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ARIA stars target marriage equality and lockout laws


There was a sense of deja vu as electronic musician Flume cleaned up at the ARIAs, winning a total of eight awards, including Best Male and Album of the Year for his record Skin, while Sia took home the award for Best Female.

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True to form, Adelaide-born Sia was not there to accept her award at the ceremony in Sydney but she asked an advocate for marriage equality to accept it on her behalf, calling for the country to legalise same-sex marriage.

But Kylie Minogue made a surprise appearance with her fiance Joshua Sasse, who has also been pushing for same-sex marriage to be legalised Down Under.

“We’re here to say thank you to anyone who supported Josh’s campaign for marriage equality,” Minogue said from the stage, before introducing a performance from Perth singer Troye Sivan.

Sivan won the publicly voted awards for Best Video and Song of the Year, which was presented to him by Robbie Williams.

The young producer from Sydney’s northern beaches added the haul to his previous wins in 2013, when he took home four gongs and became the first person to win Best Male without singing a note.

He also used his platform to criticise Sydney’s lockout laws, calling for the “policy makers and politicians, (to) please keep Sydney open”.

His sentiments were seconded by the Breakthrough Artist winner, Sydney singer Montaigne, who took to the stage with “People Over Profit” written across her chest – her own protest against the laws.

As Australian music’s night of nights celebrated 30 years, a true mix of old legends and new artists took to the stage, with a closing performance from John Farnham of his classic “You’re The Voice” with live bagpipers.

Flume also performed, as did Jimmy Barnes, Jessica Mauboy, Illy, Vera Blue, Violent Soho and hosts The Veronicas.

But it took true legends Crowded House to bring the audience to their feet as they were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame by New Zealand comedy duo Flight of the Conchords.

“We must stop this, you’ve got enough bands in the Hall of Fame,” Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords joked.

“We really need Crowded House – our Hall of Fame is more of a doorway,” Clement’s comedy partner Bret McKenzie added.

Missy Higgins and Bernard Fanning performed two of the band’s biggest hits, “Fall At Your Feet” and “Better Be Home Soon”.

Crowded House themselves then played out their big moment with a performance of “Distant Sun”.

Main ARIA Award winners:

Album Of The Year
Flume – Skin

Best Male Artist
Flume – Skin

Best Female Artist
Sia – This Is Acting

Best Dance Release
Flume – Skin

Best Group
Violent Soho – WACO

Breakthrough Artist
Montaigne – Glorious Heights

Best Pop Release
Flume – Never Be Like You

Best Independent Release
Flume – Skin

Song of the Year
Troye Sivan – Youth


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