The Fritz List: South Australian ARIA Award Winners

The ARIA awards represent the who’s-who of the Australian music scene, and several South Australian artists have been nominated for a 2017 award. Among them, former Fritz fashion star Tkay Maidza, multi-award-winner Paul Kelly, global juggernaut Sia, breakthrough rappers A.B Original and ARIA veteran Kasey Chambers. Jimmy Barnes is also nominated, but this time it’s in the kid’s album category – a collaboration with The Wiggles, no less. It’s an exciting time for local music.  Join us as we look back at the state’s past winners.


Paul Kelly and The Coloured Girls – To Her Door

Released in 1987, the beloved ‘To Her Door’ was the first single from Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls ahead of second album Under The Sun. The single won an ARIA in 1988 for Best Video, with the music video directed by Claudia Castle. In 2001, the Australasian Performing Right Association listed ‘To Her Door’ as one the Top 30 Australian songs of all time – and rightly so (we think).

Peter Combe – Toffee Apple

Toffee Apple was the second children’s album from South Australian childhood hero, Peter Combe. It won the ARIA for Best Children’s Album, which is no surprise as it includes bangers such as ‘Juicy Juicy Green Grass (A Sheep’s Lament)’, ‘The Silly Postman’ and of course, ‘Toffee Apple’.


Jimmy Barnes – Barnestorming

James Dixon Swan, better known as the incomparable Jimmy Barnes, is no stranger to success having fronted Cold Chisel. Barnes and his backing band were recorded at their Melbourne performances from December 1987 to February 1988. The album went to number one, stayed there for nearly a month and went on to win an ARIA award for Best Male Artist.

Peter Combe – Newspaper Mama

After the success of Toffee Apple, Peter was on a roll. With the release of Newspaper Mama, he was becoming a bona fide children’s music superstar. Once again, Combe took home the ARIA for Best Children’s Album.


Jimmy Barnes – Soul Deep

Soul Deep was Barnsey’s sixth consecutive Australian number one album. Strangely, his coarse vocals covering soul classics was a match made in heaven. He won the ARIA for Best Male Artist and Highest Selling Album

Peter Combe – The Absolutely Very Best of Peter Combe (So Far) Recorded in Concert

By this point, Peter Combe had such a solid back catalogue that his live concert album and video was a huge seller. Once again this earned him the ARIA for Best Children’s Album.

ARIA Hall Of Fame Award The Angels


The Superjesus – Eight Step Rail

Adelaide band The Superjesus won the ARIA for Best New Talent for the album Eight Step Rail and Breakthrough Artist – Single for ‘Shut My Eyes’. Their debut LP went on to reach number two on the ARIA charts.

Paul Kelly – How To Make Gravy

Kelly won the ARIA for Best Male Artist for his EP, How To Make Gravy. The lyrics of the title track tell the story of a newly imprisoned man writing a letter to his brother, in which the prisoner laments that he will be missing the family’s Christmas celebrations. The song contains a real gravy recipe which Paul learnt from his father. Kelly was also inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1997.

Peter Sculthorpe, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, David Porcelijn ‎– Sun Music

The late Peter Sculthorpe, who is remembered as being Australia’s most revered composer joined the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for Sun Music, which won the ARIA for Best Classical Album.


Paul McDermott – Unplugged Good News Week 1

McDermott was the host of the hugely popular satirical game show, Good News Week. The CD of the live concert won Best Comedy Album.

Kasey Chambers – The Captain

Hailing from Mount Gambier, Kasey Chambers won the ARIA Award for Best Country Album for her debut album The Captain. Kasey was already well-known as a member of her family’s Dead Ringer Band, but The Captain saw her break away as a country music star in her own right.

Paul Kelly – Words And Music

Paul Kelly was nominated for and won an ARIA in the category Best Male Artist for Words And Music.


Kasey Chambers – Barricades & Brickwalls

Kasey Chambers truly became a household name in 2002. Her album Barricades & Brickwalls not only went platinum, it was also the highest selling album and single by an Australian artist. With the success of the album came ARIA wins for Best Country Artist, Best Female Artist and Album of the Year.


Guy Sebastian – Angels Brought Me Here

2003 was the year we were all introduced to Australian Idol, and with that came Guy ‘The Fro’ Sebastian. His debut single won him the 2004 ARIA for Highest Selling Single. Fun fact: Guy is the only Australian male artist in Australian chart history to achieve six number-one singles.


Hilltop Hoods – The Hard Road

This was the year the Hoods really hit the bigtime. They also cleaned up the ARIAs, taking home the gongs for Best Independent Release, Best Urban Album and Breakthrough Artist. The Hoods also had five songs from the album placed on the 2006 Triple J Hottest 100.

The Audreys – Between Last Night And Us

The Audreys won the 2006 ARIA award for Best Blues & Roots Album for Between Last Night And Us. Songs from the album were also used as the soundtrack for the 2007 ABC TV seriesRain Shadow. Not bad for a debut, hey?


Shaun Micallef – The Expurgated Micallef Tonight: The Very Best of Shaun Micallef’s Short-lived But Brilliant Tonight Show

Winning the ARIA for Best Comedy Album, Micallef Tonight was very much like a typical variety show, with each episode featuring several interviews with celebrities bookended by regular segments, such as ‘Shaun On His High Horse’, which featured Micallef ranting against pop culture while straddling a gymnastic vaulting horse.

The Audreys – When The Flood Comes

After winning an ARIA for their debut album, The Audreys also won the ARIA for Best Blues & Roots Album in 2008. This was also the first time the band had an album that charted on the ARIA albums chart – debuting at number 20.


Sia – TV Is My Parent

This was the first ARIA for local gal Sia, winning the award for Best Music DVD. Her win was such an unexpected surprise that she didn’t even have shoes on when she went to collect her award. It was arguably the moment that the world started paying attention to one of SA’s biggest musical exports.

Hilltop Hoods – State Of The Art

The Hilltop Hoods continued their success and ARIA winning tradition in 2009. Their State Of The Art album won them Single of the Year, Best Urban Release, Engineer of the Year and Producer of the Year. The Hoods also released a remix album featuring the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and American freestyle rapper Okwerdz, State Of The Art: Restrung.


The Audreys – Sometimes The Stars

The Audreys once again won the ARIA for Best Blues and Roots Album in 2011 for their album Sometimes The Stars. Top Australian musicians contributed to the making of Sometimes The Stars, including Tim Rogers, jazz pianist Paul Grabowsky, members of Tripod and Michael Barker of the John Butler Trio.

Kasey Chambers – Little Bird

The country music star took home another Best Country Album ARIA gong for Little Bird, her seventh studio album. This was Chambers’ first album to miss the number one spot since her debut album peaked at number eleven in 1999.


Hilltop Hoods – Drinking From The Sun

The Hoods once again took home the ARIA award for Best Urban Album. This made it the seventh ARIA award for the band.


Sia – This Is Acting

This was the year of Sia, where she took home four ARIAs for This Is Acting including Best Pop Release, Album of the Year, Best Female Artist and Best Video. As of November 2017, This Is Acting has sold more than two-million copies worldwide.


Roy and HG – This Sporting Life

Roy Slaven and HG Nelson were hosts of This Sporting Life for 22 years on Triple J. The album was the deserved winner of the 2016 ARIA Award for Best Comedy Release.

Are there any South Australian artists that should have won an ARIA by now? Tell us in the comments below.

Smiley Fritz

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