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Hitting so many high notes: The ARIA Awards’ most memorable moments of all time

No better way to celebrate the very best in Aussie music.
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Each year, the ARIA Awards honour Australia’s best breakthrough artists and home-grown musical heroes.

And as the 2021 edition of the annual event rolls around on November 24, we decided to take a quick step back in time to relish the very best moments the iconic awards event has gifted us.

The iconic music ceremony launched in 1987, with Elton John scoring the coveted hosting gig.

Despite his advice to keep the ceremony off our screens “if you want these Awards to stay fun,” the show was first televised in 1992.

Unlike his prediction, airing the ceremony on TV didn’t stop Australia’s biggest musicians providing nearly three decades worth of VERY memorable moments – albeit jaw-dropping and shocking.

There has been a barrage of weird, wonderful and WTF moments including a former Australian Idol star flashing his junk, a pop duo requesting a drink mid-performance to a rock legend deciding to make a political statement.

Delta Goodrem, Sia, Jessica Mauboy

The ARIAs always make for one wild night!

But with the bad, there has been so much good.

Like when Sia used to show her face, or when a baby-faced Chris Hemsworth was just an up-and-coming actor, to Delta Goodrem slaying 2003’s ceremony, scooping a record seven ARIA awards, all while battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

And of course, who could forget the world’s best international artists like Robbie Williams, P!nk, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift all coming Down Under to make their A-list mark on the ARIAs.

Click through and relive all of the grit, guts and glory from ARIAS of years pasts!

(Image: Getty)

At the 2020 awards Delta Goodrem was joined by Amy Shark, Marcia Hines, Tones and I, Kate Ceberano, country music trio The McClymonts, Montaigne, Christine Anu and Yellow Wiggle Emma Watkins for an emotional performance of Helen Reddy’s feminist anthem, I Am Woman.

Watch the stirring performance below.

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Delta Goodrem joins Aussie female musicians in a tribute to Helen Reddy

(Image: Getty)

Delta’s performance was a real stand-out on the night, leaving fans breathless while Delta said on Instagram of the moment: “Honoured to perform this timeless anthem by Helen Reddy alongside so many incredible, talented women.”


Sadly the COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on the 2020 red carpet, but there were some stand-out fashion moments from stars who tuned into the ceremony from home – including Guy Sebastian and Kylie Minogue.


We loved this poolside moment from Richard and Christian Wilkins as they – erm, prepared for the 2020 awards. Christian was outdoing his dad here and made sure to show him up on the red carpet too…


The Wilkins family made the transition from pool-side to red carpet seamlessly, but Chirstian was definitely best-dressed in this trio!


At the 2019 awards, Dylan Alcott took a moment to defend Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who had recently opened up about negativity from the british tabloid press.

“He’s a good man [Harry], so’s his beautiful partner,” the tennis champ told Now To Love. “They get a bad rap so lay off them because they’re very nice people.” Watch his full response below.

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Dylan Alcott defends Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan at the ARIAs


This dress Jules Sebastian rocked on the 2019 red carpet was a total show-stopper and we still can’t get over how amazing she looked.


Love Island’s Josh and Anna were still dating when they hit the 2019 red carpet and confessed to us that they both went on an unlikely ‘diet’ in the Villa.

“We got bored in there, once we’d talked about all the feelings we possibly could talk about, we were eating a million cookies. Cookie diet, everyone gained a bit of weight in there,” Anna exclusively told Now To Love. See the full video below.

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Love Island winners Anna McEvoy and Josh Packham at the 2019 ARIAs


Nicole and Lucia

At the 2018 ARIA Awards, host Keith Urban brought along the ultimate entourage – his wife Nicole Kidman and her niece, 21-year-old Lucia Hawley. The golden trio stole the show – not least for Nicole’s feathers + pants ensemble.


Nicole and Keith

And true to form, the loved-up couple couldn’t help but slip in some red carpet PDA. Some major heart eyes going on between these two…

Sophie Monk Stu Laundy

RIP, Sophie Monk and Stu Laundy! They’d weathered a barrage of split reports so the Bachelorette couple used the 2017 ARIAs red-carpet to attempt to send a message they were still together. They officially broke up just two months later.

The Wiggles

Long before we were rocked to the core over Emma Watkins and Lachlan Gillespie’s separation, The Wiggles reigned supreme at the 2017 event.

Delta Goodrem

Delta Goodrem is Australia’s golden girl and she has been bringing fierceness to the ARIA Awards for over a decade. Delta has won nine awards from a whopping twenty six nominations.

Delta Goodrem ARIAs 2003

Once of her most spectacular years had to be 2003. At the age of 18 she dropped her self-penned debut album, Innocent Eyes which debuted at number one on the ARIA Album Charts. In a heartbreaking turn of events, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Not letting anything stop her, Delta was on top of her music game winning a record seven Aria awards. Following her epic wins, former Savage Garden frontman Darren Hayes sang her song, Lost Without You, in Delta’s honor.

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Darren Hayes dedication to Delta Goodrem

Bardot ARIAs

Never forget Sophie Monk’s origin story! The Love Island host got her start in undoubtedly Australia’s favourite homegrown girl group, Bardot. Strutting their stuff on the 2000 red carpet (L-R) Tiffani Wood, Katie Underwood, Sally Polihronas, Sophie Monk and Belinda Chapple. The girls performed their hit These Days, but lost the two awards they were nominated for.

The Veronicas

Who can forget when The Veronicas decided covering themselves in red glitter and latex would be the perfect addition to hosting the event.

Tina Arena

Tina Arena

It is safe to say that the real legend of the 2015 ARIA Awards was none other than Hall of Fame-inductee, Tina Arena. After delivering a powerful rendition of her mega-hit, Chains with Jessica Mauboy and The Veronicas, the 51-year-old thanked all the people who supported her four-decade career, before taking a look at ageism in her epic 18 minute speech. “I want to acknowledge the women in their ’40s still in the game in a big way… We will decide when it’s time for us to stop.”

Matt Okine

2015 was the year of empowering speeches and it wasn’t just Tina Arena who kept it real. The then-Triple J breakfast host Matt Okine won the ARIA for Best Comedy Release, and he used his stage time call out the notable absence of women. “I don’t think there were any women nominated in Best Comedy Release, and there’s not even any female featured guests! I’d just feel stupid not saying anything.”

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Matt Okine calls out gender inequality in ARIAS acceptance speech

ARIA Sia’s face

These days, we have no idea what Sia looks like! But in 2010, it was a completely different story. The songstress couldn’t have been more stoked to win two awards, including Best Pop Release. The same couldn’t be said for her knockout four award win in 2014, where it’s believed Sia boycotted the ceremony for being too cool. In response to the speculation, Sia took it in good humour and joked she’d give away her statues to the “first four people to document doing a good deed.” Putting their hand up was none other than Ed Sheeran.

Arias drama

Talk about drama, drama, drama! Where do we begin? How about Paul Mac’s unique acceptance speech for winning an ARIA for best dance release in 1995, where he thanked Sydney’s “ecstasy dealers, without whom this award would not be possible.” Then in 2006, Silverchair decided to not only promote their epic comeback but also focus on their bid for Peter Garrett to become Prime Minister… What could possibly top that? Some junk that needed to stay in Axle Whitehead’s trunks! The former Australian Idol contestant decided to expose himself while he presented an award. Talk about yikes!

Nicole Kidman Delta Goodrem

Nicole Kidman made her first ARIA appearance alongside her main man, Keith Urban in 2007. Who better to show her the ropes than the ARIA queen, Delta Goodrem. It is safe to assume Keith’s Best Country Album win probably sits proudly next to Nic’s Oscar. We can’t wait to see Keith take the reins as host this year!

Angue and Julia Stone Jessica Mauboy

Don’t speak: 2010 was the year of ARIA Kattastrophe. Politician, Bob Katter literally couldn’t say the word ARIA, Jessica Mauboy couldn’t say the word debut and winner of five awards, Angus and Julia Stone, had nothing to say and decided to thank their cat and dog.

Molly Meldrum

In 2015, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when hosting legend Ian “Molly” Meldrum, became the first non-musician to be inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. The 75-year-old, who spent eight weeks in a coma after a fall three years ago, spoke of his hopes for a speedy recovery for injured cricketer Phillip Hughes. Sadly, two days later, the cricketer passed away.

Madison Avenue

Madison Avenue’s lead singer, Cheyne made our jaws drop when she stopped her 2000 ARIA performance for a drink of water. Seriously. Watch it in the next slide!

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Madison Avenue’s thirsty performance

Kylie Minogue ARIAs

[Australia’s original pop princess, Kylie Minogue, now 50, first had us spinning around in 1987 where she won her first ARIA for Locomotion. In 2002 it wasn’t just her flawless white dress that had everyone talking, Kylie bagged five gongs including single of the year. So it will come to no surprise that after nearly three decades reigning supreme, the former Neighbours star was inducted into the 2011 ARIA Hall of Fame.

The Veronicas ARIAs 2014

The Veronicas, Jessica and Lisa Origliasso, made quite the impression at the 2014 ARIA Awards rocking sheer, serpent-like lace and smokey eyes. And we have to say, the 33-year-old twins looked sensational!

ARIA international guests

The only thing that can top the ARIAs Aussie line-up has to be the international guest performers! Talk about queens of the night! These international pop divas have all graced the ARAIs with their presence, looking flawless while doing so! (From L-R) Pink was a rock goddess in white in 2008, where she performed her smash hit So What. Taylor Swift rocked neutral shades at the 2012 awards, where she performed I Knew You Were Trouble. Shining bright in 2013 was Alicia Keys, when she performed Girl On Fire. Katy Perry oozed sparkle in 2014, when she was nominated for Best International Artist. And of course, our New Zealand neighbour, Lorde stayed true to her gothic aesthetic in all black and a dark lip in 2013, when she performed Team.

Ed Sheeran

The only thing that tops international guests, are international guests that become besties. Cue in Ed Sheeran and James Blunt, who in 2015 discovered that they were meant to be together. The duo were all giggles when James gifted the ginger Brit the newly inaugurated Diamond Award, for recognition of sales of more than half a million copies of his album X.

One Direction

“Remember when this guy was in the band?!” – Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne point to now-former boy-bander Zayn Malik (or perhaps their ARIA Award) while posing with fellow One Direction bandmates Harry Styles and Niall Horan in 2014. The boys took home the Best International Artist Award, and performed their hit song Steal My Girl.

Pamela Anderson Elle Macpherson

Battle of the bosom! Pamela Anderson posed with Tina Arena in 1996, surprising Tina with her famous décolletage, and Elle Macpherson maintained her supermodel reputation as “The Body” in 1993 with her ample cleavage.

Russell Crowe Chris Hemsworth

TBT special: These Aussie babes sure have changed a lot since they last walked the red carpet! Russell Crowe, in his gorgeous pre-Gladiator days, smiled happily for the camera in 1993. Keith Urban has aged like a good wine (unlike those frosted tips in his hair!) in this red carpet snap from 2000. Who could forget a pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth, who was all about his rust-coloured leather jacket in 2006.

Vanessa Amorosi Nikki Webster

Noughties alert! While absolutely everyone may have been singing along to Vanessa Amorosi in the year 2000, it’s probably just Vanessa who loved this metallic, zebra-inspired jacket. Nikki Webster became Australia’s darling when she sang the national anthem to open the Sydney Olympics (and looking as sweet as a strawberry kiss). And Killing Heidi’s Ella Hooper rocked a top that looked like it may have been caught in a weir, but cut-outs sure were a look in 2000.

Marcia Hines

What the frock?! Marcia Hines decided that the new millennium was all about taking risks with fashion, and decided that a denim cut-out crotch was the perfect way to complete her gold, glo-mesh look. Meanwhile, Kimbra ensured that she would never be someone that we used to know by wearing this unforgettable feather ensemble that looked less like a dress and more like a work of art in 2012.

Sia Chet Faker

Triple J’s Matt and Alex decided to serve us a dose of nightmares with ode to Sia’s iconic Chandelier video, alongside a fake Chet Faker, in 2014.

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