Award ceremonies in 2020 have become strange, socially-distant beasts and Wednesday night’s ARIA Awards was no exception.
But despite some awkward pauses, video chat dropouts and use of the much-maligned canned audience, this year’s ARIAs went down with relatively few hitches.
The night was headed up by host Delta Goodrem, who did her best to pull together this year’s virtual event, which took place at largely-empty room at Sydney’s Star.
In a night of history repeating, WA’s Tame Impala took home a bag of awards, including the coveted Album of the Year, Best Rock Album and Best Group.
Kevin Parker from the band who also collected two artisan awards for his production and engineering efforts. The gongs were the band’s 13th ARIAs Award wins after first being nominated for a raft of awards in 2010.
The Gold Coast’s Amy Shark won Best Pop Release for her absolute bop Everybody Rise.
Meanwhile, Zambia-born, Botswana-raised rapper Sampa The Great won the Best Hip Hop Release award for the second year in a row. She also collected gongs for Best Female Artist and Best Independent Release for her debut full-length The Return.
Australian legend Archie Roach took home the award for Best Male Artist and Best Contemporary Album, but it was his induction into Aussie music’s Hall Of Fame that was one of the most poignant moments of the night.
Roach, who has battled lung cancer and survived a stroke, performed his song Took the Children Away, which was written about his first-hand experience with the Stolen Generation.
Singer-songwriter Paul Kelly paid tribute to Roach, saying: “He’s a great storyteller, but I think he’s also one of Australia’s great soul singers.” While rapper Briggs had the honour of inducting Roach into the Hall Of Fame, saying: “Once again, a Blackfella was going above and beyond to educate the rest of Australia.”
Guy Sebastian, Amy Shark and 5 Seconds of Summer took home awards in the public-voted categories, while Harry Styles won the popular award for International Artist.
The organisers behind the evening’s video packages also get a special mention for including Chris Franklin’s song ‘Bloke’ alongside Powderfinger’s ‘My Happiness’ in a Aussie music tribute piece.
These are the 2020 ARIA winners:
Album of the Year: Tame Impala – The Slow Rush
Best Male Artist: Archie Roach – Tell Me Why
Best Female Artist: Sampa The Great – The Return
Best Group: Tame Impala
Best Pop Release: Amy Shark – Everybody Rise
Best Hip Hop Release: Sampa The Great – The Return
Best Breakthrough Artist: Lime Cordiale – 14 Steps To A Better You
Best Sould/R&B Release: Miiesha – Nyaaringu
Best Independent Release: Sampa The Great – The Return
Best Rock Album: Tame Impala – The Slow Rush
Best Dance Release: Dom Dolla – San Frandisco
Best Adult Contemporary Album: Archie Roach – Tell Me Why
Best Country Album: Fanny Lumsden – Fallow
Best Hard Rock/Metal Album: King Gizzard – Chunky Shrapnel
Best Blues & Roots Album: The Teskey Brothers – Live At The Forum
Best Children’s Album: Teeny Tiny Stevies – Thoughtful Songs For Little People
Best Comedy Release: Anne Edmonds – What’s Wrong With You?