Pop icons Olivia Newton-John and Kylie Minogue, Universal Music Australia Classics and Jazz General Manager Cyrus Meher-Homji, Bakehouse Studios and SLAM co-founders Helen Marcou and Quincy McLean, and veteran vocal group Human Nature were among the music industry high-fliers recognised in the Australia Day Honours list, published on the weekend.
Universal Music Group chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge paid tribute to Meher-Homji, who was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the performing arts, particularly through music, “There are few people in Australia, or the world for that matter, who have done as much as Cyrus to advance jazz and classical music and bring these essential and important art forms to even greater audiences,” comments Grainge in a statement. “On behalf of all your colleagues at Universal Music, our heartfelt congratulations.”
Meher-Homji joined Universal Music Group in 1998, as marketing manager, PolyGram Classics & Jazz, and has served in his current post since 2011. In that time, the Classics & Jazz department has “flourished,” according to UMA, and is now active in presenting live concerts, with UMA’s first festival set to take place in September 2019.
“I have known Cyrus for most of my career and if anyone is deserving of this incredible accolade it is Cyrus,” comments George Ash, President of Universal Music Asia-Pacific, in a statement.
“He is a tireless champion for the arts, for artists and for the development of culture via the creative process that is music. On behalf of all of us at Universal Music Australia and our wider family I want to express our heartfelt congratulations to Cyrus on this very special recognition of his immense contribution to the people of Australia. It is an absolute honour for us all to be part of your life, Cyrus.”
Also getting the nod this year is Olivia Newton-John, the “Physical” singer, Grease star and multiple Grammy winner, who is feted with the Companion of the Order of Australia for her long career as a performer, and her eminent service to community health, particularly for people living with cancer. In a video message posted to Facebook, Newton-John said she was “excited, delighted and honoured” to receive her accolade.
Fellow ARIA Hall of Fame inductee and cancer survivor Kylie Minogue was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for her service to the performing arts.
Human Nature, the foursome of brothers Andrew and Mike Tierney and childhood friends Toby Allen and Phil Burton, have called the Las Vegas Strip their home for the past decade. On Australia Day, they shimmied their way to the Medal of the Order of Australia for their services to music. “We are the proudest Aussies on the planet,” they wrote in a message posted on social media.
“We are beyond humbled to be awarded this honour by the government and our country. We are guys from south western…
Also on the day, Marcou and McLean were awarded an Order of Australia, while classical music composer Elena Kats-Chernin (Officer of the Order of Australia), music retail veteran Barry Bull (OAM), and Tiddas singer Lou Bennett (Member of the Order of Australia) were recognised for their fine work. With a debut album expected out later this year and a growing collection of industry awards to his name, rising indigenous hip-hop artist Baker Boy was named Young Australian Of The Year.