While we don’t want to take focus away from all deserving finalists, a great show and music community spirit at Spark Arena last night, there’s no way we can ignore (or be surprised by) the fact that Lorde won six Tuis at the 2017 NZ Music Awards, so taking the number of Tuis on her mantlepiece to a total of 18!
Both Lorde and Te Vaka‘s Opetaia Foa’i got special recognition for their international achievements, the latter for his songwriting and music work on Disney’s blockbuster Moana.
A year after getting a passed-on Tui when Aaradhna rejected her Urban/ Hip Hop trophy, this year SWIDT performed and also received two awards. On the strength of their second release, ‘Stoneyhunga’, they won Best Group and Best Hip Hop Artist.
Breakthrough Artist and Best Alternative Artist went to songwriter Aldous Harding who was this year’s only absent awardee. Aldous wasn’t able to her two Tui awards in person as she is still on tour in the UK, following the release of her 2017 album ‘Party’.
With the album or EP no longer a definitive measure of artistic output, that word was dropped from all the major awards this year, replaced by ‘artist’.
Devilskin won Best Rock Artist for 2017; newcomer Teeks (Ngāpuhi, Ngāiterangi, Ngāti Ranginui) was awarded the Best Māori Artist Tui; Ladi6 Best Soul/RnB Artist; duo Truth were named the Best Electronic Artist; Best Roots Artist went to Israel Starr; Best Worship Artist to Curate Music; Best Classical Artist to NZ Trio.
The album does retain some cachet and the Tui for 2017’s Highest Selling Album went to The Koi Boys‘ for ‘Meant To Be’. Thanks to his massive hit Don’t Worry ‘Bout It, Kings won Tuis for both Highest Selling Single and NZOA Radio Airplay Record of the Year.
Legacy Award recipient Sharon O’Neill was inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame by her contemporary Debbie Harwood.
The entertainment part of the night included performances by Lorde, Te Vaka, SWIDT, Devilskin, TEEKS, Theia, and Stellar*‘s closing cover of Sharon O’Neill’s Maxine.
Among the night’s other memorable highlights were the fact that Sachi had themselves couriered to the venue in big boxes, Scribe‘s magnificent ability to laugh about himself (with the help of show hosts Jono and Ben), the loss of Lorde’s head in the intro, Julia Deans‘ lavender dream dress, a front of stage haka for Teeks, Devilskin’s Jennie Skulander‘s moving reaction to winning Best Rock Artist, the hug between Lorde and PM Jacinda Ardern, and this…