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Beccy Cole Awarded OAM In Queen’s Birthday Honours List

14 June 2022 | 1:18 pm | Staff Writer

Beccy Cole’s music career spans over thirty years.

Beccy Cole

Beccy Cole (Image: via Facebook)

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Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and LGBTQI+ advocate, Beccy Cole has been recognised among the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her service to country music.

She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), which has been recognising Australian citizens and other persons for outstanding achievement and service since 1975.

Speaking to Studio 10 on May 13, Cole said, “It feels wonderful [to be recognised]. It's incredible. It’s visibility for the arts, for country music, in particular, and for LGBTQI+ community.”

The 49-year-old was one of 992 inspirational Australians named, as well as late cricketer Shane Warne, tennis champion Ash Barty, former chief medical officer Dr Brendan Murphy and NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant, businessman and philanthropist Robert Salteri and Sister Brigid Arthur, co-founder of the Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project, and more.

“Recipients share some common traits – including selflessness, excellence and a commitment to service,” Governor-General David Hurley said. “They’re from different backgrounds, their stories are each unique, and each has served in different ways. For that, we thank them.”

Cole’s impressive country music career spans over thirty years. Since 1986, she has released ten studio albums (containing more than a dozen #1 Australian country singles), won eleven CMAA Golden Guitar Awards (including five for ‘Female Artist of the Year’) and has been nominated for three ARIA Awards. She was also the recipient of the Toyota Star Maker Award in 1993.

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She has performed at the Gympie Music Muster 17 times (and was the ambassador for the 35th Muster in 2016), entertained troops in Iraq and the Middle East, published an autobiography called Poster Girl in 2015 and has hosted Saturday Night Country on ABC since 2021.

It’s also been almost ten years since the advocate came out on the TV series Australian Story

“I was completely surprised [by the reaction from the country music community to me coming out]. I was welcomed with open arms and had hardly any negative feedback. It was a beautiful, all encompassing, great big hug that I received,” she told Sky News

“The world has changed in 10 years, and I'd love to think that it's because of all the people that put their hand up,” she said on Studio 10. “When you listen to country music, it's all pretty honest. It's very literal in its lyrics as well. I think that's always encouraged me to be honest.”

After a brief marriage to fellow musician Mick Albeck, Cole said she made her "personal discovery" when her son, Ricky was less than a year old (he’s 23 now). She later married cabaret singer Libby O’Donovan in 2018, but they announced their separation in early 2022.

As well as being an advocate for same sex marriage in the 2010s and performing at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Adelaide’s Feast Festival, Cole took part in the Tamworth Country Music Festival cavalcade’s first LGBT+ pride float in 2020 alongside Logan Hoswell. Furthermore, Cole's music video for 2018's Lionness was her first to feature a same sex couple.

Earlier this year, Cole was awarded the Australasian Country Music Roll of Renown at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Selected by a panel of industry representees for her long-term contribution to Australasian country music, Cole is one of the youngest performers elevated to the prestigious list of all time Australian country music greats.

Accepting her award, Cole said, “This is such an honour for me. I absolutely love the Australian country music industry. For 30 years, I’ve been coming to Tamworth. I have made the most beautiful friends. I have made the most incredible connections and I feel like I’m home.”


Follow Beccy Cole on her Facebook page here.