The 2020 ARIA Awards in partnership with YouTube Music, held at The Star Event Centre, Sydney and broadcast nationally on the Nine Network, hosted by 12 x ARIA Award winner Delta Goodrem, has last night celebrated the incredible talent and diversity of this year’s nominated artists, in what has been an extremely difficult year.
Throughout the challenges and uncertainty 2020 has brought upon the music industry, Australian artists have continued to prove their extraordinary abilities to connect people through music.
What a night for world-renowned band, Tame Impala, taking home a total of 5 ARIA Awards, including Album of the Year, Best Group, Best Rock Album, Engineer of the Year, and Producer of the Year. The multi-instrumentalist and producer behind Tame Impala, Kevin Parker, also stunned viewers with an epic performance of On Track, from the latest album The Slow Rush, which has achieved 14 x Top 10 chart positions around the world.
Zambian-born, Botswana-raised and now Melbourne-based Sampa The Great, was also a big winner, taking home three ARIA Awards for Best Female Artist, Best Hip Hop Release, and Best Independent Release for her debut album The Return. The album impressed critics this year, entering the ARIA Chart at number 12 as well as taking out multiple triple j Awards.
Sampa was the first woman of colour to win an ARIA Award for Best Hip Hop Release at last year’s Awards, and Sampa The Great has now proven herself as one of the strongest voices in hip-hop as evidenced by her performance of Final Form that was beamed in from Africa.
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. The album debuted at #7 on the ARIA Chart – his highest ever chart debut after more than four decades of songwriting and recording.
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. From his hometown Warrnambool, joined by ARIA Award winners Paul Kelly & Paul Grabowsky and many more.
Archie Roach’s performance of his 1990 track ‘Took the Children Away’ was extraordinarily moving and felt deeply across the nation. The performance served as another example of Archie Roach’s legendary talent and the profound impact his career has had on music and history.
This year’s Awards also saw a host of newcomers winning the biggest accolades in Australian music, including Indigenous songstress Miiesha – who took out the ARIA Award for Best Soul/R&B Release for her fearless debut album Nyaaringu, one of 2020’s most affecting and critically lauded albums.
Festival favourites Lime Cordiale, who won their first ARIA Award for Breakthrough Artist presented by PPCA after being nominated for an astounding eight ARIA Awards this year, delivered an incredible performance of their hit single, Robbery. This year, the Sydney sibling duo released their second studio album 14 Steps to a Better You to great critical acclaim and selling out 34 shows across Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane and Adelaide.
Amy Shark won the ARIA award for Best Pop Release for her latest release ‘Everybody Rise’ and Best Australian Live Act, proving she was the worthy recipient opening the show with an exceptional performance of ‘Everybody Rise’ putting her incredible talent on full display. Since her 2016 breakthrough release of 3 x platinum single ‘Adore’, Amy Shark has continued to make her mark on the Australian music scene.
Fans were treated to stellar performances from international superstars Sam Smith, Billie Eilish and Australia’s favourite pop export Sia. Four time GRAMMY award winner Sam Smith’s stunning performance of their recent single, Diamonds from Abbey Road Studios in London was an absolute highlight of the evening just after the release of their third studio album Love Goes.
Mega-star Billie Eilish stunned with her signature vocal abilities with an exclusive performance of her new single, Therefore I Am from LA. The five-time GRAMMY winner graced us with a stunning performance we will never forget.
Performing from Los Angeles, Sia’s renowned vocals shone through as she performed her latest release, Together from her forthcoming album and motion picture Music. The ten-time ARIA Award winner and nine-time GRAMMY nominee blew audiences away with her spectacular and uplifting performance.
In a powerful tribute to the late feminist trailblazing icon and ARIA Hall of Fame Inductee Helen Reddy, the evening’s triumphant, I Am Woman performance remembered Reddy’s groundbreaking 1972 anthem of the same name and celebrated the life and impact of a phenomenal Australian talent.
Joining the tribute were some of Australia’s most exceptional female talent, including previous ARIA Award winners Amy Shark, Christine Anu, Delta Goodrem, Emma Watkins, Jessica Mauboy, Kate Ceberano, Marcia Hines, Montaigne, The McClymonts and Tones and I.
These incredible women were supported by 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 Matthews and many more.
This was a tribute not just to Helen Reddy the artist but to her words that have inspired so many of us over so many years. Chelsea Cullen won Best Original Soundtrack or Musical Theatre Cast Album for the soundtrack of the biographical film of Helen Reddy, I Am Woman.
Harry Styles fans delivered for the second time, voting him the recipient of this year’s Best International Artist award, following the release of his critically acclaimed sophomore album Fine Line, which was released late last year. Styles also won the Award in 2017 for his self-titled debut album.
This year’s ARIA Award for Best Video presented by YouTube Music went to Guy Sebastian for his outstandingly powerful video for Standing With You released earlier this year. Last year’s ARIA Awards host has had another exceptional year, earning his third number 1 spot on the ARIA Albums Chart with his latest release T.R.U.T.H. The album features the 2019 ARIA Song of the Year, Choir.
Taking home one of the biggest awards of the evening for Song of the Year presented by YouTube Music was beloved Aussie band5 Seconds of Summer for 2 x ARIA Platinum and certified Gold in the US single Teeth. Their 2020 album CALM debuted at the top of the ARIA album charts, making it their fourth consecutive album to debut at number one in Australia.
Beloved entertainer Christine Anu announced the winner of the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award, and Sarah Donnelley from Wilcannia Central School, Wilcannia NSW was the proud recipient.
Winners of the night for the Fine Arts Awards included Richard Tognetti & Erin Helyard for Best Classical Album for the critically acclaimed Beethoven & Mozart Violin Sonatas, Paul Kelly & Paul Grabowsky for Best Jazz Album for Please Leave Your Light On and Joseph Tawadros taking home Best World Music Album for Live at the Sydney Opera House.
Best Cover Art was awarded to Washington for studio album Batflowers and winning her first ever ARIA award, Fanny Lumsden was awarded Best Country Album for her latest chart-topping release Fallow. The ARIA award for Best Children’s Album went to Teeny Tiny Stevies for the wonderful Thoughtful Songs for Little People.
Dom Dolla took out the ARIA Award for Best Dance Release for San Frandisco, his first ARIA Award to date. Best Comedy Release went to the rockstar of Australian comedy, Anne Edmonds for What’s Wrong With You? The ARIA Award for Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album went to multiple ARIA Award winners King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard for Chunky Shrapnel and Best Blues & Roots Album was awarded to The Teskey Brothers, for their album Live At The Forum making this their fourth ARIA Award win.
“On behalf of the ARIA Board, I would like to congratulate all the winners and nominees from the 2020 ARIA Awards, in partnership with YouTube Music,” said Denis Handlin AO, ARIA Chairman. I am thrilled to see such a diverse array of talented artists be recognised tonight, together with an audience of passionate music fans that joined us to celebrate from all over Australia and the world.”
“It is an incredible honour to celebrate Australian music at this year’s ARIA Awards,” said Dan Rosen, ARIA Chief Executive. “2020 has been a challenging year for the Australian music industry, but it’s clear that the quality of the music has not suffered. I’m especially pleased to see the winners come from all parts of our music community, and that we could celebrate with audiences from all around the world.”
For more information the 2020 ARIA Awards, including nominees and winners, visit: www.aria.com.au for details.
Image: Archie Roach – photo by Philip Nitchie