ARIA Awards organisers decide to scrap gendered awards for 2021 ceremony
Australian music’s night of nights, the ARIA Awards, has announced there will be major changes to the award show as the organisation transforms to be more inclusive.
Organisers have decided to scrap gendered awards, replacing Best Female Artist and Best Male Artists with Best Artist.
ARIA Chief Executive, Annabelle Herd, said the changes have been designed to reflect the “true diversity of the music industry”.“The time for separating artists based on gendered categories that exclude non-binary artists altogether has passed,” Herd, said.
“The music industry is demanding a more equal, inclusive, safe and supportive space for everyone and ARIA is working hard to achieve that across the ARIA Awards and everything we do.”
The number of nominees has been expanded from five to ten.
The awards for Best Female Artist and Best Male Artist have been part of the ARIA Awards since its inception back in 1987.
The first female artist to win the award was Jenny Morris for You’re Gonna Get Hurt, while John Farnham won the male category for his hit Whispering Jack.
The news comes as the award show once again partners with YouTube to broadcast the November 24 ceremony.
ARIA organisers say the ceremony will be “a celebration of the success of Australian music in the face of extreme adversity this year.”
“Even after an extremely difficult year, nothing can keep this industry down, and we hope to capture and pay homage to that spirit through the premium digital show that we have planned for this unique year,” Herd said.
The Producer and Engineer of the Year categories will also be amended to allow relevant artists to be nominated for a body of work, as opposed to a single record.
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