ARIA Awards 2020: Tame Impala, Sampa The Great and Archie Roach own the night

2020 Aria Awards

In what has been a tough year for the music industry, last night’s 2020 ARIA Awards marked a mighty, although socially distanced celebration at Sydney’s The Star Event Centre.

Tame Impala surfaced as a big winner, taking home five ARIA awards, including Album of the Year for the third time, as well as Best Group, Best Rock Album, Engineer of the Year, and Producer of the Year.

African-Australian rapper Sampa The Great triumphed winning Best Female Artist, Best Hip Hop Release and Best Independent Release for her debut album, The Return.

With Covid-19 restrictions in-place, host Delta Goodrem presented a slightly different ARIA night then we’re used to, with The Star empty of the usual A-lister crowd, and most artists accepting awards via video at home.

Performances were also live-streamed or pre-recorded, with Sampa The Great performing from her childhood town, Botswana. The rapper stunned with a performance of her song “Final Form”, which she began by calling out the music industry: “Is it free, this industry, for people like me? Diversity, equity – in your ARIA boards?” she rapped, at the song’s introduction.

Indigenous Australian singer Archie Roach was the 2020 inductee into the ARIA Hall of Fame, and captivated with a heartfelt performance of “Took the Children Away”, recorded at a small theatre in his hometown, Warrnambool.

Four decades in the industry, this year marked 30 years since the release of Roach’s first album, Charcoal Lane and was supposed to be his final tour.

On the night, Roach took home Best Male Artist and Best Adult Contemporary Release for his album, Tell Me Why.

Other big wins included Amy Shark for best Pop Release for “Everybody Rise” and Best Australian Live Act, and Indigenous songstress and newcomer Miiesha taking out Best Soul/R&B Release for her debut album Nyaaringu.

Here is the full list of winners for 2020:


Album Of The Year:

Tame Impala – The Slow Rush

Best Male Artist

Archie Roach – Tell Me Why

Best Female Artist

Sampa The Great – The Return

Best Dance Release

Dom Dolla – “San Frandisco”

Best Group

Tame Impala – The Slow Rush

Breakthrough Artist

Lime Cordiale – 14 Steps To A Better You

Best Pop Release

Amy Shark – “Everybody Rise”

Best Hip Hop Release

Sampa The Great – The Return

Best Soul/R&B Release

Miiesha – Nyaaringu

Best Independent Release

Sampa The Great – The Return

Best Rock Album

Tame Impala – The Slow Rush

Best Adult Contemporary Album

Archie Roach –  Tell Me Why

Best Country Album

Fanny Lumsden – Fallow

Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Chunky Shrapnel 

Best Blues & Roots Album

The Teskey Brothers  –  Live At The Forum

Best Children’s Album

Teeny Tiny Stevies – Thoughtful Songs for Little People

Best Comedy Release

Anne Edmonds – “What’s Wrong With You?”

Public Voted Awards

Best Video

Guy Sebastian – “Standing With You”

Best Australian Live Act

Amy Shark- Amy Shark Regional Tour

Song of the Year

5 Seconds Of Summer  – “Teeth”

Best International Artist 

Harry Styles – Fine Line

Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award

Sarah Donnelley – Wilcannia Central School, Wilcannia NSW

Artisan Awards

Best Cover Art

Adam Dal Pozzo, Megan Washington and Michelle Pitiris for WASHINGTONBatflowers

Engineer Of The Year

Kevin Parker for Tame Impala –  The Slow Rush

Producer Of The Year

Kevin Parker for Tame Impala – The Slow Rush

Fine Arts Awards

Best Classical Album

Richard Tognetti & Erin Helyard – Beethoven & Mozart Violin Sonatas

Best Jazz Album

Paul Kelly & Paul Grabowsky – Please Leave Your Light On

Best Original Soundtrack or Musical Theatre Cast Album

Chelsea Cullen – I Am Woman 

Best World Music Album

Joseph Tawadros – Live at the Sydney Opera House