing as a new option so to better promote the brand globally and to offer women around the world the Mondovi way of elegant inner beauty, and rediscovering sexy feeling in deeply. (Credit: MBFWA)


Hei Lau is living and working out of her home country, Hong Kong. She was born in 1982 in Hong Kong, the small and bustling metropolitan city in Asia where she was raised and studied fashion.

After graduating and obtaining her degree from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2004, she started designing her own ladies wear collection under the label TRÈSHEI, owned and run by the prestigious Hong Kong retail group ‘TWIST’.

Five years after her career in TRÈSHEI, she left the group and introduced her own label HEI LAU in June of 2009, to further pursue her design philosophy and dream. Since then, she showcases her S/S and F/W collections in Paris, France every year, introducing HEI LAU to the international buyers. (Credit: MBFWA)


Gifted with immense emotion and imagination, Chailie Ho dedicates herself to portraying the beauty of love and feminine tenderness in her designs.

Having graduated from the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in womenswear, Chailie further sharpened her potential by achieving a postgraduate certificate in innovative pattern cutting in 2007. Followed by working with Hussein Chalayan, Clements Ribeiro, and a number of acclaimed designers, she debuted her first collection at age 27 with the belief that clothing can accentuate a woman's delicate beauty.


Harrison Wong was born in Hong Kong, and at the age of 20, joined Hong Kong fashion doyen Walter Ma as a designer, spending a total 6 years at the label, during which he burst into the public eye by winning the Hong Kong Young Designer’s Contest during Hong Kong Fashion Week in 1996. That year, he also won a special award for Asian Fashion at the Grand Prix Contest, held by the Association of Total Fashion in Japan.

He then studied in London, where he obtained his Masters degree with distinction from the London College of Fashion. Upon graduating, he launched his first label, a high-end boutique line dubbed the final collection. He was later tapped by a Hong Kong based retail fashion chain as their design director, a position which Wong left last year to focus on developing his own Harrison Wong enterprise, as well as a consultant for Chinese fashion chains. (Credit: MBFWA)


Akira Isogawa's art puts heads in the clouds...

Akira Isogawa has returned to Fashion Week Australia's lineup with a show-stopper.

Launching his simple yet beautiful show at fashion week's Sydney headquarters today was a lone, svelte model in a stunning ivory gown.

Dripping onto the white runway, the gown captivated onlookers with beading that ran from the thighs, across the torso and over wide shoulder straps.

Another model, led by Isogawa to a twin runway, showcased the Kyoto-born designer's contemporary take on traditional Japanese prints in a silk kimono.

Photographers crowded around as one platform was dedicated to bright, bold ensembles in scarlet, royal blue, aquamarine, fuchsia, yellow and florals.

Loose kimonos and dresses featuring birds and flowers were adorned with beaded brooches, and paired with matching platform heels and headpieces.

In contrast, the ivory gowns on the neighbouring platform were enough to make any bride-to-be swoon.

As delicate as origami, the knee- and floor-length gowns featured embroidered flowers, some of which were traced in gold thread or with subtle silver beading in the centres.

Others were covered in fabric blossoms, while ruffles crawled across decolletages and faces were clouded by artistic headwear.

Isogawa said he had wanted to created heavenly pieces with paradise in mind.

The collection expressed his vision of purity, with soft, silky, comfortable designs.

The theatrical mood was made complete by a soundtrack of twittering birds and silk petals scattered across the black-carpeted floor. (AAP)


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