Billy Thorpe, the Australian rock’n’roll trailblazer whose ‘70s blues-rock outfit The Aztecs was the toughest of them all, sadly passed away in 2007, at the age of 60. But the ARIA Hall of Famer’s legend lives on through the annual scholarship which bears his name, entries for which are now open.

With the Billy Thorpe Scholarship entering its 11th year, the award can kick-start a rising artist’s career with a cash injection of $10,000 to record with an established producer. The winner also receives career-planning advice from Chugg Entertainment, whose founder Michael Chugg was a close friend and manager of Thorpe.

The submissions process opens today for emerging musicians or bands, who have until Nov. 12 to submit their works to the judging panel. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and reside in Queensland. Check the dedicated scholarship microsite for details on applying and eligibility.

The 2019 Billy Thorpe Scholarship is funded by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and administered by QMusic and was designed to help “develop the future of rock ‘n’ roll.”

billy thorpe
ARIA Hall of Famer Billy Thorpe

Finalists will be announced next February and the winner announced on March 19 at the 2019 Queensland Music Awards, which will return to the Royal International Convention Centre at Brisbane Showgrounds, organisers also announced today.

Songwriters keen for a chance at glory on the night have until Nov. 12 to enter their songs in a wide range of self-nominating categories, which include pop, rock, electronic/dance, country and video. Also during the show, the Export Achievement Award and Grant McLennan Lifetime Achievement Award winners will be feted, and the publicly-voted Live Music Festival of the Year and Live Music Venue of the Year (Metro & Regional) will return in 2019, continuing the awards’ aim to “recognise a diverse group of contributors to Queensland music,” according to QMusic.

“The very strong showing from regional entrants at the 2018 QMAs shows that there is diverse talent bubbling up from every corner of our great state, and we can’t wait to see who rises to the surface after the 2019 nomination process,” said QMusic CEO, Joel Edmondson.

Amy Shark dominated this year’s event, taking out five trophies, while Jeremy Neale collected the prestigious song of the year honour and Greta Stanley took out the Billy Thorpe Scholarship.

To enter a song, visit the Queensland Music Awards website at www.queenslandmusicawards.com.au.