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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos


The Australian music industry shone its brightest at the 2020 ARIA Awards!

Image: Supplied.

Aussie musics night of nights had come around again, with the ARIA Awards going virtual to celebrate the Australian music industry!

Hosted by our national songbird Delta Goodrem, the ceremony took over The Star in Sydney, marking the first time in the award shows history that no live audience was present due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fans were able to tune in to watch the ARIA's on the the Nine Network, and around the world on YouTube.

Legendary Aussie act Tame Impala dominated the awards, taking home five awards out of their seven nominations, including the coveted album of the year for The Slow Rush. Released in February, landed Kevin Parker his second #1 album in Australia - the highest selling Australian artist album in 2020 to date. The record also saw the band take home best rock album, producer of the year, engineer of the year and best group. The group also created one of the most memorable moments of this years ceremony with the performance of their track, On Track.

Parker, the musical mastermind behind Tame Impala spoke to MILKY after the ceremony to speak about the evolution of Tame Impala since the release of InnerSpeaker in 2010 and the significance of their debut albums ten year anniversary. The musician shared: “I think naturally it’s changed a lot, which is only because I love to evolve as an artist. I love to do different things. It would kind of sad and me if I was doing the same thing for ten years. Like if It happened to be that ten years later the albums kind of sound the same it would be kind of like, you know, ‘what am I doing here?’ But yeah it’s a really emotional, really emotional experience thinking about that album being 10 years old and going I’m going like wow that’s who I was then, that was the music I was making then and this is who I am now. Which is kind of all part of it I guess.”

Melbourne-based Sampa The Great took home three ARIA Awards, taking the titles of Best Female Artist, Best Hip Hop Release, and Best Independent Release for her debut album The Return. The musician has cemented her place as one of the strongest voices in hip-hop, proven by her phenomenal performance of Final Form, streamed from Africa.

Sydney’s alt-pop duo Lime Cordiale, who amassed a staggering eight nominations for their hit record, 14 Steps To A Better You, performed their hit track Robbery. The performance was inspired by live-television performances from the 70's and 80's, with the Leimbach brothers and their band decked out in colourful retro suits. Lime Cordiale took home the award for Breakthrough Artist, marking their first ever ARIA Award win. Louis shared with media after their win that "One's enough I reckon" with Ollie continuing, saying "one is definitely enough!" Louis added "I'll take half".

This year’s ARIA Hall of Fame inductee, Archie Roach brought home an impressive two ARIA Awards for Best Male Artist and Best Adult Contemporary Release categories for his album Tell Me Why, which debuted at #7 on the ARIA Chart. In recognition of his extraordinary life, Archie Roach was designated the Victorian Australian Of The Year for 2020, and can now add ARIA Hall of Fame and two ARIA Awards to his collection. Performing from hometown Warrnambool, Roach was joined by ARIA Award winners Paul Kelly & Paul Grabowsky and many more. Roach took to the stage to perform a beautifully moving rendition of his his 1990 track Took the Children Away.

Amy Shark opened the ceremony with an incredible performance of her track, Everybody Rise, for which she also took home the award for Best Pop Release alongside Best Australian Live Act. Guy Sebastian added another ARIA Award to his mantle. The host of last years ARIA's won the Best Video presented by YouTube Music for his powerful release, Standing With You. One of the biggest awards of the night, Song of the Year presented by YouTube Music, went to everyones favourite Aussie four-piece, 5 Seconds Of Summer for their song, Teeth. The 2 x ARIA Platinum and certified Gold in the US single features on their fourth studio album, CALM. This years ARIA's saw a number of newcomers walk away with the trophies, with Indigenous songstress Miiesha winning the award for Best Soul/R&B Release for her debut record, Nyaaringu.

Whilst the ARIA's are a celebration of local talent, that doesn't mean we can't have some of the best international acts along for the fun. Global superstar and five-time GRAMMY Award-winning musician Billie Eilish gave an exclusive performance of her latest track, Therefore I Am, from her hometown of LA. The singer sent Aussie fans a special message, saying: "Hi Australia, it's Billie. I wanted to say I miss you guys so much and I can't wait to see you and your beautiful country soon. I love you". The international performances continued with British singer Sam Smith performed their recent track, Diamonds, from Abbey Road Studios in London. With only one international award up for grabs, it's no surprise that Harry Styles took the crown for Best International Artist. His critically acclaimed 2019 sophomore record, Fine Line, is a work of art and received three GRAMMY nominations today.

The ceremony ended with one of the greatest moments in ARIA history. ARIA Award winners Amy Shark, Christine Anu, Delta Goodrem, Emma Watkins, Jessica Mauboy, Kate Ceberano, Marcia Hines, Montaigne, The McClymonts and Tones and I took to the stage to perform a powerful and emotion stirring tribute to the late feminist trailblazing icon and ARIA Hall of Fame Inductee Helen Reddy. Singing Reddy's 1972 anthemic and iconic track I Am Woman, the performance celebrated the life and impact of an Aussie legend. The performance was made complete with a choir of more than 30 female which included Amy Sheppard, Christie Wheelan-Browne, Clare Bowen, Dami Im, Emma Donovan, Erika Heynatz, Fanny Lumsden, GRAACE, Kate Miller-Heidke, Katie Noonan, KLP, Maddy Jane, Missy Higgins, Mo’Ju, Odette, Samantha Jade, Teeny Tiny Stevies, Thandi Phoenix, Wendy Matthew and many more.


Album Of The Year: TAME IMPALA - The Slow Rush (Modular Recordings/Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)

Best Male Artist: ARCHIE ROACH - Tell Me Why (Bloodlines / Mushroom)

Best Female Artist: SAMPA THE GREAT - The Return (Ninja Tune / Inertia Music)

Best Dance Release: DOM DOLLA - San Frandisco (Sweat It Out / Warner Music)

Best Group: TAME IMPALA - The Slow Rush (Modular Recordings/Island Records Australia / Universal Music Australia)

Breakthrough Artist presented by PPCA: LIME CORDIALE - 14 Steps To A Better You (Chugg Music Pty Ltd)

Best Pop Release: AMY SHARK - Everybody Rise (Wonderlick Recording Company/Sony Music)

Best Hip Hop Release presented by Hennessy: SAMPA THE GREAT - The Return

Best Soul/R&B Release: MIIESHA - Nyaaringu

Best Independent Release: SAMPA THE GREAT - The Return (Ninja Tune / Inertia Music)

Best Rock Album: TAME IMPALA - The Slow Rush (Modular Recordings/Island Records Australia / Universal Music Australia)

Best Adult Contemporary Album: ARCHIE ROACH - Tell Me Why (Bloodlines / Mushroom)

Best Country Album: FANNY LUMSDEN - Fallow (Cooking Vinyl Australia)

Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album: KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD - Chunky Shrapnel (Flightless Records)

Best Blues & Roots Album: THE TESKEY BROTHERS - Live At The Forum (Ivy League Records / Mushroom)

Best Children's Album: TEENY TINY STEVIES - Thoughtful Songs for Little People (ABC Music / Universal)

Best Comedy Release: ANNE EDMONDS - What's Wrong With You? (Guesswork Television)


Best Video presented by YouTube Music: GUY SEBASTIAN - Standing With You (Sony Music)

Best Australian Live Act: AMY SHARK - Amy Shark Regional Tour (Wonderlick Recording Company/Sony Music)

Song of the Year presented by YouTube Music: 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER - Teeth (Interscope / EMI Music Australia)

Best International Artist: HARRY STYLES - Fine Line (Columbia/Sony Music)

Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award: SARAH DONNELLEY - Wilcannia Central School, Wilcannia NSW


Best Cover Art: ADAM DAL POZZO, MEGAN WASHINGTON AND MICHELLE PITIRIS FOR WASHINGTON - Batflowers (Washington / Island Records Australia / Universal Music Australia)

Engineer Of The Year: KEVIN PARKER / TAME IMPALA - The Slow Rush (Modular Recordings / Island Records

Producer Of The Year: KEVIN PARKER / TAME IMPALA - The Slow Rush (Modular Recordings / Island Records


Best Classical Album: RICHARD TOGNETTI & ERIN HELYARD - Beethoven & Mozart Violin Sonatas (ABC Classic / Universal)

Best Jazz Album: PAUL KELLY & PAUL GRABOWSKY - Please Leave Your Light On (GAWD AGGIE / EMI Music Australia)

Best Original Soundtrack or Musical Theatre Cast Album: CHELSEA CULLEN - I Am Woman (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Sony Masterworks)

Best World Music Album: JOSEPH TAWADROS - Live at the Sydney Opera House (ABC Music / Universal)


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