Triple J has revealed this morning that this year's Hottest 100 voting has been the biggest ever in the history of the popular poll since it began in 1989.
The station held a survey last year which drew 65,000 participants, with 60 per cent saying they wanted the Hottest 100 removed from Australia Day.
While many praised the move, including well known Indigenous artists, there was condemnation from others. Communications Minister Mitch Fifield criticised the decision and many commenters online claimed they would boycott the vote.
Today the station revealed that 2,386,133 votes were cast in the poll this year, up almost 6 per cent from the previous year, and the biggest total number of votes ever.
"After a lot of shortlisting, agonising and culling songs so many of you have voted that you’ve broken a record. We can reveal that 2,386,133 votes have been cast, which is up 5.81% from last year, making it the biggest Hottest 100 ever on record," the statement read.
"We’re still busy sweating it out tallying that epic amount of votes to bring you the countdown this Hottest 100 Weekend but here’s some insight about the gender and state/territory breakdown of voters:
- More women than men voted this year, 51% female compared to 48% male (rounded out by 1% for 'Other' and 'No answer')
- New South Wales took the lion’s share of votes (29%), followed by Victoria (23%), backed up by QLD (20%), and in order after that, WA (11%), SA (8%), ACT and TAS (3%), Overseas voters (2%), and NT (1%).
- The most common age of voters was 21 years old. About half of voters were aged 18-24 and around 80% of voters were under 30."
Earlier this month, right-wing conservative Senator Cory Bernardi launched the “Australian Conservatives 100”, a list of 100 Australian songs that can be streamed online, in response to Triple J's decision to change the date of the Hottest 100.
Senator Bernardi has said his music list would provide a good soundtrack to Australia Day barbecues, as the Hottest 100 will no longer be held on January 26.
But some of the artists featured on the list have been vocal about being unhappy to have been included; and only hours after the news broke, the music streaming service used to host Mr Bernardi's playlist released a statement clarifying that they did not champion it.
"Spotify has actively supported marriage, gender and Indigenous equality initiatives over the last five years, and believes in a diverse and multicultural Australia. We want to make clear we do not endorse this playlist, nor do we have any official ties to the Australian Conservatives party nor any other political party."
Musicians including former Savage Garden frontman Darren Hayes, Hilltop Hoods and Powderfinger all declared their desire not to be included on the list.
Late last year rock radio station Triple M came under fire after announcing it would host its own version of the Hottest 100 on Australia Day.
Triple M's Ozzest countdown will focus on Australian songs and will be held on January 26th, a date which is controversial as many consider it to be the start of the European invasion of Australia and inappropriate as a day of national celebration.
“So, the taxpayer-funded FM has decided that there’ll be no soundtrack for Australia Day. Let’s face it, that’s usually full of hipsters or kids making music on a Mac,” the station said in a statement released yesterday.
“At Triple M we’re going to give you what you asked for. The perfect Australia Day soundtrack.”
There was a swift and angry reaction online after the news broke.
Last year Triple J announced in a media release that the date of the countdown would move in 2018 to make it an event that all Australians would feel comfortable celebrating.
"It should be an event that everyone can enjoy together – for both the musicians whose songs make it in and for everyone listening in Australia and around the world. This is really important to us," the statement said.
The current date of January 26 is considered offensive by many and has sat increasingly uncomfortably with Triple J's audience, who often champion Indigenous music and identity.