The ceremony was a mixture of celebration and reflection -- with artists also paying tribute to the late Dr Yunupingu -- the frontman for Yothu Yindi.
Now in its tenth year, the National Indigenous Music Awards have flourished into one of Australia's most prominent ceremonies.
Emotions were also running high for legend Archie Roach at Darwin's Garden Ampitheatre last night.
His album 'Into the Bloodstream' -- which chronicles his multiple health battles, as well as the death of his wife -- was named the year's best.
He also won best film clip for 'Song to Sing' -- and was inducted into the NIMA Hall of Fame alongside Henry ''Seaman'' Dan and Wirrinyga Band.
It was also a big night for female artists, particularly Shellie Morris and the Borroloola Songwomen.
Their track, 'Saltwater People Song' was named Song of the Year.
It's from their latest album which was recorded in the Yanyuwa language, which less than 10 people now speak.