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Empire of the Sun’s ‘Walking on a Dream’ Strolls to Billions Award

Empire of the Sun’s “Walking on a Dream” jogs into APRA AMCOS’ The 1,000,000,000 List, an accolade that recognizes one billion streams clocked up across all platforms.

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Released as the project’s debut single in 2008, the track cracked the top 10 (peaking at No. 10) on the ARIA Singles Chart and won single of the year at the 2009 ARIA Music Awards, one of their four victories on the night.

The following year, at the 2010 APRA Music Awards, the song — written by Nick Littlemore, Luke Steele and Jono Sloan — was awarded dance work of the year and the trio jointly won the breakthrough songwriter award.

Littlemore and Sloan were on hand for a presentation at APRA AMCOS’ Sydney headquarters. The song’s publishers are Universal Music Publishing for Littlemore, Sony Music Publishing for Steele, and Kobalt Music Publishing for Sloan, who BMG previously published.

“It’s an evergreen record,” says Littlemore. “It’s new for every generation. It’s the hope as a songwriter or creator in any sense that you can continually reach the kids and give them something to play back.”

In the U.S., the song had a second life when it was synced to a Honda Civic commercial in 2016, driving it to No. 65 on the Billboard Hot 100 and powering it to No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs, their second leader on the tally after 2013’s “Alive”.

Later, in 2022, the song soundbedded a five-year global campaign for Western Australia Tourism, and was nominated last year in the new ARIA Awards category of best use of an Australian recording in an advertisement.

Currently, according to APRA AMCOS, “Walking on a Dream” is 10-times platinum certified in Australia, and platinum in the U.S. and U.K.

“It is an honor to acknowledge ‘Walking on a Dream’, a song that retains its freshness and otherworldly sound no matter what year it is or where you are in the world,” comments Dean Ormston, CEO of APRA AMCOS.

The 1,000,000,000 List acknowledges APRA AMCOS songwriter members and their publishers, and takes into account streaming numbers from major services Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube.

It’s said to be the first award of its kind to celebrate a songwriter’s streaming achievement, and is the inspiration for the BPI’s BRIT Billion Award, which the U.K. trade association introduced in 2023.

Previous recipients of the APRA AMCOS Billions Award include Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker (for “The Less I Know The Better”), Flume (“Never Be Like You”), Troye Sivan and Alex Hope (“Youth”), Tones And I (“Dance Monkey”), 5 Seconds of Summer (“Youngblood”), and SHOUSE (“Love Tonight”).

See the full list here.

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