Chet Faker

Chet Faker

Lisa Frieling Photography

Chet Faker has bagged one of the grandest prizes of all by taking out Triple J's Hottest 100 poll, the biggest fan-voted competition of its kind. 

The Melbourne-based electro-soul artist's "Talk Is Cheap" came in at No. 1 on the annual countdown, which coincides with Australia Day (Jan. 26), the official national day when hundreds of thousands of Aussies typically flock to water and tune into Triple J. 

As the countdown neared its payoff at around 8pm EST, Faker landed the song "Gold' at No. 7 and "1998" at No. 8, to become just the second artist to have three tracks inside the top 10 after Powderfinger (which achieved the feat in 2003).

The Triple J win caps a meteoric rise for Faker. Less than a year ago, the singer (whose real name is Nicholas Murphy) was celebrating a No. 1 album with his debut Built On Glass. By year's end, he'd scooped numerous ARIA Awards, including best male artist and best independent release and Triple J's J Award for Australian album of the year. The longplayer is now platinum-certified Down Under and last week it was nominated for the prestigious Australian Music Prize

"'Talk Is Cheap' dropped right at the start of 2014. By year's end, it was still sounding as fresh as the first day we played it," comments Triple J's music director Richard Kingsmill. "Chet played and produced the whole album himself (bar one guitar solo). The way the sax starts the song is just magical and sucks you right in. The song sounds simple, until you hear all the instruments and voices at work. You're kept there right until the end, when Chet Faker's layered vocals bring the song to a fitting close." 

The state-funded Triple J network announced more than 2.099 million votes were cast by 258,762 listeners for this year's poll, a new record for an event now in its 22nd year. Triple J declares its Hottest 100 the "world's biggest music poll."

This year, 59 of the top 100 acts were by Australian artists, another new record that smashes the previous one of 52 Australian artists set in 1999 and 2007. Fifteen songs came from the U.S., while the U.K. accounted for 14.

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This year's list, however, featured no titles by Taylor Swift. Though not for a lack of trying. A social media campaign to get "Shake it Off" to the top of the countdown resulted in Triple J's hierarchy banning the artist from its poll. Ahead of the countdown, fans were casting votes across social media with the hashtag #Tay4Hottest100. Decision-makers at the station said the campaign had bought Swift a "one way ticket to Bansville". The final figure of votes counted doesn't include ballots for Taylor (whose music isn't playlisted by Triple J). Triple J tweeted at the top of its poll that Taylor wouldn't get a look in. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, she wouldn't have garnered enough votes to crack the top 10. 

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