The prestigious award was presented to Archie by journalist Stan Grant at the 2017 APRA Music Awards on Monday 3 April at the International Convention Centre Grand Ballroom in Sydney. A.B. Original, Paul Kelly and Dan Sultan performed a rousing tribute to Archie with a version of Took the Children Away.
Archie Roach writes songs from his soul, in the true sense of the word. One of Australia’s most respected, beloved and admired artists, Archie first came to national attention with the release of his debut album Charcoal Lane in 1990. The album launched his career, with the award winning song Took The Children Away telling the heartbreaking story of the Stolen Generations and his own experience of being forcibly removed from his family.
Since then, Archie has released 10 albums, including several with life partner Ruby Hunter. His work has been recognised locally and internationally, and he’s won five ARIA Awards, seven Deadlys, three National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMA) and was inducted into the NIMA Hall of Fame in 2013. Archie was also the first songwriter to receive a Human Rights Achievement Award (for Took The Children Away in 1992), and has toured with some of the world’s most iconic artists, including Bob Dylan, Billy Bragg, Paul Simon, Joan Armatrading, Suzanne Vega, Patti Smith and the late Leonard Cohen.
Despite the loss of his musical soulmate Ruby Hunter in 2010 and major health problems, Archie Roach continues to record and perform, taking strength and inspiration from his music. He tells the stories of his people – and all people - through powerful music that inspires, uplifts and unites.
Previous recipients of the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music include Paul Kelly, Jimmy Little, Slim Dusty, The Seekers, Fifa Riccobono, Lindy Morrison and 2016 recipients, Cold Chisel.