• Archie Roach accepts the ARIA Awards for Best Male Artist via video link at the 2020 ARIA Awards (Getty Images AsiaPac)Source: Getty Images AsiaPac
Recognising the best in Australian music, the annual ARIA Awards looked a little different this year with video links and social distancing as powerful tributes flowed for our music greats.
Emily Nicol

26 Nov 2020 - 7:01 PM  UPDATED 27 Nov 2020 - 2:21 PM

Australian music's 'night of nights', the ARIA Awards honoured the country's biggest acts of the year.

Amongst the winners, First Nations talent Miiesha took R&B/Soul Release, but the focus was on legendary singer-songwriter Archie Roach, who was awarded Best Male Artist and Best Adult Contemporary Release. Additionally, 30 years since the release of his iconic debut album Charcoal Lane, Uncle Archie was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.

Hosted in a COVID-safe setting, the awards night was held at the Star Event Centre in Sydney and featured performances via. video stream from Sia, Billie Eilish and Sam Smith from the UK's famous Abbey Road Studios.

A red carpet was rolled out for those who could travel to the venue and included our Blak talent such as Briggs (donning a Versace robe and carrying a cigar), Christine Anu and Jessica Mauboy.

Both Mauboy and Anu, took part in a major performance, paying tribute to the late ARIA Hall of Fame Inductee Helen Reddy who died this year. The singers joined other Australian female artists including Tones and I, Amy Shark, Kate Cebrano and Marcia Hines to perform Reddy's iconic hit, 'I am Woman'. 

Following on from her critically acclaimed powerful debut album Nyaaringu, Anangu/Torres Strait Islander woman, Miiesha took home the ARIA Award for Best Soul/R&B Release. 

African born and raised, and now Melbourne-based, artist Sampa The Great who made history last year as the first Woman of Colour to take out the ARIA Award for Best Hip Hop Release at the 2019 ARIA, took home three ARIA Awards this year for Best Female Artist, Best Hip Hop Release, and Best Independent Release for her debut album The Return.

Her video performance 'Final Form' received huge acclaim online, with social commentators calling it the best ARIA performance of all time

Sampa took out Hip Hop Release category, which had the biggest representation of Indigenous artists including Briggs, Baker Boy and The Kid Laroi.

2020 Victorian Australian Of The Year, Archie Roach AM was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, celebrating his long-lasting and far-reaching impact on the Australian music scene.

Roach said in a media statement that it was a great honour. 

"Through the years writing and recording my songs as well as touring, has helped me to heal and connect to audiences around the country."

"To be inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame is validation that no matter where you have come from and the struggles that you had to overcome through the years, that you can achieve great things if you set your mind and heart to it. Your achievements are only as good as the people around you and I have been blessed with a great team."

As well as his induction, Roach also picked up two ARIA Awards for Best Male Artist and Best Adult Contemporary Release categories for his album Tell Me Why.

Uncle Archie took the stage last night to perform a special version of 'Took The Children Away' alongside long-time collaborator Paul Kelly.

 To catch all of the 2020 ARIA's action, head to their YouTube channel.