|ARIA Music Awards|
|Awarded for||Excellence and innovation in all genres of Australian music.|
|Presented by||Australian Recording Industry Association|
|Network||Network Ten (1992-2000, 2002-08, 2010, 2014-16)|
Nine Network (2001, 2009, 2017-present)
The Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards (commonly known informally 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 and publicity on an artist, and usually increases recording sales several-fold, as well as chart significance - 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. It later included smaller record companies representing independent acts/labels and has over 100 members.
Australian TV pop music show Countdown presented its own annual awards ceremony, Countdown Music and Video Awards, which were co-produced by Carolyn James (a.k.a. Carolyn Bailey) from 1981 to 1984 and, in the latter two years, in collaboration with ARIA. ARIA provided peer voting for some awards, while Countdown provided coupons in the related Countdown Magazine for viewers to vote for populist awards. 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.
Starting with the first ceremony, on 2 March 1987, ARIA administered its own entirely peer-voted ARIA Music Awards, to "recognise excellence and innovation in all genres of Australian music" with an annual ceremony. 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".
The first ceremony, in 1987, featured Elton John as the compere and was held at the Sheraton Wentworth Hotel, Sydney. 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. 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 and publicity on an artist, and may increase recording sales several-fold, as well as chart significance - 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.
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". The first televised ARIA Awards ceremony occurred in 1992, all subsequent ceremonies were televised. They were broadcast on Network Ten from 2002 to 2008 and returned in 2010.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. 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. 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. His speech was bleeped for the TV broadcast.
During the 2004 voting process, former 3RRR radio DJ, Cousin Creep (a.k.a. Craig Barnes), published his user name and password on a music site, Rocknerd, allowing public votes, before being removed from voting two days later. 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, 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",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?", while Daily Telegraphs 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". 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".
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:
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.
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.
The ARIA Awards are given in four fields: ARIA Awards (for general and genre categories), Fine Arts, Artisan and Public Vote. With the exception of the Public Vote field, all award winners and nominees are determined by either a "voting academy" or a "judging school"; the nominees for the public voted categories are determined by ARIA with the public choosing the winner. In the following tables, all the categories are listed in order of the year they were first given; any box in the "last awarded" column that says "N/A" is a current award. The years are linked to their corresponding ceremony and the ordinal numbers beside the year correspond to the order they were presented.
|Category||First awarded||Last awarded||Notes|
|Album of the Year||1987 (1st)||N/A|
|Best Male Artist||N/A|
|Best Female Artist||N/A|
|Best Adult Contemporary Album||N/A|
|Best Comedy Release||N/A|
|Best Country Album||N/A|
|Best Children's Album||1988 (2nd)||N/A||This award was presented in the Fine Arts field from 1988-2000.|
|Best Independent Release||1989 (3rd)||N/A|
|Best Pop Release||1994 (8th)||N/A|
|Best Dance Release||1995 (9th)||N/A|
|Best Blues and Roots Album||1999 (13th)||N/A|
|Best Rock Album||N/A|
|Best Urban Album||2004 (18th)||N/A||Presented as "Best Urban Release" until 2010 when the name was changed to the current title.|
|Breakthrough Artist - Release||2010 (24th)||N/A||Not presented in 2011. Reinstated the following year.|
|Best Hard Rock or Heavy Metal Album||N/A|
|Fine Arts Awards|
|Best Classical Album||1987 (1st)||N/A|
|Best Jazz Album||N/A|
|Best Original Soundtrack, Cast or Show Album||N/A||Originally named Best Australian Original Soundtrack or Cast Recording; between 1999 and 2003,|
separate awards were given for Best Original Soundtrack Album and Best Original Show/Cast Album.
|Best World Music Album||1995 (9th)||N/A|
|Best Cover Art||1987 (1st)||N/A|
|Engineer of the Year||N/A|
|Producer of the Year||N/A|
|Public Voted Awards|
|Single of the Year/Song of the Year||1987 (1st)||N/A||Winners and nominees were determined by industry vote (in the general field) until 1998 when it was discontinued.|
The accolade was re-introduced in 2012 as a public voted award and was changed to Song of the Year.[nb 1]
|Best Video||N/A||From 1987-2011, "Best Video" was an industry voted accolade in the artisan field. From 2012, onwards,|
the winners are determined by the public.
|Best International Artist||2010 (24th)||N/A|
|Best Australian Live Act||2011 (25th)||N/A|
|Music Teacher of the Year||2017 (31st)||N/A|
|Category||First awarded||Last awarded||Notes|
|Song of the Year (Songwriter)||1987 (1st)||1998 (12th)|
|Best Indigenous Release|
|Best New Talent|
|Highest Selling Album||2011 (25th)||Not presented in 2010.|
|Highest Selling Single|
|Breakthrough Artist - Album||1989 (3rd)|
|Breakthrough Artist - Single|
|Best Adult Alternative Album||1994 (8th)||2016 (30th)||From 1994-2001, this category was known as "Best Alternative Release". After being discontinued from 2002-2009, the award was|
re-introduced as "Best Adult Alternative Album" in 2010. Award was discounted again from 2012-2015.
|Fine Arts Awards|
|Best Music DVD||2004 (18th)||2011 (25th)|
|Public Voted Awards|
|Most Popular Australian Album||2010 (24th)||2010 (24th)|
|Most Popular Australian Single|
ARIA Hall of Fame inductees have been installed annually from the categories inception, as 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. In 2011 the ceremony was held at the same time as the ARIA Awards.
The ARIA award trophy, used since 1990, is a tall triangular pyramid made of solid stainless steel. The 1987-1989 trophies were designed by Philip Mortlock, while the 1990 design was by Mark Denning. 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.
To see the full article for a particular year, please click on the year link.
|Year||Album of the Year||Single of the Year||Hall of Fame|
"You're the Voice"
|ARIA Hall of Fame not established|
Man of Colours
"Beds Are Burning"
|AC/DC, Col Joye, Dame Joan Sutherland,|
Johnny O'Keefe, Slim Dusty, Vanda & Young
Temple of Low Men
"Under the Milky Way"
"Crying in the Chapel"
|Sherbet, Percy Grainger|
Blue Sky Mining
"(I Don't Want to Be With) Nobody But You"
|Billy Thorpe, Don Burrows, Glenn Shorrock, Pete Dawson|
"Treaty" (Filthy Lucre Remix)
"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|
|1996||You Am I
|Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue
"Where the Wild Roses Grow"
|Australian Crawl, Horrie Dargie|
"Truly Madly Deeply"
|Paul Kelly, Graeme Bell, Bee Gees|
|The Masters Apprentices, The Angels|
"The Day You Come"
|Jimmy Little, Richard Clapton|
"Don't Call Me Baby"
Odyssey Number Five
|The Saints, INXS|
Barricades & Brickwalls
"Can't Get You Out of My Head"
"Born to Try"
"Are You Gonna Be My Girl"
|Little River Band|
The Sound of White
"Catch My Disease"
|Jimmy Barnes, Smoky Dawson, Renée Geyer,|
Normie Rowe, Split Enz, The Easybeats, Hunters and Collectors
Tea and Sympathy
"Black Fingernails, Red Wine"
|Midnight Oil, Divinyls, Rose Tattoo, Helen Reddy, Daddy Cool, Icehouse, Lobby Loyde|
|Frank Ifield, Hoodoo Gurus, Marcia Hines, Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons, Brian Cadd, Radio Birdman, Nick Cave|
"Sweet About Me"
|Dragon, Russell Morris, Max Merritt, The Triffids, |
|2009||Empire of the Sun
Walking on a Dream
|Empire of the Sun
"Walking on a Dream"
|Kev Carmody, The Dingoes, Little Pattie, Mental As Anything, John Paul Young|
|2010||Angus & Julia Stone
Down the Way
|Angus & Julia Stone
"Big Jet Plane"
|The Church, The Loved Ones, Models, John Williamson, Johnny Young|
|2011||Boy & Bear
|Gotye featuring Kimbra
"Somebody That I Used to Know"
|Kylie Minogue, The Wiggles|
1000 Forms of Fear
|5 Seconds of Summer
"She Looks So Perfect"
|Molly Meldrum, Countdown|
|2017||Gang of Youths
Go Farther in Lightness
|Peking Duk (featuring Elliphant)
|5 Seconds of Summer
Highest number of awards received by an artist with the number of their nominations:
|You Am I||10||31|||
|Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu||9||19|||
|Empire of the Sun||8||19|||
|John Butler Trio||6||27|||