Debut acts Gabriella Cilmi (Mushroom/Warner) and Sam Sparro (Island/Universal) lead the nominations for the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) awards, to be held in Sydney Oct. 19.
The 16-year-old Cilmi has six nominations, and Sparro five. Both will perform at the awards, alongside Pink (Sony BMG), The Living End (Dew Process/Universal) and dance act The Presets (Modular/Universal). More performers are to be announced in coming weeks.
Cilmi’s debut single “Sweet About Me”, a top 5 hit in the UK, France and Germany through Island/Universal, is up for single of the year, best pop release and highest selling single. Her accompanying album, “Lessons To Be Learned”, which has gone platinum (70,000 units) domestically, is up for best female artist and breakthrough artist — album.
Ed St John, Sydney-based president & CEO of Warner Music Australasia tells Billboard.biz that he expects Cilmi’s “Lessons To Be Learned” to hit double platinum domestically over the Christmas period. “This album has a lot of life in it around the world,” he says. The album is due for an early 2009 U.S. release through Universal Republic.
LA-based Sparro is nominated for best male artist and his top 5 Australian airplay hit “Black & Gold” will battle for single of the year, pop release and breakthrough artist — single. His self-titled debut is among those in the breakthrough artist — album category.
Other multi-nominees which charted strongly for the first time this year included blind indigenous singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu (Skinnyfish), brother and sister duo Angus & Julia Stone (Virgin/EMI), The Presets, dance act The Potbelleez (Vicious/EMI) and alt-rock band Faker (Capitol/EMI).
Stephen Peach, ARIA’s Sydney-based chief executive tells Billboard.biz, “Some of these acts became household names in less than 12 months. But they’re far from being ’emerging’. They have No. 1 hits, platinum records and made inroads overseas.”
Established acts also made their presence felt in the noms. They included Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (Virgin/EMI), Kylie Minogue (Mushroom/Warner) pop duo The Veronicas (WB/Warner), rock trio The Living End (Dew Process) and country singer Kasey Chambers (Liberation/Warner).
The awards are voted for by 1,000 members from the retail, media, publishing, concert promoter and act management sectors. For more information on nominees and performers, visit www.ariaawards.com.au.