The Kid LAROI and Genesis Owusu break hip-hop ceiling at the 2021 ARIA Awards

This year’s ARIA Awards heralded in a new era of Australian musicians, with up-and-coming stars emerging as the big winners at the ceremony on Wednesday.

The Kid LAROI won the award for Best Pop Release for his single, Stay, which he recorded with Justin Bieber.

He also picked up the inaugural Best Artist award, with the ARIAs merging the previous categories of Best Female Artist and Best Male Artist. 

New age: This year’s ARIA Awards heralded in a new era of Australian musicians, with up-and-coming stars emerging as the big winners at the ceremony on Wednesday. Pictured, Genesis Owusu

‘I feel so blessed and overwhelmed… Starting this, I just wanted to show the world how good Australian music was,’ he said in his acceptance speech. 

The awards show also featured the 18-year-old’s final performance before he takes a hiatus, after announcing he’s focusing on completing his debut album.

The Kid LAROI – real name Charlton Kenneth Jeffrey Howard – turned out a rousing performance broadcast live from The Viper Room in Los Angeles. 

Rising star: The Kid LAROI (pictured at a concert in Los Angeles in October) won the award for Best Pop Release for his single, Stay, which he recorded with Justin Bieber

Rising star: The Kid LAROI (pictured at a concert in Los Angeles in October) won the award for Best Pop Release for his single, Stay, which he recorded with Justin Bieber

Cleaning up: The big winner of the night was Genesis Owusu, who won for Best Cover Art, Best Independent Release, Best Hip Hop Release, and Album of the Year

Cleaning up: The big winner of the night was Genesis Owusu, who won for Best Cover Art, Best Independent Release, Best Hip Hop Release, and Album of the Year

‘Last week I went on a small vacation for the first time in a while,’ he wrote on Instagram on November 16. 

‘During that time I started thinking, and I made the decision that I need to take some time away from everything and focus on the next project; my debut album.

‘I’m going to miss you all beyond words can describe, but I do believe that this is what I need to do to give you all the best music possible.’

Calling in: Taylor Swift (pictured) picked up the award for Most Popular International Artist, appearing at the awards show via video link

Calling in: Taylor Swift (pictured) picked up the award for Most Popular International Artist, appearing at the awards show via video link

Winner: Vance Joy (pictured) won for Best Video for his song, Missing Piece, while Rüfüs Du Sol picked up the awards for Best Group and Best Dance Release

Winner: Vance Joy (pictured) won for Best Video for his song, Missing Piece, while Rüfüs Du Sol picked up the awards for Best Group and Best Dance Release

But the big winner of the night was Genesis Owusu, who won for Best Cover Art, Best Independent Release, Best Hip Hop Release, and Album of the Year. 

Taylor Swift picked up the award for Most Popular International Artist, appearing at the awards show via video link.

Vance Joy won for Best Video for his song, Missing Piece, while Rüfüs Du Sol picked up the awards for Best Group and Best Dance Release.

Repeat act: Middle Kids won Best Rock Album and Archie Roach (pictured) won for Best Blues & Roots Album

Repeat act: Middle Kids won Best Rock Album and Archie Roach (pictured) won for Best Blues & Roots Album

Emotional: Spacey Jane won the coveted Song of the Year for their single, Booster Seat, while Budjerah (pictured) broke down in tears as he accepted the Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist award

Emotional: Spacey Jane won the coveted Song of the Year for their single, Booster Seat, while Budjerah (pictured) broke down in tears as he accepted the Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist award

Middle Kids won Best Rock Album and Archie Roach won for Best Blues & Roots Album.

Meanwhile, Bluey The Album picked up the gong for Best Children’s Album and Troy Cassar-Daley won Best Country Album.

Favourites Crowded House won Best Adult Contemporary Album for their latest offering, Dreamers Are Waiting. 

Overwhelmed: The 19-year-old Missing You singer was overcome with emotion as he stepped up to accept his award, winning applause from the audience

Overwhelmed: The 19-year-old Missing You singer was overcome with emotion as he stepped up to accept his award, winning applause from the audience

New girl: Lime Cordiale won for Best Australian Live Act, and were presented with their award by the newest member of The Wiggles, Tsehay Hawkins (centre)

New girl: Lime Cordiale won for Best Australian Live Act, and were presented with their award by the newest member of The Wiggles, Tsehay Hawkins (centre)

Spacey Jane won the coveted Song of the Year for their single, Booster Seat, while Budjerah broke down in tears as he accepted the Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist award. 

The 19-year-old Missing You singer was overcome with emotion as he stepped up to accept his award, winning applause from the audience.

‘WHAT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING!!! Five ARIA nominations! I’m really honoured to be nominated alongside all these incredible artists, people that I look up too [sic]. Congratulations everyone,’ Budjerah wrote on Instagram last month. 

Lime Cordiale won for Best Australian Live Act, and were presented with their award by the newest member of The Wiggles, Tsehay Hawkins.

Location, location: This year's ARIA Awards - which honour homegrown musical talent - were held at Sydney's Taronga Zoo. Pictured, Gretta Ray

Location, location: This year’s ARIA Awards – which honour homegrown musical talent – were held at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. Pictured, Gretta Ray

Something to celebrate: Speaking ahead of the awards show on Tuesday, ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd said she was thrilled the ceremony was going ahead after a difficult couple of years amid the pandemic. Pictured, Brooke Boney

Something to celebrate: Speaking ahead of the awards show on Tuesday, ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd said she was thrilled the ceremony was going ahead after a difficult couple of years amid the pandemic. Pictured, Brooke Boney

This year’s ARIA Awards – which honour homegrown musical talent – were held at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.  

Speaking ahead of the awards show on Tuesday, ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd said she was thrilled the ceremony was going ahead after a difficult couple of years amid the pandemic. 

‘We’re all very excited to see the industry come together and celebrate again – it has been such a long time since we have been able to have this much talent in one room,’ she said as reported by Mediaweek. 

‘We have prepared an absolutely world-class show in partnership with YouTube and we can’t wait to show the rest of Australia and the world exactly how exciting and brilliant our music industry is right now.’ 

'We're all very excited to see the industry come together and celebrate again - it has been such a long time since we have been able to have this much talent in one room,' said ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd. Pictured, Genesis Owusu

‘We’re all very excited to see the industry come together and celebrate again – it has been such a long time since we have been able to have this much talent in one room,’ said ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd. Pictured, Genesis Owusu

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