Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu and Marcia Hines are among a handful of musicians and singers recognized in the government's official Australia Day awards.
Yunupingu, the ARIA Award-winning, blind indigenous artist from Elcho Island, near Darwin, was a finalist in the Northern Territory division for the "Australian of the year" 2009 award.
American-born singer Marcia Hines has been appointed a member of the order of Australia, for service to the entertainment industry as a "performer, judge and mentor," and to the community through "a range of charitable organizations." Hines was a hitmaker of note in Australia during the 1970s, and is familiar to a new generation of Australians through her role as an "Australian Idol" judge. She was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2007.
Others feted with the prestigious medal include Adrian Walter, director of the Darwin International Guitar Festival, while manager and promoter Wal Bishop was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia.
Jazz veteran Don Burrows was a finalist in the Victorian section for "senior Australian of the year," and composer Judith Clingan a "senior Australian of the year" finalist in the Australian Capital Territory section.
The "Australian of the Year Awards" recognize those citizens who have made outstanding achievements in their field. The gongs are broken down into the categories of Australian of the year, young Australian of the year, senior Australian of the year and Australia's local hero.
In other Australia Day news, the nation's love affair with Kings of Leon saw the American rockers dominating youth radio network Triple J's popular annual "Hottest 100" countdown.
"Sex On Fire" (RCA/Sony Music) was voted No. 1 on the national station's annual poll, while "Use Somebody" came in at No. 3. Kings of Leon's fourth studio album, "Only by the Night," enjoyed four weeks atop the national sales chart in 2008 en route to become the best-selling album of the year Down Under, according to labels body ARIA.