Entertainment & Arts

Aria Awards: Crowded House get Hall of Fame prize

Crowded House Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The current line-up of Crowded House, including Neil Finn (in a mauve jacket) pose with their award

Crowded House have been inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Arias, Australia's version of the Brits.

"It's been a long time. It's been 30 years, so there's a lot of people to thank," said founding member Neil Finn.

He dedicated the award to drummer Paul Hester, who died in 2005, saying: "We wouldn't have been anywhere near as engaging, and amusing and wonderful as we sometimes were without Paul."

Dance act Flume was the night's big winner, taking home eight trophies.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Flume won five prizes on the night, in addition to three "artisan awards" he collected in advance

Among them was album of the year for Skin, an eclectic collection of dance floor-ready pop and experimental instrumentals.

However, the star told the BBC that the record could be his last.

"I'm sick of doing albums," he said before the ceremony. "I like being creative and putting music out a couple of months after it's been made, rather than sitting on things for years".

But he appeared to backtrack on that statement as he accepted the prize, telling the audience: "In a time of singles and songs, albums still matter."

His other awards included best male, best pop release, for the single Never Be Like You, and best production.

Marriage equality plea

Pop star Troye Sivan won two awards for his hit single Youth: best video and song of the year, and used his speech to encourage Australia's LGBTQ community.

"This is for every gay Australian kid who wants to go and make music," said the 21-year-old, who rose to fame on YouTube. "You can totally do it, and win an Aria Award too."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Troye Sivan has been one of the breakthrough pop acts of 2016
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kylie Minogue and Joshua Sasse urged fans to help change Australia's laws on gay marriage
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Robbie Williams was also on hand to present Sivan with his song of the year trophy

Sivan was presented with his best video award by Kylie Minogue and her fiance Joshua Sasse, who both spoke about Australia's on-going struggle to enact marriage equality laws for gay couples.

The couple wore t-shirts emblazoned with the logo of the "Say I Do Down Under" campaign.

"If we all stand together we can bring Australia back on the right side of history and make 2017 the year that we all say 'I do' down under," said Sasse.

Minogue has previously declared that she would not get married until gay marriage was legalised in Australia.

Pop star Sia, who won the best female prize, also used her platform to address the issue, sending Angie Greene, a campaigner for marriage equality, to collect her award.

After a standing ovation, Greene said Sia had asked her to accept the award on behalf of "every single non-hetero and gender-diverse person, who can currently not marry the person that they love in this country".

Australia's government planned to hold a national vote on legalising same-sex marriage, which opinion polls show most Australians support.

But the proposals were rejected by the senate earlier this month, saying that the rhetoric leading up to a plebiscite could be divisive.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Pop duo The Veronicas hosted and performed at the ceremony in Sydney

Crowded House, who hail from New Zealand, are best known for songs including Weather With You, Fall At Your Feet and Don't Dream It's Over.

They were inducted to the Aria Hall of Fame by comedy duo Flight Of The Conchords, who joked they had been sent by New Zealand's Prime Minister to stop the band receiving the honour.

"We can't let this happen. You have enough bands in Australia," said Clement.

"We really need Crowded House," McKenzie added. "Our musical hall of fame is more of a doorway of fame. So stop it Australia."

Accepting the prize, Finn joked that he was surprised the duo had been allowed into the country, given their "subversive message".

He then read from a double-sided page full of names of people to thank, including his brother Tim and wife Sharon, as well as the past and present members of Crowded House.

"Everybody that's been in a band or been on the road knows how important they are and how unsung they are most of the time … Thank you," he said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Crowded House frontman Neil Finn thanked everyone who had worked with the band over the last three decades

Former Aria winners Missy Higgins and Bernard Fanning then played a selection of Crowded House covers, before the band took to the stage for a rendition of Distant Sun, from their 1993 album Together Alone.

Elsewhere, One Direction beat Adele and Beyonce to win the best international act award for the fifth year in a row, a record in that category.

But their achievement was overshadowed by The Wiggles, who won their 13th trophy for best children's album.

The show concluded with John Farnham singing Australia's "unofficial national anthem", You're The Voice.

Like the Aria ceremony itself, the song celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The Wiggles are a household institution in Australia
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The children's entertainers were greeted warmly by Robbie Williams ahead of the ceremony

Main winners

Album of the Year: Flume - Skin

Song of the Year: Troye Sivan - Youth

Best Female Artist: Sia

Best Male Artist: Flume

Best Group: Violent Soho

Breakthrough Artist: Montaigne

Best International Artist: One Direction

Best Video: Troye Sivan - Youth (Acoustic)

Best Adult Contemporary Album: Bernard Fanning - Civil Dusk

Best Adult Alternative Album: Sarah Blasko - Eternal Return

Best Australian Live Act: The Hilltop Hoods

Best Blues and Roots Album: Russell Morris - Red Dirt Red Heart

Best Children's Album: The Wiggles - Wiggle Town

Best Country Album: Sara Storer - Silos

Best Dance Release: Flume - Skin

Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Nonagon Infinity

Best Independent Release: Flume - Skin

Best Pop Release: Flume - Never Be Like You

Best Rock Album: Violent Soho - Waco

Best Urban Album: Drapht - Seven Mirrors

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