Amy Shark

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Amy Shark
Shark performing in Wodonga in 2019
Shark performing in Wodonga in 2019
Background information
Also known as
  • Amy Cushway
  • Little Sleeper
Born (1986-05-14) 14 May 1986 (age 35)
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
GenresIndie pop
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • Musician
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active2007–present
Labels
Associated acts
Websiteamyshark.com

Amy Louise Billings (born 14 May 1986), known professionally as Amy Shark, is an Australian indie pop singer-songwriter-guitarist and producer from the Gold Coast, Queensland. During 2008 to 2012, her early solo material was released and performed under the name Amy Cushway. Her 2016 single "Adore" peaked at number 3 on the ARIA Singles Chart and was also listed at number 2 on the Triple J Hottest 100, 2016. Her album Love Monster (July 2018) debuted at number 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart. Shark has won 8 ARIA Music Awards from 22 nominations, including winning Best Pop Release three times: in 2017 for her extended play, Night Thinker, 2018 for Love Monster and 2020 for "Everybody Rise".

Early life[edit]

Amy Shark was born on the Gold Coast in Queensland on 14 May 1986.[1] Her mother, Robyn, remarried and raised Shark on the Gold Coast with her stepfather David Cushway and a younger half-sibling.[1] She is of Hungarian and English descent.[2] She attended Southport State High School,[3][4] where she performed in theatre, studied film, and played guitar in an all-female punk-band.[1] She described her first group, Dorothy's Rainbow and Hansel Kissed Gretel, as "'quite thrashy', though it fell apart when its members splintered. 'I kept going, kept writing songs on my acoustic guitar'."[5][6][7] Shark entered a singing competition in 2007.[8] She subsequently performed under various names, including Amy Cushway, Amy Billings, and as Little Sleeper.[1][9]

Career[edit]

2008–2013: Amy Cushway[edit]

Amy Shark recorded and performed as Amy Cushway from 2008 to 2012.[10] She released two extended plays, I Thought of You Out Loud (2008) and Love's Not Anorexic (2009).[11] In November 2009 she described her early material, "As much as I enjoy writing intricate acoustic ballads, there's nothing better than adding thunderous beats and raw energy to your set."[11] She was living in Varsity Lakes in April 2010 and explained how, "[record companies] did not ask for demos now but just asked what her MySpace page was."[12]

Amy Cushway also released two albums Broadway Gossip (2010)[13] and It's a Happy City (2012).[14] By December 2016, she was no longer using Cushway and material under that name had been deleted from her accounts.[14] In 2007, Shark had met Shane Billings, a New Zealand-born Gold Coast resident; they married on 11 May 2013.[1] Her written material is credited to Amy Louise Billings.[10][15] The couple worked with the local National Rugby League football club, Gold Coast Titans: Shane as a financial manager and Shark as a video editor.[1][2] She left the job in November 2016.[16] Shane was also Shark's talent manager until she signed with Jaddan Comerford of UNIFIED Music Group.[17] The couple are residents of Broadbeach Waters.

2014–2017: New name and Night Thinker[edit]

By the end of 2013, the artist started using the stage name, Amy Shark, because Jaws was her favourite film.[5] In February 2014 she independently released a five-track extended play, Nelson (later removed).[16][18] She activated a new YouTube account, as Amy Shark Music, in 2014 and issued a single, "Spits on Girls", in July.[19][20]

Shark performing in Los Angeles, June 2017

Shark released her next self-produced single, "Golden Fleece", in October 2015, originally under the name, Little Sleeper.[6][9][21] Chris Singh of The AU Review.com observed, "The song, powerful and penetrating in itself, is given visuals both understated and intense as Little Sleeper stands in darkness with her guitar and is progressively drenched in multi-coloured paint."[9] It won Pop Song of the Year at the Queensland Music Awards in 2016, and Shark embarked on a nationwide tour supporting Sydney band, Tigertown in December.[22][23] She received a grant from her local council, which allowed her to work with more popular producers.[24]

In July 2016, she released her next single, "Adore", with co-production by Shark, M-Phazes and Cam Bluff,[25] in addition to a cover version of Silverchair's "Miss You Love" for Triple J's show Like a Version.[26] "Adore" received significant airplay on Triple J, leading to a bidding war between major labels, which was won by Sony Music Australia. Shark signed with Wonderlick/Sony in November 2016.[27] Two of her earlier singles, "Spits on Girls" and "Golden Fleece", were re-released by Wonderlick/Sony in 2016.[28][29] "Adore" was listed at number 2 on the Triple J Hottest 100, 2016, behind Flume's "Never Be like You".[30][31][32]

In March 2017, Shark released "Weekends" followed by another EP, Night Thinker (April), which peaked at number 2 on the ARIA Singles Chart. In April she won Artist of the Year and Song of the Year at the Gold Coast Music Awards.[33] In November she was named Apple Music's UpNext artist.[34] At the ARIA Music Awards of 2017 Shark was nominated for 6 awards and won both Best Pop Release and Breakthrough Artist for Night Thinker.[35] She performed "Adore" at the ceremony.[35] On 15 November 2017, she appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden singing "Adore", and performed it again on 13 March 2018 on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

2018–2019: Love Monster[edit]

Shark performing in Los Angeles, February 2018

In March 2018, Shark provided, "Sink In", for the film soundtrack of Love, Simon.[36] The related album, by various artists, debuted at No. 37 on the Billboard 200.[37] The following month, she performed at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony on the Gold Coast, in a duet with Archie Roach and an Indigenous youth choir for a rendition of Roach's "Let Love Rule".[38][39]

On 11 April 2018, Shark premiered a single, "I Said Hi", on Triple J before releasing it the following day.[40] It received unpaid promotion by comedians, and digital radio show hosts, Luke and Lewis using posters, megaphone and a large home-made sign hung up next to the Fox FM Melbourne station logo.[41] That promotion captured the attention of the singer-songwriter who displayed it on her own Instagram account.[42][43] "I Said Hi" peaked at number 6 on the ARIA charts.

Shark's album, Love Monster, was released on 13 July 2018[44] and it debuted at number 1 on the ARIA Charts. The album provided four additional singles, including "Mess Her Up" (March 2019). At the ARIA Music Awards of 2018, the artist won four ARIA Music Awards, with Album of the Year, Best Pop Release and Best Female Artist for Love Monster, and Producer of the Year for Dann Hume and M-Phazes work on "I Said Hi".[35] She was the most nominated artist and equal highest winner in that year.[35]

Shark promoted Love Monster during 2019 on her Regional Australia Tour. In December 2019, the Chainsmokers' single, "The Reaper", featured Shark on vocals.[45] At the ARIA Music Awards of 2019, she received four more nominations.[35]

2020–present: Cry Forever[edit]

For her latest album, Amy Shark worked with Ed Sheeran,[46] Diplo,[47] Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins,[47] and the Chainsmokers. On 16 February 2020, Shark performed at the Fire Fight Australia fund-raising relief concert in Sydney for the effects of the 2019–20 Australian bushfire season.[48] Her live performance of "I Said Hi" appeared on the related album by various artists, Artists Unite for Fire Fight: Concert for National Bushfire Relief (12 March 2020).[49] Thomas Bleach observed that she was, "euphorically telling the world that Australia says hi and thank you for all the support that has been given."[49]

On 6 March 2020, Shark announced a management deal with Redlight's Will Botwin for international markets while Shane continued to manage her for the local market.[50] On 23 October 2020, Shark released a single "C'mon" featuring blink-182 drummer Travis Barker.[51] Alexander Pan of Tone Deaf observed, "[it's] a thumping power-pop ballad that's got a considerable amount of weight behind it."[51] Two days later she performed at the 2020 NRL Grand Final at Stadium Australia, Sydney.[52] At the 2020 ARIA Music Awards, she won Best Pop Release for her single, "Everybody Rise" (June 2020)—marking the third time she'd received the award.[53] Shark performed the track live at the ceremony.[54] She also performed as part of an all-female ensemble, singing "I Am Woman", in honour of Helen Reddy (1941–2020).[55] At the ceremony, she also won the public-voted category, Best Australian Live Act for her Regional Tour during 2019.[53]

On 4 December 2020, Shark announced her second studio album, Cry Forever, which was released on 30 April 2021.[56] Shark released the single "All the Lies About Me", alongside the album's announcement and additionally announced a national headline tour for mid-2021.[56] Shark revealed the album's track listing in an interview with Rolling Stone Australiaon the same day.[57]

On 19 March 2021, Shark appeared on Triple J's Like a Version segment, performing a cover of Fall Out Boy's "Sugar, We're Going Down" alongside a performance of her original track "Baby Steps" (marking her debut live performance of the song).[58]

Political views[edit]

In November 2020, Shark criticised the Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, for a perceived failure to open Queensland's borders to New South Wales and Victoria after both states recorded no new cases of COVID-19 for multiple weeks. Shark called on her to "open the borders now" and stated that Palaszczuk was "playing with emotions".[59][60]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with release date, label, selected chart positions and certifications shown
Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
AUS
[61]
NZ
[62]
SWI
[63]
US
Heat.

[64]
Broadway Gossip
(by Amy Cushway, discontinued)
  • Released: 2010
It's a Happy City
(by Amy Cushway, discontinued)
  • Released: 2012
Love Monster
  • Released: 13 July 2018
  • Label: Wonderlick, Sony (LICK021)
  • Format: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
1 7 34 2
Cry Forever
  • Released: 30 April 2021[66]
  • Label: Wonderlick, Sony (LICK041)
  • Format: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
1
[67]
15
[68]
67

Extended plays[edit]

List of EPs, with release date, label, and selected chart positions shown
Title Details Peak chart positions
AUS
[61]
NZ
Heat.

[69]
US
Heat.

[64]
I Thought of You Out Loud
(by Amy Cushway, discontinued)
  • Released: 2008
Love's Not Anorexic
(by Amy Cushway, discontinued)
  • Released: 2009
Nelson
(discontinued)
  • Released: February 2014
Night Thinker
  • Released: 21 April 2017
  • Label: Wonderlick, Sony (LICK019)
  • Format: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
2 1 8

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

List of singles, with year released, selected chart positions and certifications, and album name shown
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
AUS
[61]
NZ
Heat.

[70]
NZ
Hot

[71]
US
Alt.

[72]
US
AAA

[73]
US
HAC

[74]
"Spits on Girls"[19] 2014 Non-album singles
"Golden Fleece"[75] 2016
"Adore" 3 8 32 17
  • ARIA: 5× Platinum[76]
Night Thinker
"Weekends" 2017 59 10
"Drive You Mad" [A]
"I Said Hi" 2018 6 8 30 34
  • ARIA: 5× Platinum[79]
Love Monster
"Don't Turn Around" [B] 10
"Psycho"
(featuring Mark Hoppus)
[C]
"All Loved Up" 58
"Mess Her Up" 2019 29
  • ARIA: 2× Platinum[76]
"Everybody Rise" 2020 31 28
[83]
Cry Forever
"C'mon"
(featuring Travis Barker)[51]
56 22
"All the Lies About Me"[85]
"Love Songs Ain't for Us"
(featuring Keith Urban) [86]
2021 22
[87]
11
"Baby Steps"[89][90]
"Amy Shark"[91][92]
"—" denotes items which were not released in that country or failed to chart.

As featured artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
AUS
[61]
"The Reaper"
(The Chainsmokers featuring Amy Shark)
2019 47
[93]
World War Joy

Promotional singles[edit]

Title Year Album
"Be Alright"
(Triple J Like a Version)[94]
2019 Like a Version: Volume Fifteen

Other charted and certified songs[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
AUS
[61]
NZ
Hot

[95]
"Blood Brothers" 2019 Night Thinker
"Worst Day of My Life" 2021 28 Cry Forever
"—" denotes items which failed to chart.

Songwriting credits[edit]

List of songwriting credits, with lead artists and album name shown
Title Year Album
"November"
(Super Cruel featuring Lisa Mitchell)[96]
2017 Non-album single

Notes

  1. ^ "Drive You Mad" did not enter the ARIA Top 100 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 15 on the Australian Artists Singles Chart.[78]
  2. ^ "Don't Turn Around" did not enter the ARIA Top 100 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 16 on the Australian Artists Singles Chart.[80]
  3. ^ "Psycho" did not enter the ARIA Top 100 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 14 on the Australian Artists Singles Chart.[81]

Concert tours[edit]

Shark performing at the Regional Australia Tour in Wodonga, Victoria, 2019

Headlining

  • Love Monster Tour (2018)
  • Australian Tour (2019)
  • Regional Australia Tour (2019)
  • Cry Forever Tour (2021)

Supporting

Awards and nominations[edit]

ARIA Music Awards[edit]

The ARIA Music Awards are a set of annual ceremonies presented by Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), which recognise excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of the music of Australia. They commenced in 1987. Amy Shark has won 8 awards from 22 nominations;[35][53] at the 2018 ceremony she received 9 nominations and won 4, heading up the leader board for the year.[35]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2017 Night Thinker Album of the Year Nominated
Best Female Artist Nominated
Best Pop Release Won
Breakthrough Artist Won
"Drive You Mad" Best Video Nominated
"Adore" Song of the Year Nominated
2018 Love Monster Album of the Year Won
Best Female Artist Won
Best Pop Release Won
"I Said Hi" Song of the Year Nominated
"I Said Hi" Best Video (with Nicholas Waterman) Nominated
Love Monster Tour Best Australian Live Act Nominated
Love Monster Best Cover Art (Steve Wyper) Nominated
"I Said Hi" Engineer of the Year (Dann Hume & M Phazes) Nominated
Producer of the Year (Dann Hume & M Phazes) Won
2019 "Mess Her Up" Best Female Artist Nominated
Best Pop Release Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated
Amy Shark Australian Tour Best Australian Live Act Nominated
2020 "Everybody Rise" Best Female Artist Nominated
Best Pop Release Won
Amy Shark Regional Tour Best Australian Live Act Won

APRA Awards[edit]

The APRA Awards are several award ceremonies run in Australia by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) to recognise composing and song writing skills, sales and airplay performance by its members annually. Shark was nominated for three categories at the 2018 APRA Awards[97] and at the 2019 awards.[98]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2017 "Adore" (Amy Billings p.k.a. Amy Shark, Mark Landon p.k.a. M-Phazes) Song of the Year[99] Nominated
2018 Pop Work of the Year[100] Won
Most Played Australian Work[101] Nominated
"Weekends" (Amy Billings p.k.a. Amy Shark) Song of the Year[102] Nominated
2019[103] "I Said Hi" (Amy Billings p.k.a. Amy Shark Pop Work of the Year Won
Most Played Australian Work Nominated
Song of the Year Won
2020[104][105] "All Loved Up" (Amy Billings p.k.a. Amy Shark, Jack Antonoff Most Performed Pop Work of the Year Nominated
2021 "Everybody Rise" (Amy Billings p.k.a. Amy Shark and Joel Little) Song of the Year[106] Nominated
Most Performed Pop Work Nominated

Australian Women in Music Awards[edit]

The Australian Women in Music Awards is an annual event that celebrates outstanding women in the Australian Music Industry who have made significant and lasting contributions in their chosen field. They commenced in 2018.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2018[107] Amy Shark Breakthrough Artist Award Won

J Award[edit]

The J Awards are an annual series of Australian music awards that were established by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's youth-focused radio station Triple J. They commenced in 2005.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
J Awards of 2018[108] Love Monster Australian Album of the Year Nominated

MTV Europe Music Awards[edit]

The MTV Europe Music Awards is an award presented by Viacom International Media Networks to honour artists and music in pop culture.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2018[109] herself Best Australian Act Nominated

National Live Music Awards[edit]

The National Live Music Awards (NLMAs) are a broad recognition of Australia's diverse live industry, celebrating the success of the Australian live scene. The awards commenced in 2016.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2017[110][111] Amy Shark Live Act of the Year Nominated
Best New Act of the Year Won
Live Pop Act of the Year Nominated
Best Live Voice of the Year - People's Choice Nominated
Queensland Live Voice of the Year Won
2018[112][113] Amy Shark Live Pop Act of the Year Nominated
International Live Achievement (Solo) Nominated
Best Live Voice of the Year - People's Choice Nominated
Queensland Live Voice of the Year Won
2019[114][115] Amy Shark Live Pop Act of the Year Nominated

Queensland Music Awards[edit]

The Queensland Music Awards (previously known as Q Song Awards) are annual awards celebrating Queensland, Australia's brightest emerging artists and established legends. They commenced in 2006.[116]

Year Nominee / work Award Result (wins only)
2017[117] "Adore" Song of the Year Won
Pop Song of the Year Won
Regional Song of the Year Won
2018[118] herself Export Achievement Award awarded
Singer Songwriter Won
"Adore" Highest Selling Single of the Year Won
"Weekends" Pop Song of the Year Won
Regional Song of the Year Won
2019[119] "I Said Hi" Highest Selling Single Won
Love Monster Highest Selling Album Won
Amy Shark Singer Songwriter Won
2020[120] "Mess Her Up" Highest Selling Single Won
2021[121][122] "Everybody Rise" Highest Selling Single Won

Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition[edit]

The Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition is an annual competition that "acknowledges great songwriting whilst supporting and raising money for Nordoff-Robbins" and is coordinated by Albert Music and APRA AMCOS. It commenced in 2009.[123]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2018[124] "Adore" Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition 1st

References[edit]

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