Some of Australia’s biggest female artists came together last night for a powerful rendition of Helen Reddy’s ‘I Am Woman‘. The performance, which took place at the 2020 Aria Awards, saw musical genres and generations collide, with industry legends such as Marcia Hines, Kate Ceberano and Christine Anu singing alongside relative newcomers Amy Shark, Tones & I and Montaigne. Pop stalwarts Delta Goodrem and Jessica Mauboy were also amongst the stars who took part.
Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard introduced the all-star performance, speaking about her memories of Reddy’s work and paying tribute to the iconic song, which provided an anthem for the women’s liberation movement during the early 1970s.
Speaking of the first time she heard the song as a 12-year-old, Gillard recalled, “I was carried away by her power and potential as she sang, ‘You can bend but never break me, because it only serves to make me more determined to achieve my final goal’.”
Reddy was immortalised last year in I Am Woman, the biopic based on her life. Her music informed her activism, which saw her perform all over the world and generate a number of hit singles. She lost her years-long battle with dementia in September, aged 78. In the days following her passing, ‘I Am Woman’ shot back up to number two on the Australian music charts.
Goodrem, who hosted the virtual ceremony and dominated the red carpet in a glitzy J’Aton Couture gown, wrote on Instagram of the performance, “Honoured to perform this timeless anthem by Helen Reddy alongside so many incredible, talented women.” The women who performed on stage were backed by a virtual choir of 30 female singers across the country, including actress Christie Whelan Brown and singers Dami Im, Katie Noonan and Missy Higgins.