Sony BMG pop-rock band Augie March's "Moo You Bloody Choir" won the A$25,000 ($19,250) Australian Music Prize today for the most creative Australian album released in 2006.

The winner is determined by a group of 72 industry professionals, including label executives, publishers, retailers and musicians.

The band formed ten years ago and took its name from Saul Bellows' novel "The Adventures Of Augie March." The name of the album alludes to the sound of cattle being herded to the slaughterhouse, near songwriter Glenn Richards' farm outside Melbourne.

"Moo You Bloody Choir", the band's third album was released in March 2006. It entered the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) chart in the Top 10, and is certified platinum for sales of 70,000 units.

Its lead off single "One Crowded Hour" crossed into mainstream airplay, leading the band to four nominations for last October's ARIA awards. The single was also voted top song of 2006 by listeners of government-run youth radio network Triple J.

"The album widened our audience by ten times," Augie March drummer Dave Williams tells Billboard.biz.

Williams says it was a "frustrating" album to make. The band was dissatisfied with the initial mixes, and Sony BMG delayed its release by six months to avoid the Christmas market.

The group has inked a yet-to-be announced North America deal, where the album will be issued mid-year, Williams says.

The AMP prize money was donated by the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia, which collects performance royalties from 43,000 businesses across the country on behalf of recording artists and labels.

The AMP was set up as Australia's answer to Britain's Mercury Prize in 2005. A shortlist of nine albums was announced Jan. 31.

This year, two more prizes were added to the event. Red Bull Australia donated A$15,000 ($11,000) for the "outstanding potential" award, won by electronica artist Gotye's shortlisted "Like Drawing Blood" (Creative Vibes).

Another was determined by MySpace Australia's subscribers who voted for their favourite album from a list of 25. This trophy went to hip hop band Hilltop Hoods' "The Hard Road," (Obese) which debuted atop ARIA chart last year.

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