• Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020
Stephen Arnold Music scores WGN America's "NewsNation"

NewsNation is the new three-hour primetime newscast airing every day on Nexstar Media Group’s WGN America cable network.  The main titles for NewsNation establish the show’s Midwestern roots and national scope through a montage of heartland imagery and bold, modern graphics. Played by a live orchestra, the accompanying theme music, created by Stephen Arnold Music, has an arresting, aspirational tone that evokes the drama of the America landscape in a manner inspired by the iconic composer Aaron Copeland. 

NewsNation originates from the center of the country and presents the news in an impartial, centrist manner,” said Stephen Arnold Music creative director Chad Cook. “The music has a similarly inclusive, centrist spirit. It conveys the genuine feel and authenticity one associates with heartland values and high-quality journalism.”

Stephen Arnold Music produced 20+ variations of the main theme music for graphics introducing Breaking News, Sports, Weather, Entertainment, Investigative and other show segments, and for use in opens, teases, promos, IDs and other show packaging. Stephen Arnold Music faced the unique challenge of producing the music package during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. To conform with recommended health and safety guidelines, the studio recorded the orchestra in multiple sessions with small groups of musicians. 

  • Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020
BMG Production Music promotes, hires key staffers
Scott Doran (l) and Caspar Kedros

BMG Production Music (BMGPM) has promoted Scott Doran, Caspar Kedros and Sam Delves in its London headquarters to sr. global creative roles in licensing, content and marketing, respectively. All three will report to EVP/global managing director John Clifford.

As SVP global creative licensing, Doran adds leadership of the BMGPM sales team in the U.S. and Canada to his continued responsibilities in the U.K. He will also work with Clifford on growing the BMGPM business, seeking out new global client partnerships with broadcasters, digital services and brands. 

SVP global creative content Kedros becomes responsible for implementing the BMGPM global content strategy, including all global production and ongoing third-party label representation deals. All music production staff around the world will report to Kedros as label owners for BMGPM’s respective owned brands in the U.K., U.S., France, Germany, Netherlands and Australia, including Altitude, Deep East Music, Selectracks, Immediate Music and AXS.

Delves takes up an expanded role as sr. director global creative marketing, heading up a newly created internal multi-disciplinary creative agency team that will serve the marketing needs of all BMGPM sales teams and territories.

Following Doran’s new role to lead U.S. sales and a significant structural reorganization, Amberly Crouse-Knox (reporting to Doran) and Ali Pistoresi (reporting to Kedros) will step into open positions at BMGPM in Los Angeles as senior creative directors working on licensing and production respectively. While both hires will attend to the company’s specialist trailer segment, Crouse-Knox will also provide Doran with significant day-to-day management support of the U.S. sales team. Additionally, the reorganization sees BMGPM expand its East Coast sales team based in New York to enhance its services to its global media clients such as ITV, Netflix and others.

  • Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020
Algonquin College has ALIBI for students
Claude Brulé

Algonquin College has been granted access to the ALIBI Music Library, a professional music and sound effects (SFX) platform. This makes Algonquin the first institution in Canada with access to extensive catalogs used in Hollywood productions and in the TV, streaming, video games and advertising industries.

Through a special educational license, ALIBI becomes the college’s exclusive music library provider, offering students access to music for various curriculum projects involving film, video production, social media, podcasts and video games. The library contains more than 200,000 audio files, including more than 11,000 curated original songs and 6,000 sound effects.

Claude Brulé, president and CEO of Algonquin College, said, “This dynamic content platform provides our students with a valuable new tool that will drive innovation and creativity.”

ALIBI’s music has been used for such notable projects as the STARZ hit series Power Book II: Ghost (trailer soundtrack), popular cereal brand Cinnamon Toast Crunch (national commercial soundtrack) and fan-favorite video game for The Walking Dead  (trailer soundtrack), to name a few. 

  • Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020
Squeak E. Clean Studios adds composer Rojas, promotes Thornton
Blade Thornton (l) and Charles Rojas

Global creative audio network Squeak E. Clean Studios has added Brooklyn-based composer and artist Charles Rojas to its New York office and promoted Los Angeles-based Blade Thornton to new business development producer. Rojas brings a diverse artistic perspective to his work, informing his compositions with his “side hustles” recording music as a solo artist, crafting accompanying visuals, and sometimes stepping in front of the camera to act in independent films. His range of creative influences is evident in his original compositions for such brands as Google, Facebook, Honda, Kia, Spotify, and more. 

Thornton previously served as head of experiential and artist liaison at Squeak E. Clean Studios. In his new position, he will be spearheading the company’s strategic growth into new and emerging industry sectors and platforms, pursuing opportunities to expand its full slate of music and audio offerings into exciting new verticals.

Hamish Macdonald, Squeak E. Clean Studios’ managing director, is enthused over having Rojas back at the company, noting, “Since his hiatus, his studies, freelance experience and time spent at Media Arts Lab have only expanded upon his abilities as a versatile composer able to elevate any brief.”

Relative to Thornton, Macdonald said “having Blade concentrate our efforts further into emerging industries and trends will continue our presence as much more than a traditional music and sound house.”

Hailing from Norwalk, Calif., Rojas infuses his West Coast and South American musical and artistic influences to his current home in Brooklyn, NY. The son of Ecuadorian and Venezuelan immigrants, Rojas grew up listening to everything from hip hop and punk, to Cumbia and Andean folk. In April 2020, he released his first single “Mixed Feelings”, a blend of R&B, hip hop, and bedroom pop. He followed up releasing a series of quarantine-themed music videos, and has since built up a dedicated following on Spotify and social media. His new single “Plans Fall Through”--a funk-pop ode to staying at home--was released in August 2020. Both songs will appear on his debut mixtape MixedFeelingsTape this fall.

After earning a degree in music industry studies from USC, Thornton took internships to explore various aspects of the business, from tour logistics to talent management, before landing at Squeak E. Clean Studios in 2016. He has led the studio’s experiential productions, contracting musicians and technical teams for various global experiences. Additionally, he has served as a liaison between talent and brand and agencies.

  • Monday, Oct. 12, 2020
AMP and its D&I Committee to host Black composers webinar this week
Carol Dunn, EP at Human Worldwide in L.A. and a member of the AMP West Chapter board. Dunn will moderate an AMP webinar this week on African-American Composers in Advertising.

The Association of Music Producers and its Diversity & Inclusion Committee will hold an online webinar this week that promises to share the stories and experiences of three Black composers working with agencies and brands. The session, which takes place on Thursday, October 15 at 7 pm EDT, will feature Kevin Simon, Jocelyn Chambers and Wendell Hanes. Conducted via Zoom, it will include a question and answer period and is open to everyone. To register, go here.

The webinar will be moderated by Carol Dunn, executive producer at Human Worldwide in Los Angeles and a member of the AMP West Chapter board. She explained that AMP’s Diversity & Inclusion committee, on which she serves, came up with the idea for the panel. “We gather once a week to discuss a whole host of initiatives and programs that will draw new members to AMP and its benefits, specifically those that can assist Black composers,” she said. “Our goal with this event is to simply share the experience and the stories of these lauded Black artists--shining a light on a segment of the composer community that seems to go unseen.”

AMP’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee represents a cross-section of talents from both the East and West Chapters. In addition to Dunn, its roster includes Georg Bissen of MetaTechnik, who’s president of AMP’s National Board, as well as Nan Wilson of Manage Ad Music, Sallie Moore of Heavy Hitters, Jennie Armon of Found Objects, Matt Phenix of Elias (and AMP East Chapter president), Adrian Womack of Mophonics, Craig Caniglia of Human Worldwide and Samanta Adelman of Motive Music + Sound (and AMP West Chapter president.)

Dunn said the panel participants were chosen with purpose: “Kevin and Wendell are legends in the field of film and TV music, not just for their work on ad campaigns. Their expertise is limitless, and their knowledge is golden. Jocelyn is a young newbie whose talents are worlds beyond her years. And being a Black woman in this industry, I’m always eager to raise up other women of color wherever and however I can.”

What will attendees take away from the experience? “That Black composers are composers. Period. That’s truly what I hope the audience walks away with,” Dunn stated. “I expect them to be inspired by the talent we’ll introduce on this panel. The people out there with the power to hire will not be able to use the excuse that they ‘didn’t know where to find any Black composers.’

“This is not an exercise in calling people out for their lack of diversity,” Dunn added. “We already know that exists. Rather, this is an opportunity to meet new composers and hear their stories, which aren’t much different from most any other composers’ journeys. The main hurdle in getting hired for any job is access, and access requires introductions. Those introductions hopefully lead to relationships. We want to introduce our audience to some successful Black composers while also opening up a portal for other black composers to build their toolsheds for success.”

Dunn said the discussion promises to be up an uplifting experience. “Kevin, Wendell and Jocelyn are prolific, multi-genre composers,” she observed. “Their stories are varied and colorful. We want this to be a discussion of empowerment.”

  • Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020
Production Music Association unveils Mark Awards winners in virtual ceremony
Mark Award trophies

The Production Music Association (PMA), a non-profit and leading advocate of the production music community with over 670 music publishing members ranging from major labels to independent boutiques, has unveiled this year’s winners of the Mark Awards in a virtual ceremony on Tuesday (10/6). Named in honor of the late Andy Mark, who was a library owner and founding member of the PMA, the Mark Awards recognize the very best in production music. The sixth annual Mark Awards ceremony was the first presented virtually.

Here’s a rundown of winners across 24 categories:


Best Hip Hop Track
“Helen Keller”
Jenna Dicken, Josephine Banham, Chris Constantinou, & James Young
Universal Production Music

Best Alternative Track
“Build Me Up”
Sean Michael McVerry
Strike Audio

Best Ambient Track
Mirela Magdalena Nita

Best Country Track
“Hold Your Horses”
Wayne Anthony Murray, David Stephen Goldsmith, & Jeffrey Thomas Kightly
The Home of Happy

Best Cover Art
Rod Steele
Pop Machine

Best Dark/Mysterious Track
“Center of the Earth”
Saul Guanipa

Best EDM Track
“In Store Rapport”
Daniel Mumford
Raft Music

Best Film Trailer Track
“Walk to the Light”
Inon Zur
X-Ray Dog

Best Folk Track
“Skin And Bone”
Matthew Schwanke & Christopher Francis Hanson
MidCoast Music

Best Investigative/Crime Track
“A Curious Voyage”
Dave Hewson, Bryan Lester, Jamie Fekete, & Sam Slater
Score Production Music

Best Jazz Track
“Playful Swing”
Francis Jean Yves Lockwood

Best Non-Categorical/Wildcard Track
“Social Distance”
Chris B Harris & Daniel Kenneth Solovitz
Warner Chappell Production Music

Best Orchestral Track
Nitzan Sagie & Or Chausha
Warner Chappell Production Music

Best Pop Track
“Better Than Maybe”
Ty Noam Frankel, Jason Bush, & James Delaney McHugh
Sounds of Red Bull

Best Rock Track
“Run It Gun It”
Joseph Saba & Stewart Winter

Best Vocal Track
“This Moment”
Sarah Hart, Ken Lewis & Scott Dente
Human Music

Best World Track
“Lost in Taiwan”
Laurent Delvac
Music for Productions

Best R&B/Soul Track
“Soul Sisters”
John Dwyer, William Bergman & Kathy Merrick
A-List Records

Best Use – Commercial Advertisement
“Born to Roll”
David Grow
Howling Music

Best Use – Online/Digital Advertising
“Power Trip”
Patrick T. Hawes
West One Music Group

Best Use – On-Air/OTT Promo
“The Wolves”
Cyrus Reynolds, Keeley Bumford, & Gregg Lehrman
Universal Production Music

Best Use – Theatrical/Video Game Trailer
Michael H. Lee
Ghostwriter Music

Best Production Music Artist
Adrean Farrugia

Ambassador Award
Michael Halatyn

  • Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020
Guitar rock legend Eddie Van Halen dies of cancer at 65
In this June 22, 2004, file photo, Eddie Van Halen plays the final chord of "Jump" during the Van Halen concert at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N,.J. Eddie Van Halen, the guitar virtuoso whose blinding speed, control and innovation propelled his band Van Halen into one of hard rock’s biggest groups, died Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. Van Halen, who had battled cancer, was 65. (John Munson/NJ Advance Media via AP)

Eddie Van Halen, the guitar virtuoso whose blinding speed, control and innovation propelled his band Van Halen into one of hard rock's biggest groups, fueled the unmistakable fiery solo in Michael Jackson's hit "Beat It" and became elevated to the status of rock god, has died. He was 65

A person close to Van Halen's family confirmed the rocker died Tuesday due to cancer. The person was not authorized to publicly release details in advance of an official announcement.

"He was the best father I could ask for," Van Halen's son Wolf wrote in a social media post. "Every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift."

With his distinct solos, Eddie Van Halen fueled the ultimate California party band and helped knock disco off the charts starting in the late 1970s with his band's self-titled debut album and then with the blockbuster record "1984," which contains the classics "Jump," "Panama" and "Hot for Teacher."

Van Halen is among the top 20 best-selling artists of all time, and the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Rolling Stone magazine put Eddie Van Halen at No. 8 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.

Eddie Van Halen was something of a musical contradiction. He was an autodidact who could play almost any instrument, but he couldn't read music. He was a classically trained pianist who also created some of the most distinctive guitar riffs in rock history. He was a Dutch immigrant who was considered one of the greatest American guitarists of his generation.

"You changed our world. You were the Mozart of rock guitar. Travel safe rockstar," Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx said on Twitter. 

The members of Van Halen — the two Van Halen brothers, Eddie and Alex; vocalist David Lee Roth; and bassist Michael Anthony — formed in 1974 in Pasadena, California. They were members of rival high school bands and then attended Pasadena City College together. They combined to form the band Mammoth, but then changed to Van Halen after discovering there was another band called Mammoth.

Their 1978 release "Van Halen" opened with a blistering "Runnin' With the Devil" and then Eddie Van Halen showed off his astonishing skills in the next song, "Eruption," a furious 1:42 minute guitar solo that swoops and soars like a deranged bird. The album also contained a cover of the Kinks' "You Really Got Me" and "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love." 

Mike McCready of Pearl Jam told Rolling Stone magazine that listening to Van Halen's "Eruption" was like hearing Mozart for the first time. "He gets sounds that aren't necessarily guitar sounds — a lot of harmonics, textures that happen just because of how he picks." 

Van Halen released albums on a yearly timetable — "Van Halen II" (1979), "Women and Children First" (1980), "Fair Warning" (1981) and "Diver Down" (1982) — until the monumental "1984," which hit No. 2 on the Billboard 200 album charts (only behind Michael Jackson's "Thriller"). Rolling Stone ranked "1984" No. 81 on its list of the 100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s.

"Eddie put the smile back in rock guitar, at a time when it was all getting a bit brooding. He also scared the hell out of a million guitarists around the world, because he was so damn good. And original," Joe Satriani, a fellow virtuoso, told Billboard in 2015.

Van Halen also played guitar on one of the biggest singles of the 1980s: Jackson's "Beat It." His solo lasted all of 20 seconds and took only a half an hour to record. He did it as a favor to producer Quincy Jones, while the rest of his Van Halen bandmates were out of town. 

Van Halen received no compensation or credit for the work, even though he rearranged the section he played on. "It was 20 minutes of my life. I didn't want anything for doing that," he told Billboard in 2015. "I literally thought to myself, 'Who is possibly going to know if I play on this kid's record?'" Rolling Stone ranked "Beat It" No. 344 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Jackson's melding of hard rock and R&B preceded the meeting of Run-DMC and Aerosmith by four years. 

But strains between Roth and the band erupted after their 1984 world tour and Roth left. The group then recruited Sammy Hagar as lead singer —some critics called the new formulation "Van Hagar" — and the band went on to score its first No. 1 album with "5150," More studio albums followed, including "OU812," "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" and "Balance." Hit singles included "Why Can't This Be Love" and "When It's Love."

Hagar was ousted in 1996 and former Extreme singer Gary Cherone stepped in for the album "Van Halen III," a stumble that didn't lead to another album and the quick departure of Cherone. Roth would eventually return in 2007 and team up with the Van Halen brothers and Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie's son, on bass for a tour, the album "A Different Kind of Truth" and the 2015 album "Tokyo Dome Live in Concert."

Van Halen's music has appeared in films as varied as "Superbad," "Minions" and "Sing" as well as TV shows like "Glee" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." Video games such as "Gran Turismo 4" and "Guitar Hero" have used his riffs. Their song "Jamie's Cryin" was sampled by rapper Tone Loc in his hit "Wild Thing."

For much of his career, Eddie Van Halen wrote and experimented with sounds while drunk or high or both. He revealed that he would stay in his hotel room drinking vodka and snorting cocaine while playing into a tape recorder. (Hagar's 2011 autobiography "Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock" portrays Eddie as a violent, booze-addled vampire, living inside a garbage-strewn house.)

"I didn't drink to party," Van Halen told Billboard. "Alcohol and cocaine were private things to me. I would use them for work. The blow keeps you awake and the alcohol lowers your inhibitions. I'm sure there were musical things I would not have attempted were I not in that mental state."

Eddie Van Halen was born in Amsterdam and his family immigrated to California in 1962 when he was 7. His father was a big band clarinetist who rarely found work after coming to the U.S., and their mother was a maid who had dreams of her sons being classical pianists. The Van Halens shared a house with three other families. Eddie and Alex had only each other, a tight relationship that flowed through their music.

"We showed up here with the equivalent of $50 and a piano," Eddie Van Halen told The Associated Press in 2015. "We came halfway around the world without money, without a set job, no place to live and couldn't even speak the language."

He said his earliest memories of music were banging pots and pans together, marching to John Philip Sousa marches. At one point, Eddie got a drum set, which his older brother coveted.

"I never wanted to play guitar," he confessed at a talk at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in 2015. But his brother was good at the drums, so Eddie gave into his brother's wishes: "I said, 'Go ahead, take my drums. I'll play your damn guitar.'"

He was a relentless experimenter who would solder different parts from different guitar-makers, including Gibson and Fender. He created his own graphic design for his guitars by adding tape to the instruments and then spray-painting them. He said his influences were Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix.

Van Halen, sober since 2008, lost one-third of his tongue to a cancer that eventually drifted into his esophagus. In 1999, he had a hip replacement. He was married twice, to actress Valerie Bertinelli from 1981 to 2007 and then to stuntwoman-turned-publicist Janie Liszewski, whom he wed in 2009. 

  • Monday, Oct. 5, 2020
Bruce Springsteen will offer a documentary with new album
This cover image released by Columbia Records shows "Letter To You" by Bruce Springsteen. The album will be released on Oct. 23. (Columbia Records via AP)

Bruce Springsteen isn't just releasing a new rock album later this month — he'll also offer a documentary on the making of the music.

"Bruce Springsteen's Letter to You" will offer performances from The E Street Band, in-studio footage and never-before-seen archival material, featuring "a behind-the-scenes look at the iconic artist's creative process," according to a statement.

It is written by Springsteen and directed by his frequent collaborator Thom Zimny. It will be released on Apple TV+ on Oct. 23, the same day the album "Letter To You" drops.

"Letter To You," recorded in just five days, will have nine new songs and include new recordings of three unreleased songs that predate Springsteen's 1973 debut album, "Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J." The songs are: "Janey Needs a Shooter," "If I Was the Priest" and "Song for Orphans." 

Springsteen is joined on "Letter To You" by Roy Bittan, Nils Lofgren, Patti Scialfa, Garry Tallent, Stevie Van Zandt, Max Weinberg, Charlie Giordano and Jake Clemons. The album was produced by Ron Aniello with Bruce Springsteen.

  • Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020
Last solo recording of jazz icon Dave Brubeck to be released
In this July 2, 1961, file photo, Dave Brubeck, the American Jazz musician, and his 13-year-old son Christopher, also a musician, arrive at London Airport, United Kingdom, from New York. Nearly eight years after his death, the final solo recording of late American jazz legend Dave Brubeck is set for release Nov. 6, 2020. Verve Records announced that "Lullabies," a collection of intimate standards often played for children, will be available in the latest effort by a label to preserve unreleased jazz recordings. (AP Photo/Brian Calvert, File)

Nearly eight years after his death, the final solo recording of late American jazz legend Dave Brubeck is set for release next month. 

Verve Records announced last week that "Lullabies" — a collection of intimate standards often played for children — will be available Nov. 6 in the latest effort by a label to preserve unreleased jazz recordings. 

"Dave was mainly thinking of it as a sort of documentation and gift for immediate family and some close family friends," said Chris Brubeck, his son, who is also a musician. 

And there the recordings would have stayed until someone at Verve Records heard a song for the collection and thought it would be great to make it available to the public, the younger Brubeck said.

"He knew thousands of songs from playing in nightclubs and the cowboy jazz bands he joined as a kid," Brubeck said. "Even though this may seem like a stretch when I hear this particular performance, it just slays me because there's just so much unbelievable wisdom in each of his fingers, how he approaches the notes and the touch."

The latest release includes an interpretation of George Gershwin's "Summertime" from the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess, the 1913 "Danny Boy," and "Over the Rainbow" from the 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz."

It also contains original pieces he wrote for his longtime wife, Iola, and an interpretation of "When It's Sleepy Time Down South" by Fats Waller. Dave Brubeck would say the first record he ever bought was by Waller.

"So he's come full circle," Chris Brubeck said.

Brubeck is largely credited for helping spark the Cool Jazz, or West Coast Jazz, movement. The 1959 "Take Five" hit recorded by the Dave Brubeck Quartet is a solo battle between saxophonist Paul Desmond and summer Joe Morello with Brubeck's piano serving as a narrator and bassist Eugene Wright adding a scene. The classically-trained Brubeck used exotic meters he had heard overseas to deviate from the regular 4/4 time.

"Take Five" is the biggest-selling jazz single ever.

Brubeck died on Dec. 5, 2012, at the age of 91. 

  • Wednesday, Sep. 30, 2020
"I Am Woman" singer Helen Reddy, '70s hitmaker, dies at 78
In this Oct. 27, 1977, file photo, Ms. Helen Reddy, composer-singer of what has become a marching song for Women's lib, tells of mail she gets from housewives, who say the best-selling record -- "I Am Woman"--bucks them up. Reddy, the Australian-born singer who scored an enduring hit with her feminist anthem “I Am Woman,” has died at 78 in Los Angeles. Reddy’s children announced their mother’s death Tuesday evening, Sept. 29, 2020, saying that while they are heartbroken, they “take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever.” (AP Photo/ilr, File)

Helen Reddy, who shot to stardom in the 1970s with her rousing feminist anthem "I Am Woman" and recorded a string of other hits, has died. She was 78.

Reddy's children Traci and Jordan announced that the actor-singer died Tuesday in Los Angeles. "She was a wonderful Mother, Grandmother and a truly formidable woman," they said in a statement. "Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever."

Reddy's 1971 version of "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from the musical "Jesus Christ Superstar" launched a decade-long string of Top 40 hits, three of which reached No. 1.

The Australian-born singer enjoyed a prolific career, appearing in "Airport 1975" as a singing nun and scoring several hits, including "Ain't No Way To Treat a Lady," "Delta Dawn," "Angie Baby" and "You and Me Against the World."

In 1973 she won the best female vocal pop performance Grammy Award for "I Am Woman," quickly thanking her then-husband and others in her acceptance speech. 

"I only have 10 seconds so I would like to thank everyone from Sony Capitol Records, I would like to think Jeff Wald because he makes my success possible and I would like to thank God because she makes everything possible," Reddy said, hoisting her Grammy in the air and leaving the stage to loud applause. She also performed the song at the ceremony.

"I Am Woman" would become her biggest hit, used in films and television series. 

In a 2012 interview with The Associated Press, Reddy cited the gigantic success of "I Am Woman" as one of the reasons she stepped out of public life.

"That was one of the reasons that I stopped singing, was when I was shown a modern American history high-school textbook, and a whole chapter on feminism and my name and my lyrics (were) in the book," she told the AP. "And I thought, `Well, I'm part of history now. And how do I top that? I can't top that.' So, it was an easy withdrawal."

Reddy's death comes less than three weeks after the release of a biopic about her life called "I Am Woman."

The film's director, Unjoo Moon, said the film resulted in a seven-year friendship with Reddy.

"I will forever be grateful to Helen for teaching me so much about being an artist, a woman and a mother," she said in a statement. "She paved the way for so many and the lyrics that she wrote for 'I am Woman' changed my life forever like they have done for so many other people and will continue to do for generations to come. She will always be a part of me and I will miss her enormously." 

A performer since childhood, Reddy was part of a show-business family in Melbourne. She won a contest that brought her to the United States and launched her recording career, although she first had to overcome ideas about her sound.

"In my earlier days in Australia, I was considered to be more of a jazz singer," she told the AP in 1991. "When I won the contest that brought me to this country, one person said, 'The judges didn't feel you could have a recording career because you don't have a commercial sound.'"

Reddy retired from performing in the 1990s and returned to Australia, getting her degree in clinical hypnotherapy. 

She later returned to California, where in the 1970s she had served on a statewide Parks and Recreation Commission, and returned to the stage occasionally.

In 2017 she performed "I Am Woman" at a Women's March in Los Angeles, singing alongside actor Jamie Lee Curtis. Curtis said it was the " honor of my life"  to introduce Reddy at the event.

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