The Brag Media
News October 20, 2020

Sampa The Great, Guy Sebastian win big at 2020 NLMAs

Senior Journalist, B2B
Sampa The Great, Guy Sebastian win big at 2020 NLMAs

Sampa The Great has cleaned up at the 2020 National Live Music Awards (NLMAs), winning the prestigious category and carving out some history in the process.

During the virtual ceremony on Tuesday night (Oct. 20), the hip-hop star took out Best Live Act, becoming the first female and first solo artist winner in the event’s five-year history.

“I just want to thank my band for touring The Return around the world, and sharing it with everybody,” Sampa enthused.

Also, “I want to thank all the sound engineers, everybody that makes things happen at festivals behind the scenes, especially at this time,” she added.  “You are valued and we appreciate you for making our live shows amazing.”

Watch Sampa The Great’s ‘Energy’:

Sampa is no stranger to making history.

Born in Zambia, raised in Botswana and now based in Melbourne, Sampa is the only two-time winner of the Australian Music Prize, taking honours in 2018 for her mixtape Birds And The BEE9, and again in March of this year for her debut full-length LP The Return.

And during last year’s ARIA Awards in Sydney, she scooped the pointed trophy for Best Hip-Hop Release, becoming the first woman to win the category.

In another first, she was named last month as the inaugural BET Amplified global artist, the U.S. broadcaster’s stamp of approval for “the next big thing in music.” 

Hosted with the theme of “Saying Thanks,” the 2020 NLMAs were streamed via its partners Dailymotion, and accompanied by a gala event at Brisbane venue The Triffid and unofficial screening parties in Adelaide, Perth and Canberra.

guy sebastian 2017 press shot white shirt

Guy Sebastian

Sony Music-signed pop singer Guy Sebastian snagged the very first Musicians Making a Difference (MMAD) Live Award, in recognition for his work with The Sebastian Foundation, contributions to Firefight Australia and helping raise $200,000 with The Sony Foundation.

Winners on the night included Electric Fields’ Zaachariaha Fielding (Live Voice of the Year), King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s Stu Mackenzie (Live Guitarist of the Year), Dirty Three main man Warren Ellis (Instrumentalist of the Year), Stella Donnelly’s bass player Jennifer Aslett (Live Bassist of the Year), G Flip (Live Drummer of the Year), Woodford Folk Festival (Live Event of the Year) and Tool (International Tour of the Year, February 2020, produced by Frontier Touring).

g flip green background

G Flip

Ellis dedicated his win to “anyone I’ve ever played in a band with”. 

Accepting his win via video from France, the violinist thanked “Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and The Dirty Three – Mick [Turner] and Jim [White] – who kind of held my hand in the beginning and then let me take the training wheels off, thank you very much.

“It’s an absolute honour. Hopefully you’re all okay and I hope you’re well in this time. We will see you on stage – thank you very much.”.

Five special achievement awards were handed out in recognition of initiatives and organisations that made a positive difference for the live community during the toughest year in living memory.

Listen Up Music and Melbourne Digital Concert Hall were announced on the night, joining previously named recipients Isol-Aid, ALMBC and Select Music’s Stephen Wade and Support Act.

Stephen Wade

NLMAs director Larry Heath paid tribute to an industry which continues to evolve and switch to new platforms as the pandemic shuts venues and borders around the country.

“We have one of the finest live scenes in the world – if not the finest – and while we’re facing our darkest days, a bright return is just around the corner,” he explained.

“And that’s all thanks to the talent awarded tonight, and the people behind the scenes who keep those engines running.”

Full list of 2020 NLMAs winners:

MMAD Live Award
Guy Sebastian

Special Achievement Award Winners
Listen Up Music
Stephen Wade (ALMBC)
Melbourne Digital Concert Hall
Support Act

Live Act of the Year
Sampa The Great

Live Voice of the Year
Zaachariaha Fielding (Electric Fields)

Live Guitarist of the Year
Stu Mackenzie (King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard)

Live Bassist of the Year
Jennifer Aslett (Stella Donnelly)

Live Drummer of the Year
G Flip

Live Instrumentalist of the Year
Warren Ellis (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Dirty Three)

Live Event of the Year
Woodford Folk Festival

Live Photographer of the Year
Jess Gleeson

Live Journalist of the Year
Sosefina Fuamoli

International Tour of the Year
Tool (February 2020, Frontier Touring)


Best Live Act in VIC

Best Live Act in SA
My Chérie

Best Live Act in QLD
Jaguar Jonze

Best Live Act in NSW
Caitlin Harnett & The Pony Boys

Best Live Act in ACT

Best Live Act in TAS
Slag Queens

Best Live Act in WA
Sly Withers

Best Live Act in NT

For more details visit

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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