Kiwi music legend Jenny Morris will be inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame at the 2018 APRA Silver Scroll Awards.
The NZ Music Hall of Fame recognises the significant contribution Jenny has made to music on both sides of the Tasman, not only as an artist with some of Australasia’s most memorable hits, but also in her work and dedication behind the scenes.
Born in Tokoroa, raised in Hamilton, Jenny cut her musical teeth in the all-female band Wide Mouth Frogs. She then rose to prominence in the late 1970s as the lead singer of the new wave/pop act The Crocodiles, alongside the unforgettable Bruno Lawrence and enigmatic Fane Flaws.
The Crocodile’s debut album Tears, released in 1980, was a pop classic, which delivered gems such as ‘New Wave Goodbye’ and ‘Whatcha Gonna Do’. But it was the album’s title track ‘Tears’, with Jenny’s distinctive vocals and effortlessly cool style, which won over the hearts of New Zealanders.
The band released another album, Looking At Ourselves, in 1980, and won two NZ Music Awards for ‘Most Promising Group’ and ‘Top Group’. But a year later they went their separate ways, and Jenny moved to Australia. She started a new trio, QED, before establishing her solo career.
What followed was an impeccable solo career that saw Jenny become the face of 1980s Aussie-Kiwi pop. With a string of hit singles and albums, she cemented her place as one of the southern hemisphere’s most well respected singers and songwriters.
She was a finalist for ‘Most Promising Vocalist’ and ‘Top Female Vocalist’ at the NZ Music Awards in 1981, with her debut solo single – the theme song for classic Australian movie Puberty Blues – helping to build her profile. She also gained recognition recording and touring with INXS as a backing singer in the mid-80s.
But Jenny’s reign began in 1987 with the release of her debut record Body and Soul. A superbly crafted 11 track album, which showcased a powerful voice and a sharp pop/rock prowess.
It included the title track ‘Body and Soul’ and the Neil Finn-penned ‘You I Know’, and reached Platinum status, charting in both New Zealand and Australia. It also earned Jenny the award for ‘Best Female Artist’ at the 1987 ARIAs.
It paved the way for Jenny’s second album, 1989’s Shiver, produced by Andrew Farris (INXS). The record delivered more single success with ‘Saved Me’, ‘She’s Got To Be Loved’ and ‘Street of Love’, and reached #2 in the Australian charts; #6 in New Zealand. It remained in the charts for an astounding 39 weeks in Australia and 25 weeks in New Zealand. It was also certified Double Platinum and won Jenny her second ARIA Award for ‘Best Female Artist’.
Jenny’s success down under took her on the road internationally and in 1990 she opened for Prince in Europe, before returning to the studio to record her third album Honeychild released in 1991. It reached #4 in the Australian chart and included the smash hit ‘Break In The Weather’.The albums Salvation Jane, Hit and Myth, and Clear Blue In Stormy Skies followed, cementing Jenny as one of Australasia’s most prolific female songwriters.
But it wasn’t only her hits that defined her career in music. A staunch supporter of charity, Jenny has been instrumental in the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy ‘Art of Music’ events, while in 2009 she performed for Australian troops in Afghanistan, and she was also a World Vision ambassador in Kenya.
In 2013, Jenny became the first female chair of APRA AMCOS - a position she still holds, representing songwriters across Australasia and advocating on their behalf.
Jenny revealed four years ago that she had been diagnosed with the life-changing medical condition spasmodic dysphonia, which affected her voice. And after a performance at Sydney’s Taronga Park Zoo in 2015, she announced that it would sadly be her last, marking the end of her singing career. It hasn’t stopped her from throwing herself into her charitable work and collaborative projects however, nor dimmed her love of music.
Last year, Jenny was honoured by the Australian music industry with an Excellence in the Community Award for her achievements in music and as a fundraiser, and it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to celebrate the incredible legacy she also has in New Zealand.
“It’s an extraordinary privilege to be able to celebrate Jenny’s trailblazing career as a songwriter, advocate and champion” says head of APRA AMCOS NZ Anthony Healey. “Her musical impact has been long lasting and her work, using music as a powerful vehicle for good is just inspirational”.
The New Zealand Music Hall of Fame was created by APRA AMCOS and Recorded Music NZ in 2007, and has paid tribute to many iconic and groundbreaking Kiwi artists and acts, from Jordan Luck, The Topp Twins and Shihad, to Hello Sailor, Herbs and Moana Maniapoto.
Jenny Morris will be inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame at the APRA Silver Scroll Awards at Spark Arena in Auckland on Thursday 4 October 2018.
The other awards presented on the night are:
- APRA Silver Scroll Award
- APRA Maioha Award, celebrating exceptional waiata featuring te reo Māori
- SOUNZ Contemporary Award, celebrating excellence in contemporary composition
- APRA Best Original Music in a Feature Film Award
- APRA Best Original Music in a Series Award
Radio New Zealand will broadcast and live video stream the APRA Silver Scroll Awards ceremony on RNZ National, and online at www.rnz.co.nz/music.<... awards are proudly supported by Hallertau and Soho Wines.
The New Zealand Music Hall of Fame was created by APRA AMCOS and Recorded Music NZ in 2007, and has so far paid tribute to Jordan Luck, Johnny Devlin, The Topp Twins, Straitjacket Fits, Hirini Melbourne & Richard Nunns, Ray Columbus & The Invaders, The Fourmyula, Shihad, Hello Sailor, Dragon, Herbs, Toy Love, Dave Dobbyn, Shona Laing, Douglas Lilburn, Supergroove, Bill Sevesi, The Exponents, Moana Maniapoto, Bic Runga, Sharon O’Neill and The Clean.
See www.musichall.co.nz for details.
For any media enquiries including interview and image requests, please contact:
Lauren Clough | MaidenNZ | [email protected] | + 64 21 223 6788