Tones And I, Hilltop Hoods and KIAN win big at 2020 APRA Music Awards

Dean Lewis, John Butler Trio and Sia also won in their respective categories

Tones And I, KIAN and Hilltop Hoods have each walked away with two awards at last night’s Virtual APRA Music Awards.

Winning the coveted top prize, APRA Song of the Year, singer/songwriter Tones And I was recognised for her global smash ‘Dance Monkey’. Tones And I – aka Toni Watson – also won the Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year award.

In her acceptance speech after winning Song of the Year, Watson said, “This song has helped build my career and I want to say thank you for the recognition.”


Other artists who walked away with two awards included hip hop duo Hilltop Hoods, winning Songwriter of the Year and Most Performed Urban Work for ‘Leave Me Lonely’, and 17-year-old singer/songwriter KIAN and collaborator Jerome Farah who won the Most Performed Australian Work and Most Performed Alternative Work awards for their collaboration ‘Waiting’.

Find a full list of awards winners below.

Despite technical difficulties causing a 25-minute delay to the festivities, the 2020 Virtual APRA Music Awards recognised the talents and outstanding achievements of some of the country’s best songwriters. Hosted by rapper and comedy writer Briggs, this year’s awards took place from a studio setting in lieu of the usual live event due to gathering restrictions implemented after the onset of coronavirus.

The ceremony was peppered with live performances by other nominated performers each performing a song written by Song of the Year finalists.

Kira Puru and Mo’Ju teamed up to perform Thelma Plum’s ‘Better In Blak’, while from New York City, The Dawn of MAY gave a haunting rendition of Tones And I’s Song of the Year winner ‘Dance Monkey’. John Butler and Mama Kin performed Guy Sebastian’s ‘Choir’.

Music lovers who missed out on last night’s ceremony can rewatch the virtual gala here until Wednesday June 24.


Winners of the 2020 Virtual APRA Music Awards are:

Peer-voted APRA Song Of The Year
Tones And I, ‘Dance Monkey’

Songwriter of the Year
Hilltop Hoods

Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year
Tones And I aka Toni Watson

Most Performed Australian Work
KIAN, ‘Waiting’

Most Performed Alternative Work
KIAN, ‘Waiting’

Most Performed Blues & Roots Work
John Butler Trio, ‘Just Call’

Most Performed Country Work
Morgan Evans, ‘Young Again’

Most Performed Dance Work
Hayden James feat. Running Touch, ‘Better Together’

Most Performed Pop Work
Dean Lewis, ‘7 Minutes’

Most Performed Rock Work
Jimmy Barnes ft Troy Cassar-Daley, ‘Shutting Down Our Town

Most Performed Urban Work
Hilltop Hoods, ‘Leave Me Lonely’

Most Performed Australian Work Overseas
Sia, ‘Cheap Thrills’

Most Performed International Work
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, ‘Shallow’

Licensee of the Year
Meredith Music Festival