Australian music’s night of nights, the ARIA Awards, are set to kick off tonight at The Star in Sydney, with a massive string of presenters and for once, a pretty decent live performance lineup.

This year will see the ARIA Awards celebrating their 30th anniversary and as always, organisers are planning on bringing out big-time international stars to help celebrate, well, local music.

To celebrate 30 years of the ARIA Awards, we decided to go back into the video vault and unearth some of the most memorable moments from ARIAs history – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good

Nick Cave

Nick Cave is an absolute legend. His legend-ness was honoured back in 2007 when he was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. How did he respond? By taking the stage and being an absolute legend all over the place.

Cave opened his speech by “getting a few things straight”, questioning why he was being inducted and the members of The Bad Seeds weren’t. He then proceeded to give the best ARIAs speech ever by inducting The Bad Seeds and The Birthday Party.


Australia’s shining singing-songwriting star Sia Furler continues to kick goals all over the world, recently nabbing her first ever Number 1 single Stateside with the smash that is ‘Cheap Thrills’. It’s fair to say the world can’t get enough of her.

Sia has been famed for being rather “media shy”, however in 2010, the songstress was asked what she’d do with an ARIA award, to which she hilariously responded, “That’s sharp! That’s gonna hurt when I put it up my bum later.” If only they were all like you, Sia.

The Bad


Look, we’re not chumps. We get that the ARIAs are like any other major music industry award. Everything from the nominees, to who’s serving the drinks is subject to the nefarious machinations of major labels and the winner is almost always the artist who shifted the most units in the last couple of quarters.

That said, it doesn’t mean you can’t still try to have a little class. We always thought subliminal messaging was something you did to quit smoking or if you wanted to placate people in a totalitarian society, turns out you can do it to flog moisturiser in between nominee packages.

See the mind control 0:12s in.

Jessica Mauboy

We’re not going to rag on Jessica Mauboy for mispronouncing ‘debut’ or the name of Tame Impala’s debut album — which, for the record, is titled Innerspeaker, not Innerspeak, Jess — she was obviously nervous and just reading off the auto cue.

Besides, it really pales in comparison to the rest of the 2010 ARIA Awards ceremony, which many agree was fraught with slip-ups, gaffes, and awkward moments, like a frustrated Tim Rogers awkwardly asking co-presenter Kasey Chambers “What are we doing here?” right on the stage.

The Ugly

Madison Avenue

Madison Avenue were a little ahead of their time. While Australia was embracing the nu-metal invasion, they were busy making high-energy, dance floor-ready pop tunes. Had they stuck around, they would’ve fit right in with the likes of The Presets and Cut Copy… well, probably not.

Today, the duo are best remembered for their 1999 smash ‘Don’t Call Me Baby’ and this calamitous performance at the 2000 ARIAs, during which singer Cheyne Coates, sporting a nappy and apparently a little hoarse, requested a glass of water mid-performance. What happened afterwards? ARIA history.

Axle Whitehead

Axle Whitehead was an Australian Idol contestant, who didn’t win but still managed to parlay his popularity into a relatively successful television hosting career.

He managed to totally and spectacularly ruin that career by pulling out his penis at the 2006 awards and simulating masturbation on the ARIA trophy while presenting an award to Hilltop Hoods.

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