Archie Roach, the legendary Indigenous Australian artist whose song “Took the Children Away” was recognized with a Human Rights Medal, is the next inductee into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
Roach will be elevated into the Hall of Fame on Nov. 25, during the 2020 ARIA Awards in Sydney.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Charcoal Lane, his debut full length album which featured “Took The Children Away,” a heartbreaking tale of the enforced separation of First Nations children from their families.
It was based on Roach’s own life and experiences.
The album received two ARIA Awards in 1991 and “Took The Children Away” received an international Human Rights Achievement Award, the first time that the honor had been bestowed on a songwriter.
The song is now preserved in the National Film And Sound Archive Of Australia.
“Through the years writing and recording my songs as well as touring, has helped me to heal and connect to audiences around the country,” comments Roach on his induction. “To be inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame is validation that no matter where you have come from and the struggles that you had to overcome through the years, that you can achieve great things if you set your mind and heart to it. Your achievements are only as good as the people around you and I have been blessed with a great team.”
With induction into the Hall of Fame, Roach will sit alongside the greats of Australia’s music scene, from AC/DC to the Bee Gees, Dame Joan Sutherland, INXS, Peter Allen, Olivia Newton John, Nick Cave and others.
“He is an artist of enormous integrity, writing songs of deep personal honesty that resonated all around Australia. He told stories that no one else was telling, and brought these issues to the forefront of the Australian psyche,” comments ARIA CEO Dan Rosen. “He’s a man who has made the world a better place, and he rightly takes his place as a giant of Australian music.”
In the three decades since Charcoal Lane arrived, Roach has been feted on numerous occasions.
He was made a Member Of The Order of Australia (AM) (in 2015), received the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music (in 2017) and he’s snagged five ARIA Awards. He can add to that list with three nominations at the 2020 ARIAs, including best male artist.
Also on the night, Tame Impala, Lime Cordiale, Sampa The Great and Amy Shark join the list of performers, ARIA announced Tuesday (Nov. 10).
Entering its 34th year, the ARIAs will take place at its regular spot at The Star Event Centre in Sydney.
YouTube will stream performances online through an ongoing partnership, and free-to-air broadcaster Nine Network will beam the show across Australia.