Stephanie Brown - aka Lips - has taken out the 2012 APRA Silver Scroll Award for New Zealand's best song of the year, "Everything to Me" .
Characterised by a giant pair of lips with legs, Brown is essentially a talented keyboard player who performed with some of New Zealand's top musical artists like Anika Moa and Che Fu, before hitting out on her own, based in Brooklyn, New York.
The song "Everything to Me" describes the battle to get out of a daily grind, influenced by her attempts to break through in a foreign music market.
""It's an everyday account of needing to take a break from your everyday," she describes. "And the deeper sentiment of supporting your loved ones through thehurdles that life throws at them."
In accepting the award, Brown thanked her parents for tolerating "a lot of bad songs" throughout her career.
"I'm so grateful for the musical on-the-job traiing I've had in Auckland working with various musicians," she said. "I've learn something from all of them over the years and I feel like all of that went into this song."
Later, she admitted it was an honour to be considered in such distinguished company - previous winners include such legendary NZ songwriters as Ray Columbus, Sharon O'Neill, Hammond Gamble, Dave Dobbyn, Shona Laing, Don McGlashan, Bic Runga, Chris Knox and Neil Finn.
"I've never had this with a song before, but I couldn't put this one down," she said. "I played it over and over and over again on my piano - I really enjoyed playing it."
Brown edged out four other finalists - Adam McGrath's "State Houses By The River", Anna Macdonald and "Girl In Stilettos", "Getaway Tonight" by Kody Nielson and Lydia Cole's "HIbernate".
The SOUNZ Contemporary Award, celebrating contemporary classical composition, went to Alex Taylor's "[inner]", while the APRA Maioha Award for contemporary Maori music was won by "Matahiapo", written by Te Awanui Reeder, David Atai and Scotty Morrison.
Earlier, reggae legends Herbs were admitted to the the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.