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ARIA Awards


ARIA Awards

Template:Use Australian English

ARIA Music Awards
ARIA Music Awards of 2013
Melbourne Town Hall
Awarded for Excellence and innovation in all genres of Australian music.
Country Australia
Presented by Australian Recording Industry Association
First awarded 1987
Last awarded Current
Official website
Television coverage
Network Network Ten (2002–2008, 2010)
Nine Network (2009)
GO! (2011–present)

The Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards (commonly known as ARIA Music Awards or ARIA Awards) is an annual series of awards nights celebrating the Australian music industry, put on by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). The event has been held annually since 1987 and encompasses the general genre-specific and popular awards (these are what is usually being referred to as "the ARIA awards") as well as Fine Arts Awards and Artisan Awards (held separately from 2004), Lifetime Achievement Awards and ARIA Hall of Fame – held separately from 2005 to 2010 but returned to the general ceremony in 2011. For 2010, ARIA introduced public voted awards for the first time.

Winning, or even being nominated for, an ARIA award results in a lot of media attention on an artist, and usually increases recording sales several-fold – in 2005, for example, after Ben Lee won three awards, his album Awake Is the New Sleep jumped from No. 31 to No. 5 in the ARIA Charts, its highest position.


In 1983, the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) was established by the six major record companies then operating in Australia, EMI, Festival Records, CBS (now known as Sony Music), RCA (now known as BMG), WEA (now known as Warner Music) and Polygram (now known as Universal) replacing the Association of Australian Record Manufacturers (AARM) which was formed in 1956.[1] It later included smaller record companies representing independent acts/labels and has over 100 members.[1]

Australian TV pop music show Countdown presented its own annual awards ceremony, Countdown Music and Video Awards, which were co-produced by Carolyn James (aka Carolyn Bailey) from 1981 to 1984 and, in the latter two years, in collaboration with ARIA.[2][3][4] ARIA provided peer voting for some awards, while Countdown provided coupons in the related Countdown Magazine for viewers to vote for populist awards.[5] At the 1985 Countdown awards ceremony, held on 14 April 1986, fans of INXS and Uncanny X-Men scuffled during the broadcast and as a result ARIA decided to hold their own awards.[4]

Starting with the first ceremony, on 2 March 1987, ARIA administered its own entirely peer-voted ARIA Music Awards,[6] to "recognise excellence and innovation in all genres of Australian music" with an annual ceremony.[7][8] Initially included in the same awards ceremonies, it established the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1988, it held separate annual ceremonies from 2005 to 2010, the Hall of Fame returned to the general ceremony in 2011. The ARIA Hall of Fame "honours Australian musicians' achievements [that] have had a significant impact in Australia or around the world".[9]

The first ceremony, in 1987, featured Elton John as the compere and was held at the Sheraton Wentworth Hotel, Sydney.[10][11] There were no live performances at the early ARIAs, music for both walk on/walk off was supplied by a nightclub dj, Rick Powell. All subsequent ceremonies were held in Sydney except the 1992 event at World Congress Centre, Melbourne.[10][11] For 2010, ARIA introduced public voted awards for the first time.[12] Winning, or even being nominated for, an ARIA award results in a lot of media attention on an artist, and may increase recording sales several-fold – in 2005, for example, after Ben Lee won three awards, his album Awake Is the New Sleep jumped from No. 31 to No. 5 in the ARIA Charts, its highest position.[13]

Broadcast history

The first five ARIA Awards were not televised, at the very first award ceremony on 2 March 1987, the host, Elton John, advised the industry to keep them off television "if you want these Awards to stay fun".[10][11] The first televised ARIA Awards ceremony occurred in 1991, all subsequent ceremonies were televised.[11] They were broadcast on Network Ten from 2002 to 2008 and returned in 2010.[12] Nine Network aired the ceremony on 26 November 2009, its digital channel, GO!, aired the 2011 ARIA Music Awards on 27 November 2011.


At the 1988 ceremony a fracas developed between band manager, Gary Morris, accepting awards for Midnight Oil, and former Countdown compere, Ian "Molly" Meldrum, who was presenting. They conflicted over visiting United Kingdom artist, Bryan Ferry, who had also presented an award. Morris objected to Ferry's presence and insulted him, Meldrum defended Ferry and then scuffled with Morris.[11] In 1995 electronic music group, Itch-E and Scratch-E, won the inaugural award for "Best Dance Release" for their single, "Sweetness and Light". Band member, Paul Mac thanked Sydney's ecstasy dealers for their help.[11] One of the sponsors of the awards, that year, was the National Drug Offensive. In 2005 Mac explained that he did not expect to win and so had not prepared a speech.[11] His speech was bleeped for the TV broadcast.

During the 2004 voting process, former 3RRR radio DJ, Cousin Creep (aka Craig Barnes), published his user name and password on a music site, Rocknerd, allowing public votes, before being removed from voting two days later.[14][15] The 2007 ARIA Awards telecast was marred by controversy, after it was revealed by the ABC's Media Watch programme that Network Ten had used subliminal advertising during the course of the broadcast,[16] which under the Australian Media and Broadcasting rules, such an activity is illegal. Network Ten disputed the finding, however their basis for defence was criticised by Media Watch, as demonstrating an ignorance of the rules. The 2010 telecast was criticised in media reports: Crikey's Neil Walker decried the "infamously shambolic Sydney Opera House fiasco",[17] The Punch's Rebekah Devlin speculated on it being the worst ever telecast, "it felt like we’d stumbled into some raging A-list party and we definitely weren’t invited [...] Guests who were there said it was a great night, but it reignites the debate of what the Arias are actually all about… is it an event staged for the musicians and the people there, or is it for a TV audience?",[18] while Daily Telegraph's Kathy McCabe felt the "underlying problem with the past two years’ telecasts is they have tried to be all things to all people and do way too much" and advised that ARIA should get "professionals to do the job professionally, give them ample time to rehearse and allow them to protest when the words just don’t work".[19] In 2011 Dallas Crane's vocalist and guitarist, Dave Larkin hoped for improvement from ARIA and the telecast, "[s]o gross was last year’s 'stubby-on-the-opera-house-steps' screaming match, that it still burns a brutal reflux just thinking what horrible depths our embattled industry and its unfortunate viewership plummeted to on that grievous evening of small screen hell" and felt their main flaw was that the "ARIAs never seem to take enough time or pride educating the masses on our local industry legends ... There never seems to be enough reference or homage paid to great Aussie pop and rock trailblazers who made and continue to make Australian music what it is today".[20]

Nomination process

To be eligible, a release must be commercially available within the specified period for a given year. Material must be previously unrecorded, thus ruling out most live albums. A recording can be nominated within multiple categories, but only one genre category (for example, an album could not be simultaneously nominated for Best Pop Release and Best Dance Release). Re-released recordings are not eligible and compilations are not eligible.

Artists must either be Australian citizens, or have applied for or attained permanent resident status and have resided in Australia for at least six months within the specified period. For bands, at least half the members of the group must meet this requirement. If a recording refers to both an individual and a band (for example, Dan Kelly & the Alpha Males), it must be nominated only the basis of the individual or the band, not mixed or both.

Some categories have further requirements as specified below:

  • Album/Single of the Year: Recording must appear in the ARIA Top 100 Albums or Singles chart respectively during the specified period.
  • Breakthrough Artist (Album/Single): Artist must not have previously reached the final five nominations in any ARIA awards category for any release, or have been in a group that has done so, or have a previous release in the Top 50 release charts.
  • Best Rock Album: "Recording must be directed toward Contemporary Rock, Modern Rock and Active Rock formats."
  • Best Adult Contemporary Album: "Recording must be directed toward Adult Contemporary formats."
  • Best Pop Release: "Recording must be directed toward CHR/Top 40 formats."
  • Best Independent Release: Recording must be released and funded by an ARIA member that is not a member of a multinational corporation.
  • Best Music DVD: Compilations may enter this category. Content must be at least 60% original. The release must be eligible to appear on the ARIA Music DVD chart (this means most "bonus disc" releases are unlikely to be eligible).
  • Best Comedy Release: Compilations are acceptable. Album, single and DVD releases are all eligible. Content must be 100% original.
  • Best Children's Album: Compilations are acceptable (but content must be 100% original, having been recorded specifically for that album). Form and content must be aimed at a pre-teen audience.
  • Best Dance Release: Compilations are acceptable. "Artists working primarily within the dance genre, e.g.: House, Techno, Trance, Hardcore, Garage, Breakbeat, Drum & Bass, Disco and Electronica are eligible. In the case of a remixed album or single, the production team(s) and the original recording artist(s) must both meet the artist eligibility criteria, and the release must qualify for inclusion in either the ARIA Album or Single chart."
  • Best Urban Release: "Artists working primarily within the urban genre, e.g.: r’n’b, hip-hop, soul, funk, reggae and dancehall, are eligible. In the case of a remixed album or single, the production team(s) and the original recording artist(s) must both meet the artist eligibility criteria, and the release must qualify for inclusion in either the ARIA Album or Single chart. The ARIA member must also nominate whether the production team or the original recording artist would be the recipient of the award."
  • Sales awards: A company may enter up to five recordings in a category. For these categories, the recording does not have to be first released during the specified period, so these categories are two of the few where recordings can be nominated more than once. These categories were discontinued in 2010.[12]

Judging process

Sales awards are judged by an independent audit. The Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement awards are awarded at the discretion of the ARIA Board. Genre categories are judged by "voting schools" that consist of 40–100 representatives from that genre. The remaining generalist categories are the "voting academy", which, in 2009, consisted of 1106 representatives from across the music industry.[21]

Members of the academy are kept secret. Membership is by invitation only. An individual record company may have up to eight members on the academy. The only artists eligible to vote are winners and nominees from the previous year's awards.[21]


Categories for the awards in 1987 are listed first, with newer awards listed chronologically:

ARIA Awards

"Album of the Year", "Single of the Year", "Song of the Year" (last awarded in 1998), "Highest Selling Album", "Highest Selling Single", "Best Group", "Best Female Artist", "Best Male Artist", "Best New Talent" (last awarded in 1998), "Best Country Album", "Best Indigenous Release" (last awarded in 1998), "Best Adult Contemporary Album", "Best Comedy Release", "Best Children's Album" (annually from 1988), "Breakthrough Artist – Single" (annually from 1989), "Breakthrough Artist – Album" (annually from 1989), "Best Independent Release" (annually from 1990), "Best Alternative Release" (annually from 1994 to 2001), "Best Pop Release" (annually from 1994), "Best Dance Release" (annually from 1995), "Best Rock Album" (annually from 1999), "Best Blues & Roots Album" (annually from 1999), "Best Urban Release" (annually from 2004) and "Best Music DVD" (annually from 2004) .

Fine Arts Awards

"Best Jazz Album", "Best Classical Album", "Best Original Soundtrack / Cast / Show Recording", "Best World Music Album" (annually from 1995) and "Best Original Cast / Show Recording" (annually from 1999 to 2003).

Originally awarded at the same ceremony as the ARIA Awards, the ARIA Fine Arts Awards have been awarded at a separate ceremony from 2004.[22]

Artisan Awards

"Producer of the Year", "Engineer of the Year", "Best Video", and "Best Cover Art".

Originally awarded at the same ceremony as the ARIA Awards, the Artisan Awards were awarded separately at a ceremony together with the Fine Arts Awards from 2009.[22]

Hall of Fame and achievement awards

Main article: ARIA Hall of Fame

ARIA Hall of Fame inductees have been installed annually from 1988 except 2000 (no inductees), "Outstanding Achievement Award" (periodically, first in 1988), "Special Achievement Award" (periodically, first awarded in 1989) and "Lifetime Achievement Award" (periodically, first awarded in 1991).

Originally artists were inducted into the Hall of Fame at the same ceremony as the ARIA Awards, in 2005 the inaugural ARIA Icons: Hall of Fame ceremony was held with another inductee at the later ARIA Awards ceremony— from 2008 to 2010 the ARIA Hall of Fame ceremony was a stand-alone event.[23] In 2011 the ceremony was held at the same time as the ARIA Awards.[24][25]

Public voted awards

ARIA introduced public voted awards for the first time in 2010. The four new categories are "Most Popular Australian Album", "Most Popular Australian Artist", "Most Popular Australian Single" and "Most Popular International Artist".[12]

The trophy

The ARIA award trophy, used since 1990, is a tall triangular pyramid made of solid stainless steel.[26] The 1987–1989 trophies were designed by Philip Mortlock, while the 1990 design was by Mark Denning.[26] The Channel V award which is "V" shaped, and silver, or in the case of the award of 2008, red. As from 2005, The Hall of Fame trophy, from the Denning design, was golden coloured metal with ARIA printed in black near the base on two sides, on the third side is the award title (ARIA ICONS: HALL OF FAME), awardee name and date printed on a plaque.[27]

ARIA Music Awards by year

To see the full article for a particular year, please click on the year link.

Year Album of the Year[28] Single of the Year[29] Hall of Fame[30][31]
1987 John Farnham
Whispering Jack
John Farnham
"You're the Voice"
ARIA Hall of Fame not established
1988 Icehouse
Man of Colours
Midnight Oil
"Beds Are Burning"
AC/DC, Col Joye, Dame Joan Sutherland,
Johnny O'Keefe, Slim Dusty, Vanda & Young
1989 Crowded House
Temple of Low Men
The Church
"Under the Milky Way"
Ross Wilson
1990 Ian Moss
Peter Blakeley
"Crying in the Chapel"
Sherbet, Percy Grainger
1991 Midnight Oil
Blue Sky Mining
Absent Friends
"(I Don't Want to Be With) Nobody But You"
Billy Thorpe, Don Burrows, Glenn Shorrock, Pete Dawson
1992 Baby Animals
Baby Animals
Yothu Yindi
"Treaty" (Filthy Lucre Remix)
1993 Diesel
Wendy Matthews
"The Day You Went Away"
Peter Allen, Cold Chisel
1994 The Cruel Sea
The Honeymoon Is Over
The Cruel Sea
"The Honeymoon Is Over"
Men at Work
1995 Tina Arena
Don't Ask
The Seekers
1996 You Am I
Hourly, Daily
Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue
"Where the Wild Roses Grow"
Australian Crawl, Horrie Dargie
1997 Savage Garden
Savage Garden
Savage Garden
"Truly Madly Deeply"
Paul Kelly, Graeme Bell, Bee Gees
1998 Regurgitator
Natalie Imbruglia
The Masters Apprentices, The Angels
1999 Powderfinger
"The Day You Come"
Jimmy Little, Richard Clapton
2000 Killing Heidi
Madison Avenue
"Don't Call Me Baby"
No inductees
2001 Powderfinger
Odyssey Number Five
"My Happiness"
The Saints, INXS
2002 Kasey Chambers
Barricades & Brickwalls
Kylie Minogue
"Can't Get You Out of My Head"
Olivia Newton-John
2003 Powderfinger
Vulture Street
Delta Goodrem
"Born to Try"
John Farnham
2004 Jet
Get Born
"Are You Gonna Be My Girl"
Little River Band
2005 Missy Higgins
The Sound of White
Ben Lee
"Catch My Disease"
Jimmy Barnes, Smoky Dawson, Renée Geyer,
Normie Rowe, Split Enz, The Easybeats, Hunters and Collectors
2006 Bernard Fanning
Tea and Sympathy
Eskimo Joe
"Black Fingernails, Red Wine"
Midnight Oil, Divinyls, Rose Tattoo, Helen Reddy, Daddy Cool, Icehouse, Lobby Loyde
2007 Silverchair
Young Modern
"Straight Lines"
Frank Ifield, Hoodoo Gurus, Marcia Hines, Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons, Brian Cadd, Radio Birdman, Nick Cave
2008 The Presets
Gabriella Cilmi
"Sweet About Me"
Dragon, Russell Morris, Max Merritt, The Triffids, Rolf Harris
2009 Empire of the Sun
Walking on a Dream[32]
Empire of the Sun
"Walking on a Dream"[32]
Kev Carmody, The Dingoes, Little Pattie, Mental As Anything, John Paul Young[33]
2010 Angus & Julia Stone
Down the Way
Angus & Julia Stone
"Big Jet Plane"
The Church, The Loved Ones, Models, John Williamson, Johnny Young[34]
2011 Boy & Bear
Gotye featuring Kimbra
"Somebody That I Used to Know"[35][36]
Kylie Minogue, The Wiggles[37]
2012 Gotye
Making Mirrors
Matt Corby
Yothu Yindi[38]
2013 TBA TBA Air Supply

Most Awards/Nominations

Highest number of awards received by an artist with the number of their nominations:

Artist Wins Nominations References
Silverchair 21 49 [39]
John Farnham 19 41 [35][40]
Powderfinger 18 47 [41]
Kylie Minogue 17 42 [36][42]
Savage Garden 14 26 [43]
The Wiggles 13 20 [32][35][36][44][45]
Gotye 13 20 [35][46][47][48][49][50]
Crowded House 12 26 [51]
Midnight Oil 11 18 [52]
You Am I 10 31 [32][53]
Delta Goodrem 10 21 [54]
Eskimo Joe 8 35 [32][36][55]
Paul Kelly 8 26 [56]
Kasey Chambers 8 24 [36][57]
Natalie Imbruglia 8 13 [58]
Yothu Yindi 8 12 [59]
Missy Higgins 7 19 [60]
Nick Cave 7 18 [61]
The Presets 7 12 [62][63]
Empire of the Sun 7 11 [64]
INXS 7 11 [65]
Jet 7 9 [66]
Tina Arena 6 16 [67]
Wendy Matthews 6 13 [68]
Gabriella Cilmi 6 7 [69]


External links


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