Teased hair and rockstar flair defined a generation. But no-one pulled off the quintessentially 80’s look like Sharon O’Neill, who carved out a colourful and very successful musical career.
And now she can add the Legacy Award to her many accolades, with Sharon being inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame and presented with the Legacy Award at the 2017 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.
The Nelson-born songstress is no stranger to music awards and recognition. Throughout her career, she’s won Top Female Vocalist at the New Zealand Music Awards three times (1978, 1979, 1980) and is the only artist in awards history to have won a Tui in 3 consecutive years.
Her debut album also picked up awards for Best Producer and Best Engineer, and the album’s lead track won the 1979 APRA Silver Scroll. Her ground-breaking self-titled second album won Album of the Year in 1980, and in 1983, Sharon also won Best Soundtrack for Smash Palace.
Her 1983 song ‘Maxine’ won the hearts and minds of music lovers here and in Australia alike. It was the second single from her fourth album Foreign Affairs and chronicles the life of a Kings Cross prostitute. Such is the iconic nature of this song and video, the costume worn by the actress in the video was featured in the landmark music exhibition Volume: Making Music in Aotearoa (2016) at Auckland Museum.
Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan says Sharon O’Neill’s seminal style and powerful pop-rock albums are a staple of both New Zealand and Australia’s musical legacy.
“Sharon’s songs are an iconic part of an era when New Zealand music really started to come of age. From her early days as a folk singer to sweeping the charts and winning awards both here and in Australia – Sharon blazed a trail for women in rock, and it’s only right we take the time to celebrate her career and the impact she had on Kiwi music.”
Sharon started her career as a folk artist in Nelson before briefly joining Christchurch rock band Chapta in 1972. A move to Wellington saw her work as a session vocalist at the legendary EMI Studios in Lower Hutt.
However, it was her 1978 performance of her song “Luck’s On Your Table” on the New Zealand TV show "The Entertainers" which caught the ears of the newly-established local office of CBS Records. CBS promptly made Sharon their first local signing, and the track became the lead single off her debut album This Heart This Song (1979).
Her second album Sharon O'Neill (1980) was a breakout success reaching #3 on The Official New Zealand Music Charts and featuring the hits “Words” and “Asian Paradise”. She followed this in quick succession with the album Maybe (1981) and the soundtrack to Roger Donaldson’s iconic film Smash Palace (1982).
However, it was Sharon’s fourth studio album Foreign Affairs (1983) which marked her out as a major star on both sides of the Tasman. Recorded in Los Angeles, the album featured classics such as “Maxine”, “Losing You” and “Danger”.
With striking videos, numerous TV appearances and a national tour of Australia supporting Boz Scaggs (with 2013 Inductee Dave Dobbyn playing guitar in her band), Sharon won over the Aussies. At the Australian Countdown Awards, Sharon won Best Female Performance in a Video twice (1984 & 1985) and Most Popular Female Performer four times (1980, 1981, 1983 and 1984). She was also a two-time ARIA Awards nominee for Best Female Artist.
Sharon next returned in 1987 with her fifth album Danced In The Fire, followed by 1990’s Edge of Winter. In the interim, Sharon and her partner Alan Mansfield (a 2011 Inductee with Dragon) co-wrote the 1989 hit single “Young Years” for Dragon. The 90’s also saw Sharon co-write and provide vocals for the late British superstar Robert Palmer, with Sharon and Alan co-writing Palmer’s final studio single, “True Love” (1999).
In 2001 Sharon returned to New Zealand to join When The Cat’s Away on their Live In Paradise tour, with the subsequent live recording going Top Ten and platinum. More recently, The Church Tour in September 2016 saw Sharon tour the country with fellow legends Debbie Harwood, Hammond Gamble and 2013 Inductee Shona Laing. Sharon continues to entertain fans to this day with two sold out shows in Nelson last month.
Sharon’s contribution to New Zealand music will be acknowledged 16 November at the 2017 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.
The Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards will be broadcast live on Three on November 16th from 8.30pm. Whether you’re on the red carpet or your couch at home, you’ll be able to watch some of New Zealand’s finest musical talent at the Music Awards.
Tickets $25 general admission + booking fee, available from Ticketmaster.
Following the outstanding success of last years inaugural event, the NZ Music Managers Forum are proud to present the return of the Orientation Bookers Speed Networking Session. The event will be held in Auckland on Wednesday 15 November.
APRA will honour the contribution The Clean have made to music in Aotearoa when Hamish Kilgour, David Kilgour, Robert Scott, and Peter Gutteridge are inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame at the 2017 APRA Silver Scroll Awards.
The second New Zealand Music Producer Series (NZMPS) is returning to Auckland in October with two internationally renowned producers set to pass on their knowledge to New Zealand recording industry professionals.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
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Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
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Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
To celebrate the recent announcement of their debut album Idiot Proverbs, set for release on Friday 12 January, Tiny Little Houses have revealed both the music video for their single ‘Entitled Generation’ and their highly anticipated Australian album tour for February and March 2018.