There was much that was sweet about Gabriella Cilmi during the 2008 ARIA Awards in Sydney, where the Aussie newcomer won all six categories for which she was nominated.
Cilmi collected trophies for best female artist, while her debut “Lessons To Be Learned” (Mushroom Records/Warner Music Australia) took out breakthrough artist album and best pop release. Cilmi also grabbed gongs for breakthrough artist single and highest selling single for her soul-tinged hit “Sweet About Me,” which she performed on the night at the Acer Arena.
The Melbourne-born singer is just 17, and couldn’t legally toast her victories with the champagne which was flowing throughout the evening at the Acer Arena.
“This is just sweet as,” Cilmi, flanked by her grandfather and brother, told Billboard.biz during proceedings. “My family are all here, they bought a table because they couldn’t help themselves.”
Cilmi’s single-night haul matches the best efforts by established stars Kylie Minogue and Delta Goodrem, who between them could manage just one win on this occasion, with Goodrem sweeping the highest selling album honor for her third set, “Delta” (Sony BMG).
The other big winner on the night was electronic duo the Presets, who bagged a hat trick of trophies, including best group and the prestigious album of the year honor for “Apocalypso” (Modular/Universal Music Australia), the last of 20 awards handed out on the night. The pair also delivered a colorful performance of their hit “My People” at the Oct. 19 ceremony.
An absent Nick Cave won the best male artist gong for the second successive year, while the Living End earned the best rock album trophy for “White Noise” (Dew Process/Universal Music Australia). Rising star Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu claimed the best independent release award for “Gurrumul” (Skinnyfish Music/MGM).
The gala was beamed by free-to-air TV network 10, and repeated Oct. 20 on MTV.