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ARIA Awards convey exemplary First Nations musical talent

Emma Ruben -

Music legends gathered at the ARIA Awards Thursday night to celebrate some of Australia's best artists.

After a disrupted few years due to COVID, this was the first in several years to be held in Warrang (Sydney) at Sydney's Hordern Pavilion.

A record number of First Nations artists and musicians were nominated for awards ahead of the ceremony.

The night concluded with multiple wins going to an array of First Nations musicians across all different genres.

The Kid Laroi won Best Pop Release, Budjerah won Best Soul/R&B Release, King Stingray won Breakthrough Artist and the late Archie Roach won Best Independent Release posthumously.

The big winner was arguably Yolngu artist Baker Boy who took home wins in five different categories, every category of which he was nominated in.

Upon winning Album of the Year, the rapper was visibly shocked and overjoyed and proceeded to accept the award in Yolngu Matha.

Winning his final award of the night, Best Solo Artist, Baker Boy thanked his family.

"I want to dedicate this award to my family back home for growing me up and looking after me and growing up in Arnhem Land," he said.

"And especially to the original Baker Boys for making me to who I am as a dancer and stuff like that.

"And so I just want to say thank you to all you mob, you beautiful people."

The late Gunditjmara and Bundjalung Elder and songwriter Archie Roach, took away the award for Best Independent Release which he won for his final record, Our Song.

Roach passed away earlier this year after a long battle with an illness.

His granddaughter, Janaya Roach, accepted the award on her grandfather's behalf.

"I'm truly honoured to be standing here tonight accepting this award on behalf of my grandfather," Ms Roach said.

"I wish he was here with us accepting this award tonight but I know he'd be here with us in spirit. I can just see that cheeky big smile on his face, he'd be so happy right now.

"I'm so proud of you pop and I hope you're having a good old jam up there with nana in the dreamtime."

First Nations artists Jessica Mauboy, Thelma Plum and Budjerah performed a rendition of Our Song in tribute to him.

Altogether, First Nations musicians took away nine awards from the 2022 ARIA's.


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