Sia, Chet Faker Win Big at ARIA Awards

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Chet Faker

Sia cleaned-up at Wednesday’s (Nov. 26) ARIA Awards at Sydney’s Star Event Centre, where she took out four categories on what is the Australian record industry’s big night.

The singer and songwriter cemented her career-year by snaffling the annual event’s traditional top award, best album, for 1000 Forms of Fear, her sixth studio set which topped the Billboard 200 and the ARIA Albums Chart on its release earlier this year. The Adelaide-raised artist also took out best female artist and her hit “Chandelier” won for best video and best pop release. Though Sia wasn’t in the country to collect her spoils, Katy Perry, who presented the best album category, promised to present the hardware when she next sees her friend and collaborator in L.A. 

Sia, who makes no secret of his dislike of the spotlight, later admitted on Twitter she was “saddened to be getting shit for being a 'no-show’.” She then initiated a competition for four lucky followers to win one of her awards.

Also during the show, Chet Faker (real name Nicholas Murphy) added to his growing collection with awards for best male artist and best independent release for his self-produced debut album Built On Glass, which debuted at No. 1 on the ARIA chart following its release in April of this year. In October, the Melbourne electronica artist won all three ARIA Artisan awards on offer (producer of the year, engineer of the year and best cover art). He was clearly swept away by his rush of success. While Faker delivered his acceptance speech for best male artist at the ARIAs, the presenter Jessica Mauboy stepped in to remind the singer and pianist what he’d just won. 

Six-piece Brisbane indie pop outfit Sheppard took out the best group award for their hit debut “Bombs Away,” while Iggy Azalea snagged breakthrough artist. Iggy’s collaborator on “Fancy,” Charli XCX, accepted the gong on her behalf. 

While strolling the red carpet before the show, the members of One Direction were the biggest hit as they chatted and took selfies with fans. Everywhere 1D goes, screams -- and the media -- follow. During the show proper, the lads took out the best international artist ARIA Award for the third successive year, and they delivered a performance of the hit single “Steal My Girl”. Not to be outdone, Aussie pop-rock boyband 5 Seconds of Summer opened the show with a performance of “She Looks So Perfect,” and they later claimed the publicly-voted ARIA song of the year award for the same track. 

Dan Sultan was back in the ARIA winner’s circle, taking out best rock album for “Blackbird”. Sultan, who won best male artist at the ARIAs back in 2011, enjoyed a top 5 berth with his latest recording, which is part of a new label and management deal for the indigenous artist. 

Canberra-based electronic dance music duo Peking Duk followed up a win at the Independent Music Awards last month in Melbourne with the best dance release ARIA for “High,” featuring Nicole Millar. Adelaide-based hip hop trio Hilltop Hoods won best urban album for Walking Under Stars, the act’s chart-topping seventh LP. 

Other winners on the night included Neil Finn and Paul Kelly (best adult contemporary album for Goin’ Your Way), John Butler Trio (best blues & roots album for Flesh And Blood), The Wiggles (best children’s album for Apples & Bananas), Kasey Chambers (best country album for Bittersweet), DZ Deathrays (best hard rock/heavy metal album for Black Rat), Buddy Goode (best comedy release for It’s A Buddy Goode Christmas) and Keith Urban (best live Australian act).

Chet Faker, Sia, 5SOS, Iggy Azalea Nominated for ARIA Awards

During the curtain-raising Chairman’s Cocktail Party, Denis Handlin AM, ARIA chairman and chairman & CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand and president, Asia was presented with the 2014 ARIA Industry Icon Award. It was Ian “Molly” Meldrum who led Handlin’s celebrations, and it was Meldrum who was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame later in the evening.

Meldrum, a household name Down Under who hosted the cherished Countdown music show for many years, is the first non-recording artist to receive the high honor. Molly has banged the drum for homegrown artists for decades and he did it again Wednesday night, telling the audience during his induction speech, "I hope you don't mind me saying this at the end: everyone out there that's watching this show, all you amazing young people in here, get behind your Australian acts.” The music journalist, who nearly lost his life in an accident at home three years ago, quipped that his greatest mumbles and fumbles were captured by the Countdown cameras for the whole country to see. "I am just like everyone in this room,” he said. “I am here because I love music."

Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum to be Inducted Into ARIA Hall of Fame 

Performers at the 28th annual awards included 5SOS, Chet Faker, Dan Sultan, Hilltop Hoods, Jessica Mauboy, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Neil Finn and Paul Kelly and Sheppard.

The ceremony was broadcast on a two-hour delay via free-to-air network Ten and, for the first time, beamed throughout Asia via Fox International. Boosted by the appearance of international A-listers and pop royalty, some 570,000 people watched the broadcast, twice the figure from last year’s telecast via Channel Nine’s digital Go! Channel, and well ahead of the 304,000 who watched in 2012 and 369,000 in 2011. And yet, the broadcast's ratings weren't strong enough for the ARIAs to crack the top 20 most-watched shows for the night. A peak of 602,000 tuned in for the 2014 event’s red carpet arrivals (up from 248,000 last year).

Winners of the 2014 ARIA Awards:

Album Of The Year (presented by Telstra) -- Sia "1000 Forms Of Fear" (Inertia Recordings)

Best Female Artist -- Sia

Best Pop Release -- Sia, "Chandelier"

Best Video (presented by YouTube) -- Sia, "Chandelier" (Directed by Sia and Daniel Askill)

Best Group -- Sheppard, "Bombs Away" (Empire of Song/Chugg Music)

Best Male Artist -- Chet Faker (Future Classic)

Best Independent Release -- Chet Faker, "Built On Glass"

Breakthrough Artist (Presented By PPCA) -- Iggy Azalea, "The New Classic" (Virgin/Universal Music Australia)

ARIA Song Of The Year -- 5 Seconds Of Summer, "She Looks So Perfect" (EMI)

Best Adult Contemporary Album -- Neil Finn & Paul Kelly, "Goin’ Your Way" (EMI)

Best Blues And Roots Album -- John Butler Trio, "Flesh And Blood" (Jarrah Records/MGM)

Best Children’s Album -- The Wiggles, "Apples & Bananas" (ABC Music/UMA)

Best Comedy Release -- Buddy Goode, "It’s A Buddy Goode Christmas" (ABC Music/UMA)

Best Country Album -- Kasey Chambers, "Bittersweet" (Essence Group)

Best Dance Release -- Peking Duk Featuring Nicole Millar, "High" (Vicious Bitch/Universal)

Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album -- Dz Deathrays, "Black Rat" (I Oh You/Illusive/UMA)

Best Rock Album -- Dan Sultan, "Blackbird" (Liberation Music)

Best Urban Album -- Hilltop Hoods, "Walking Under Stars" (Golden Era Records/(Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)

Best Live Australian Act -- Keith Urban

Best International Artist -- One Direction

ARIA Hall Of Fame -- Molly Meldrum And Countdown

ARIA Industry Icon Award -- Denis Handlin