Delayed by Auckland’s long lockdown, the 2021 Aotearoa Music Awards took place at Aotea Centre in Auckland, on Friday, December 15, a celebration filmed for live TV broadcast, but staged in front of an audience made up only of nominated finalists, due to enduring Covid safety provisions.
Building on last year’s two Tūī haul, L.A.B proved the big winners of the night – and the year – claiming four of the 2021 AMA trophies (spectacularly created by Weta Workshop‘s multi-Academy Award-ed Richard Taylor) presented. The reggae-plus band took homeTūī for Album of The Year (‘L.A.B. IV’), Single of the Year (for Why Oh Why), Best Group and Best Roots Artist. They smartly also took the opportunity to release a fifth album on the very same day.
Teeks‘ debut album, ‘Something To Feel’, won the inspirational Northland singer/songwriter three Tūī – as Best Solo Artist, Best Soul/RnB Artist, and Te Kaipuoro Māori Toa | Best Māori Artist. Having dominated proceedings over the last two years as a repeat multiple-Tūī winner, Benee wasn’t to be left out, again winning the title of our Best Pop Artist.
But the stars of the show this year were undoubtedly the two extraordinary stars of Māori Television series Te Nūtube, already celebrated for their single Peke. Talented cousins Atareta Milne (11) and Te Haakura Ihimaera-Manley (9) became the youngest ever artists to win at the Aotearoa Music Awards in claiming the Mana Reo trophy, and followed that up by beating out all those famous oldies in the audience (including last year’s winners L.A.B), in claiming the People’s Choice Award.
2021 Aotearoa Music Awards | Nga Tohu Puoro O Aotearoa winners:
- Te Pukaemi o te Tau | Album of the Year: L.A.B – ‘L.A.B. IV’
- Te Waiata Tōtahi o te Tau | Single of the Year: L.A.B – Why Oh Why
- Te Roopu Toa | Best Group: L.A.B
- Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa | Best Roots Artist: L.A.B
- Te Kaipuoro Arotini Toa | Best Pop Artist: Benee
- Te Kaipuoro Takitahi Toa | Best Solo Artist: Teeks – ‘Something to Feel’
- Te Kaipuoro Māori Toa | Best Māori Artist: Teeks
- Te Kaipuoro Awe Toa | Best Soul/RnB Artist: Teeks
- Te Kaipuoro Hipihope Toa | Best Hip Hop Artist: Team Dynamite
- Te Kaipuoro Manohi Toa | Best Alternative Artist: Na Noise
- Te Kaipuoro Tāhiko Toa | Best Electronic Artist: Paige Julia
- Te Kaipuoro Rakapioi Toa | Best Rock Artist: Dead Favours
- Te Kaituhura Puoro Toa o te Tau | Breakthrough Artist of the Year: Harper Finn
- Te Kaipuoro Inamata Toa | Best Classical Artist: Claire Cowan
- Te Māngai Pāho Mana Reo Award: Te Nūtube
- Te Kōwhiri o te Nuinga | People’s Choice Award: Te Nūtube
- Te Toa Hoko Teitei | Highest Selling Artist: Six60
- Te Rikoata Marakerake o te Tau | Radio Airplay Record of the Year: Six60 – Fade Away
- Te Whare Taonga Puoro o Aotearoa | New Zealand Music Hall of Fame inductees: Annie Crummer, Debbie Harwood, Dianne Swann, Margaret Urlich, Kim Willoughby (collectively When The Cat’s Away).
Other Tūī presented previously in 2021:
- Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa | Best Folk Artist: Tattletale Saints – ‘Dancing Under The Dogwoods’
- Te Kaipuoro Tuawhenua Toa | Best Country Artist: Tami Neilson – ‘Chickaboom!’
- Te Kaipuoro Tautito Toa | Best Jazz Artist: The Jac – ‘A Gathering’
- Te Kaipuoro Waiata Tamariki Toa | Best Children’s Artist: Fleabite – ‘Snakes Alive’
- Te Kaiwhakaputa Toa | Best Producer: Delaney Davidson & Jol Mulholland – ‘Black Sea Golden Ladder’ (Troy Kingi)
- Te Kaipukaha Toa | Best Engineer: Jol Mulholland – Black Sea Golden Ladder (Troy Kingi)
- Te Kaipuoro Tāhiko Toa | Best Album Artwork: Amanda Cheng – ‘Clot’ (Wax Chattels)
- Te Kiko Puoro Ataata Toa | Best Music Video Content: Alexander Gandar – No One Knows (Georgia Lines)
NZM’s mini-interviews with winners from the night can be found on Instagram.