Genesis Owusu, The Kid LAROI, Budjerah, Tkay Maidza and more win their first ARIA Awards at tonight’s ceremony

ARIA 2021

It was a night for newcomers at the 2021 ARIA Awards tonight. They were held tonight at Taronga Zoo on Cammeraigal country and streamed around the world on YouTube. Showcasing the strength of music in Australia, there was an unprecedented number of first-time winners of ARIAs.

On the back of his outstanding debut album Smiling With No Teeth, Genesis Owusu took home four ARIAs, including Australian music Album Of The Year, Best Hip Hop Release, and Best Independent Release.

The Kid LAROI has had an incredible year, with over 3 billion streams of his songs. He picked up the Best Artist award, as well as Best Pop Release for his hit “Stay” (with Justin Bieber).

Budjerah picked up the Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist award on the back of his EP Budjerah. His acceptance speech left barely a dry eye in the house. He also performed live at the ceremony.

Other first time winners included Tkay Maidza who won the Best Soul/R&B Release, for the third release in her EP trilogy, Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 3. Middle Kids were also first-time winners, picking up Best Rock Album for their second studio album Today We’re The Greatest. Spacey Jane also picked up their first ARIA for Song of the Year, with “Booster Seat”.

Also performing live was Gretta Ray, Genesis Owusu, The Kid LAROI, RÜFÜS DU SOL and Amy Shark.

Here is the full list of winners for 2021


Album Of The Year

Genesis Owusu – Smiling WIth No Teeth

Best Artist


Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist

Budjerah – Budjerah (EP)

Best Pop Release

The Kid LAROI – Stay (with Justin Bieber)

Best Hip Hop Release 

Genesis Owusu – Smiling with No Teeth

Best Independent Release 

Genesis Owusu – Smiling with No Teeth

Best Soul/R&B Release

Tkay Maidza – Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 3

Best Dance Release


Best Group 


Best Rock Album

Middle Kids – Today We’re The Greatest

Best Adult Contemporary Album

Crowded House – Dreamers Are Waiting

Best Country Album

Troy Cassar-Daley – The World Today

Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album

Tropical F**k Storm – Deep States

Best Blues & Roots Album

Archie Roach – The Songs Of Charcoal Lane

Best Children’s Album 

Bluey – Bluey The Album


Best Video 

Missing Piece – Vance Joy, Annelise Hickey

Best Australian Live Act 

Lime Cordiale – Relapse Tour

Song of the Year 

Spacey Jane – Booster Seat

Most Popular International

Taylor Swift – Evermore

Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award 

Zoë Barry – Sacred Heart School, Melbourne VIC


Best Cover Art

Kofi Ansah & Bailey Howard for Genesis Owusu – Smiling with No Teeth

Engineer Of The Year 

Konstantin Kersting

Producer Of The Year

Konstantin Kersting & The Rubens


Best Classical Album

Genevieve Lacey and Marshall McGuire – Bower

Best Jazz Album 

Mildlife – Automatic

Best Original Soundtrack or Musical Theatre Cast Album

Angus & Julia Stone – Life Is Strange

Best World Music Album

Joseph Tawadros  – Hope In An Empty City

Bruce Baker

Probably riding my bike, taking photos and/or at a gig. Insta: @bruce_a_baker

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