Australia

Rapper Danzal Baker earns Australian award

Danzal Baker - also known as Baker Boy - has been named 2019 Young Australian of the Year. (AAP)

Musician and dancer Danzal Baker - also known as Baker Boy - has been named 2019 Young Australian of the Year at the annual awards ceremony in Canberra.

Indigenous Australian rapper, dancer, actor and visual artist Baker Boy has been named the 2019 Young Australian of the Year.

The 22-year-old, whose real name is Danzal Baker, received the award at an annual ceremony in Canberra on Friday.

The Darwin-based musician, who was raised in Milingimbi and Maningrida in northeast Arnhem Land, is the first Indigenous artist to have achieved mainstream success rapping in the Yolngu Matha language.

He's known for performing songs in both Yolngu Matha and English, rising to prominence through tracks Cloud 9 and Marryuna.

Both songs featured in Triple J's Hottest 100 last year.

Baker spoke in an indigenous language before sending a message to Australia's indigenous and non-indigenous youth.

"With love and respect, we have the power to shape the future and make Australia a place where we all are proud, where we all belong and where we stand united," Baker told the ceremony.

"Stay strong, stay beautiful, stay respect."

National Australia Day Council chair Danielle Roche says Baker is an outstanding musical talent and dedicated advocate for Indigenous Australian culture.

"Through his music, he inspires young Indigenous Australians to embrace their heritage while sharing his own cultural stories with a wider audience here in Australia, and around the world," she said.

Baker has signed a record deal with Select Music and was the support act for English rapper Dizzee Rascal on his Australian tour last year, after being hand-picked by the grime music star.

He also won the prestigious Charles Darwin University Art Award at the Northern Territory Young Achievers Awards in 2018.

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