March 24, 2021

ARIA renames Best Breakthrough Artist award after Michael Gudinski

ARIA renames Best Breakthrough Artist award after Michael Gudinski

The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) has renamed the award for Best Breakthrough Artist the Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist ARIA Award.

Gudinski passed away on March 2 aged 68, with much of the industry rocked by the news.

The new award honours the Mushroom Group founder’s 50 years of finding and promoting Australian talent, as an agent, label executive, publisher, artist manager and promoter.

Artists signed to the Mushroom Group of labels who won the award include The Badloves, Frente, George, Deni Hines, Ian Moss and Youth Group.

“On recommendation of the ARIA chairman and fully endorsed by the ARIA board, we are very pleased to rename one of the most coveted ARIA awards in Michael Gudinski’s honour,” Annabelle Herd said, Sydney-based CEO of ARIA.

“The inaugural Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist ARIA Award will be presented for the first time at this year’s 2021 ARIA Awards.”

The ARIA award for Breakthrough Artist was first presented in 1987.

It was split into two, being Breakthrough Album and Breakthrough Single in 1989, and the category was then merged under the Best Breakthrough Artist Award in 2010.

Among debut releases from Mushroom Records and Mushroom Group imprints were by Skyhooks, Split Enz, Jimmy Barnes, Kylie Minogue, Archie Roach, Madder Lake, The Dingoes, Hunters & Collectors, Paul Kelly, Yothu Yindi, Vance Joy, The Temper Trap, Mark Seymour, The Rubens, The Teskey Brothers and Jack River.

Today’s announcement from ARIA comes as final plans are put in place for this evening’s state memorial service at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.

It starts at 7.07 pm after the Penfolds Bin 707, Gudinski’s favourite tipple.

“In the past few weeks, we have seen an outpouring of love, respect and admiration from so many around the world for the late Michael Gudinski who was a pioneer and true legend that changed the face of the Australian music industry,” Denis Handlin AOsaid, chairman of ARIA.

“It is unequivocal that Michael’s passion was breaking Australian artists and putting them on a world stage and he had a proud history of success in doing so.

“Following personally discussing this with Michael’s family, this is the most appropriate honour for ARIA to bestow as it recognises Michael’s profound impact on Australian artists, and the memories and legacy he created.”