29 January 18
Russell has received the award “For significant service to the performing arts as a musician, singer, songwriter and entertainer, and as a supporter of charitable organisations”.
Russell, who turned 70 this year, has had a 50 year career in the Australian music industry. Since 2012, Russell has recorded his three most successful albums ‘Sharkmouth’ (2012), ‘Van Diemens Land’ (2014) and ‘Red Dirt Red Heart’ (2015).
Russell recently celebrated 50 years since his first hit single. His band Somebody’s Image reached no 15 on the Australian chart with ‘Hush’ in November 1967.
In 1969 Russell recorded ‘The Real Thing’, written by Johnny Young and produced by Ian Meldrum. To this day it is his signature song.
‘The Real Thing started a chart run for Russell. He had another number one with ‘Part Three Into Paper Walls’ followed by the hits ‘Rachel’, ‘Mr America’, ‘Sweet Sweet Love’, ‘Live With Friends’ and ‘Wings of the Eagle’.
In 2010 Russell had the idea to tell create an Australian blues album to tell the story of historic Australian characters. The result, ‘Sharkmouth’ in 2012 became his most successful album ever.
‘Sharkmouth’ was the first in the trilogy of albums.
‘Sharkmouth’ earned Russell his first ARIA Award in 2013 for Best Blues and Roots Album. In 2016 he won another ARIA for Best Blues and Roots Album for ‘Red Dirt Red Heart’.
The Order of Australia was established in 1975 by Queen Elizabeth II and countersigned by Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.