Australian Rapper 360 Leads Gotye, The Jezabels In 2012 ARIA Awards Nominations
Australian Rapper 360 Leads Gotye, The Jezabels In 2012 ARIA Awards Nominations
Australian rapper 360

With six nominations, Australian rapper 360 has his rivals in a spin ahead of the ARIA Awards, to be held Nov. 29 in Sydney. Gotye and Jezabels are a touch behind with five nominations apiece.

The Melbourne-born 360 -- otherwise known as Matt Colwell -- is part of a new generation of hugely popular homegrown hip-hoppers, an elite circle which includes the Hilltop Hoods, Bliss N Eso and Drapht.

360's debut Falling & Flying (Soulmate/EMI) is up for the ARIA Album of the Year and Best Urban Album, and he's in the running for Best Australian Live Act, Breakthrough Artist and Best Male Artist. His multi-platinum collaboration with Gossling, "Boys Like You," is facing off with nine others in the Song of the Year category.

For 360, the past 18 months have represented an irresistible rise. Falling & Flying is closing in on double-platinum status (140,000 units) and is yet to leave the ARIA Top 50 Albums Chart since its release here on Sept. 30, 2011. In the days after his major-label album release, 360 grabbed a trophy at the Jagermeister Independent Music Awards and was named broadcaster Channel V's publicly-voted "Oz Artist" of 2011.

Gotye will look to add to the three trophies he took home from last year's ARIAs ceremony, when his triple-platinum album Making Mirrors (Samples 'n' Seconds Records/Eleven: A Music Company) missed the qualifying release date for consideration. Not this time. The artist is up for the Best Male Artist and Best Australian Live Act ARIAs, while Making Mirrors is up for Album of the Year and Best Pop Release.

Gotye, of course, enjoyed one of the biggest hits of any career when his song "Somebody that I Used to Know" featuring Kimbra this year spent eight weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. The track also topped the ARIA Singles chart and is certified 10-times platinum (700,000 copies) in Australia.

The 2012 ARIAs have already proven to be a happy hunting ground for Gotye, who won two of the three ARIA Artisan Awards handed out Wednesday, while a further four ARIA Fine Arts categories were presented.

Another standout leading up to this year's ARIAs ceremony is the Jezabels, who with five nominations should add to a swelling mantelpiece which already boasts this year's prestigious Australian Music Prize. That AMP-winning debut is up for Album of the Year and Best Rock Album at the ARIAs, and the four-piece is up for Best Group, Best Australian Live Act, and Best Independent Release.

Meanwhile, hip hop trio Hilltop Hoods and blue-jazz singer Lanie Lane each grab four nominations, while a raft of artists are up for three gongs, a list that includes singer-songwriters Missy Higgins and Matt Corby, pop singers Guy Sebastian and Jessica Mauboy, newcomers San Cisco, Lance Ferguson's soul-funk collective the Bamboos, alternative rock group The Temper Trap and rock legends Cold Chisel.

This year's 26th annual ceremony will take place at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, and will be aired on the Nine Network's GO channel. Organizers have invited the public to decide the winners in four categories -- Song of the Year, Best International Artist, Best Australian Live Act and Best Video. (

Head HERE to subscribe to Billboard's free music-business newsletters:
Breaking News, Touring, Top 40, Country and many more.