The countdown to the 2021 ARIA Awards in partnership with YouTube Music is on, with just five weeks to go. The ARIA Awards Nominations Announce event saw the nominees in all categories revealed today via a YouTube Premiere. This is the second time in ARIA Awards history that the Nominations event has premiered on YouTube and can be viewed here: youtube.com/aria and available to stream free on 9Now. The winners will be announced on Wednesday 24th November 2021 to be broadcast from Sydney, Australia and the world on YouTube, and on 9Now.
8x ARIA Award winner Amy Shark is closing a huge year with six nominations, including Album of the Year, Best Artist, Best Pop Release, Song of the Year presented by YouTube Music and more. Amy’s confessional sophomore album Cry Forever, debuted at #1 on the ARIA charts, following in the footsteps of Shark’s debut/breakthrough 2018 ARIA Album of the Year, LOVE MONSTER. Platinum accredited “Love Songs Ain’t For Us,” featuring Keith Urban, hit #1 on the Apple Music and Shazam charts and is nominated for Best Video presented by YouTube Music. A returning guest of the awards, last year Amy Shark opened the ceremony with an outstanding performance of platinum accredited single and the winner of 2020’s ARIA Best pop release, “Everybody Rise”. In addition to her solo performance, Amy joined other prominent female artists to pay tribute to Helen Reddy with a stunning performance of “I Am Woman” before receiving an additional award for Best Australian Live Act. Amy is once again nominated for Best Australian Live Act presented by Heaps Normal for her Cry Forever Tour 2021 making this her 28th nomination.
Genesis Owusu lands in tally with six nominations, including Album of the Year, Best Artist, Best Independent Release presented by PPCA, Best Hip Hop Release presented By Menulog and Best Cover Art. Genesis Owusu’s debut album Smiling With No Teeth peaked at #27 on the ARIA charts. The record gained worldwide acclaim from outlets like triple j, BBC, KCRW, The Needle Drop, The Guardian, NME and more, featured in a multitude of Spotify and Apple Music playlists and saw him sell out his 22 date national tour. In 2019 Genesis Owusu released “WUTD / Vultures” which went on to land his first ARIA nomination for Best R&B/Soul Release. In 2020, he was once again nominated for Best R&B/Soul Release for “Don't Need You,” which has collected over 5 million streams and landed #73 in triple j’s Hottest 100 in 2020.
Also receiving five nominations, including Best Artist, Best Soul/R&B Release and the Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist, is R&B wunderkind Budjerah. The 19-year-old breakout artist released his self-titled debut Budjerah this year, co-written and produced by ARIA winner, singer songwriter Matt Corby. “Missing You,” the debut single from Budjerah has seen him garner widespread support from radio including #1 most played on triple j and Top 30 national airplay. Earlier this year, Budjerah was commended for his excellence with a nomination for New Artist of the Year from the National Indigenous Music Awards and was recognised by Apple Music as their latest local Up Next Artist. Signed to Warner Music, Budjerah is bringing listeners closer together with his crafted sound that melds the formative elements of gospel and soul, with contemporary pop and R'n'B references.
Internationally acclaimed Australian rapper Masked Wolf has secured five nominations this year, including Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist, Best Artist, Best Hip Hop Release presented By Menulog, Song of the Year presented by YouTube Music and Best Video presented by YouTube Music. In 2021 Masked Wolf re-released his 2019 single “Astronaut in the Ocean,” and it immediately caught fire, igniting 17.5million-plus TikTok videos. “Astronaut in the Ocean” has since gone triple platinum on the ARIA charts, hit #1 on the Global Shazam Chart and holding for 6+ weeks and has garnered over 1.6 billion streams with the official music video holding 230 million YouTube views to date.Australian treasures, 11x ARIA Awards and 2006 ARIA Awards Hall of Fame inductees, Midnight Oil, have landed five nominations this year, including Best Group, Best Australian Live Act presented by Heaps Normal and Best Video presented by YouTube Music. The Rock n’ Roll icons have also scored nominations for Album of the Year and Best Rock Album for this year's mini-album The Makarrata Project, which debuted at #1 on the ARIA charts, the band’s first new body of work in nearly 20 years. All of the songs on the record share a strong focus on Indigenous reconciliation, with each track featuring collaborations with the band’s First Nations friends. The first single “Gadigal Land” (feat. Dan Sultan, Joel Davison, Kaleena Briggs and Bunna Lawrie) went straight to #1 on the iTunes chart within hours of its release. Bunna Lawrie, Joel Davison and Rob Hirst, writers of “Gadigal Land” were awarded winners of the prestigious Song of the Year at the 2021 APRA Music Awards. The mini-album itself debuted #1 on the ARIA Album Chart, becoming their first studio album to do so since Blue Sky Mining over three decades ago, and their fifth overall chart-topper. In early 2021, Midnight Oil and First Nations collaborators Dan Sultan, Alice Skye, Troy Cassar-Daley, Leah Flanagan and Tasman Keith toured across the country with Makarrata Live, sought to elevate The Uluru Statement From The Heart through performances of songs from The Makarrata Project as well as iconic Midnight Oil songs of reconciliation.
It was an exciting day for Australian electronic group, The Avalanches, who landed five ARIA Award nominations for Album of the Year, Best Group, Best Pop Release, Best Australian Live Act presented by Heaps Normal and Best Video presented by YouTube Music. In 2020, the band released their third studio album - We Will Always Love You, which features an array of living guests who contribute vocals and lyrics – meaning the album is their most song-oriented album yet. We Will Always Love You was awarded Album of The Year from the Australian Music Prize (AMP). Welcomed to worldwide praise, the album peaked at #4 on the ARIA Australian Albums charts. The Avalanches have celebrated the 20th anniversary of their 2001 debut album Since I Left You which won awards for Best New Artist (Album), Best Dance Release and Best New Artist (Single) for the album's feature track “Frontier Psychiatrist” at the 2001 ARIA Awards.
One of Australia’s fastest growing breakthrough artists, Tones And I, has this year been nominated for five awards, including Album of the Year, Best Artist, Best Pop Release, Song of the Year presented by YouTube Music and Best Video presented by YouTube Music. Following the enormous success of her breakout global hit “Dance Monkey,” which has accrued 7 billion global streams, 1.7 billion views on YouTube and went 15X platinum; Tones And I released her debut studio album, Welcome to the Madhouse, which debuted at #1 on the ARIA charts, hit #1 on the iTunes Album charts and #144 on the US Billboard 200. Tones And I rose to fame in 2019 and has since collected quite the stash of awards including Best Female Artist, Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist, Best Pop Release and Best Independent Release from the 2020 ARIA Awards.
Previous ARIA Award winner Vance Joy has scored five nominations for Best Artist, Best Pop Release, Best Independent Release presented by PPCA, Song of the Year presented by YouTube Music and Best Video presented by YouTube Music. Vance Joy has long been winning the hearts of Australians and the world with his anthemic folk-influenced tunes; this year he released two singles, “You” with Marshmello and Benny Blanco and the platinum – selling global hit “Missing Piece.” Featured on the seventeenth season of Grey’s Anatomy, “Missing Piece” landed #14 on the ARIA charts and #5 on the Billboard US Alternative Airplay charts. In September of this year, Vance Joy was invited to perform “Missing Piece” on the popular US TV talk show Late Late Show with James Corden and earlier in the year performed virtually as a part of Splendour in the Grass XR.
Papua New Guinea born and Sydney based R&B artist Ngaiire is celebrating four nominations for Best Artist, Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist, Best Soul/R&B Release and Best Cover Art. 2021 saw the release of Ngaiire’s third album, 3, which transcended music, to stand as a mission. Beginning as an experiment in 2017, 3 saw Ngaiire return to her home country, Papua New Guinea, with a small creative team to extract the unique visual aspects of her culture and present in a contemporary context alongside music that would be composed throughout and after the research period. Four years later, 3 arrived to fans open arms, since landing feature album of the week on Double j, FBi Radio, Triple R and Radio Adelaide, debuting at #5 on the ARIA charts and reaching #2 on the AIR Independent Label Album charts across Australia.
The excitement continues for Sydney-born international superstar, The Kid LAROI, who is nominated for four awards including Best Artist, Best Pop Release, Best Hip Hop Release Presented By Menulog and Song of the Year presented by YouTube Music. It’s been a groundbreaking year for The Kid LAROI, not only in his homeland but across the globe, with over 3 billion global streams across his catalogue. In early 2020 he released the first part of the F*ck Love trilogy, which went on to claim #1 on the Billboard 200, Top 40 in 17 countries and #1 on the ARIA charts, making him the youngest Australian artist to top the charts. Collaborating with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, The Kid LAROI released “Go” with Juice Wrld in 2020, which reached #52 on the Billboard 100 charts; as well as “Without You” with Miley Cyrus, which went 5X platinum on the ARIA charts, hit top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and broke the record for the longest non-consecutive weeks ever in the #1 Australian radio airplay slot. “Without You” received two nominations at the VMAs for Best New Artist and Push Performance of The Year. The Kid LAROI and Justin Beiber performed their 3x platinum single “Stay” at the MTV VMAs this year, a track that quickly hit #1 on both the Billboard 100 and the ARIA charts as well as a number of other countries. Adding to his long list of achievements, 18-year-old The Kid LAROI featured on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Ellen and SNL with Elon Musk and Miley Cyrus earlier this year and most recently sold out his North American tour within a matter of minutes.
With three nominations indie, rock pioneers Ball Park Music are nominated for Best Australian Live Act, Best Independent Release presented by PPCA and Best Rock Album. In late 2020 the five piece released their latest self titled album Ball Park Music, the sixth in their 13 years since formation. At its peak, the album hit #2 on the ARIA charts, an achievement that can be attributed to the band's consistent style and experimentation that their fans have come to know and love. The album was nominated for AIR Awards Independent Album of the Year, the J Awards Australian Album of the Year and took out the crown for the Queensland Music Awards Album of the Year. Their single “Cherub” has since amassed upwards of 7 million streams, landed #4 on the 2020 triple j hottest 100, and was performed as part of Ball Park Music’s triple j Like A Version performance alongside their cover of Radiohead’s hit song “Paranoid Android.” Luxury in the age of COVID-19, Ball Park Music have spent their year on the stages of Aussie festivals including Summer Sounds and Toowoomba Carnival, while embarking on their own tour alongside Thelma Plum and Alice Ivy.
Annabelle Herd, ARIA Chief Executive, said: “Today, a huge congratulations are in order for every recording musician across Australia. After another immensely challenging year for creatives, it has been truly phenomenal to see such amazing, diverse and celebrated work continue to pour out from all over the country. In the face of such adversity, we can all be proud to say Australia’s creative heart is still alive and beating. That is exactly what the 2021 ARIA Awards, in partnership with YouTube Music, plan to celebrate. To all of this year’s amazing nominees, thank you for continuing to share your stories and brighten the lives of music fans across the globe, thank you to all the teams who have worked so hard behind the scenes, and thank you to the fans for continuing to show their love and support for this amazing and dedicated industry. Let’s party (safely)!”
Natalie Waller, ARIA Chair, said: “On behalf of the ARIA Board, we are sending an enormous congratulations to all of the talented people who today received a nomination for the 2021 ARIA Awards, in partnership with YouTube Music. You are all the very core of the unique brilliance that is Australia’s thriving music community. We are pleased to be honouring the strength and perseverance of our talented nominees from our homes this year. While this year will be a little different from every other, the spirit, gratitude and celebrations will remain just as large. Good luck to all of our nominees and thank you to all of our sponsors, I look forward to a fantastic evening.”
Marion Briand, Manager, Music Content Partnerships (AU/NZ), YouTube, said: “I’m ecstatic to see this year’s ARIA Awards nominees, including for the first time those in the Best Artist category - a massive congratulations to all. It’s been amazing to see the resilience of our home-grown talent that continues to shine bright, inspiring, entertaining and motivating people. We're thrilled to be working with ARIA again and can't wait to join others around the world tuning in to YouTube on November 24 to celebrate Australia’s incredible music industry.”
Stuart Ayres, NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, said: “Once again, the breadth and depth of Australian music talent is shining through the prism of the ARIAs. The NSW Government joins ARIA in congratulating all the incredibly gifted nominees for the 2021 ARIA Awards. Your perseverance with your art during this challenging period has brought life and light to Sydney and NSW at a time when it has never been more needed. We are proud to partner with ARIA in celebrating the strength and incredible resilience of our music industry and we look forward to supporting large-scale music events for our musicians to get back out and performing in front of their fans.”
The nominees for the Fine Arts and Artisan Awards were also announced today, which include Best Classical Album, Best Jazz Album, Best Original Soundtrack or Musical Theatre Cast Album and Best World Music Album – and Artisan awards – which include Best Cover Art, Engineer of the Year and Producer of the Year – will be presented at the ARIA Awards ceremony. Producers and Engineers will be nominated for their whole body of work, rather than one particular project. ARIA Award nominees for Engineer of the Year include Chris Collins, Eric J Dubowsky, Konstantin Kersting, Matt Corby, Tony Espie, while Producer of the Year nominees includes, Andrew Klippel and Dave Hammer, Konstantin Kersting, M-Phazes, Matt Corby and Robert Chater.Also returning this year is the opportunity for music fans to decide an ARIA winner via Twitter for the Most Popular International category. Fans can start voting for their favourite International Artist today by heading to Twitter and using the following hashtags:
#ARIAsArianaGrande #ARIAsDojaCat #ARIAsJustinBieber #ARIAsKanyeWest #ARIAsLukeCombs #ARIAsMachineGunKelly #ARIAsMileyCyrus #ARIAsOliviaRodrigo #ARIAsPopSmoke #ARIAsTaylorSwift
ARIA would also like to take this opportunity to thank 9Network’s Brooke Boney for her participation in the ARIA Awards Nominations Announce.
The 2021 ARIA Awards in partnership with YouTube Music are proudly supported by the NSW Government through Destination NSW. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements in the coming weeks.
THE 2021 ARIA AWARDS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH YOUTUBE MUSIC
Midnight Oil & First Nations Collaborators
Tones And I
The Kid LAROI
Ball Park Music
Emma Donovan & The Putbacks
RÜFÜS DU SOL
A. Swayze & the Ghosts
Andrew Klippel, Dave Hammer
Angus & Julia Stone
Australian Art Orchestra, Reuben Lewis, Tariro Mavondo & Peter Knight
Bob Weatherall & Halfway, with William Barton
Bukhu - Bukhchuluun Ganburged
Caitlin Yeo, Maria Alfonsine, Damian de Boos-Smith
Emily Sun & Andrea Lam
Eric J Dubowsky
Felicity Urquhart & Josh Cunningham
Gang Of Youths
Genevieve Lacey and Marshall McGuire
Giulia Giannini McGauran & Mitchell Eaton
Jack Britten & Ngaiire Joseph - Ngaiire.
Josh Teskey & Ash Grunwald
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
KLP & Stace Cadet
Kristen Beradi, Sean Foran & Rafael Karlen
Machine Gun Kelly
Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
Petra Haden and the Nick Haywood Quintet
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets
The Teskey Brothers
The Wolfe Brothers
Tropical F**k Storm