Australian celebrities were ready for the music industry’s night of nights, on Wednesday, where five solo Indigenous artists were nominated for awards.
Former Australian Idol star Jessica Mauboy and Today presenter Brooke Boney shared behind-the-scenes photos on their Instagram accounts on Wednesday ahead of the red carpet event at The Star in Sydney.
Jessica later arrived with her fiance Themeli Magripilis, making this their first red ARIAs carpet appearance as an engaged couple after Themeli popped the question last month.
The Indigenous Australian singer told her Instagram followers in October she “can’t wait to spend the rest of my life” with Themeli, who chose to propose to Jess in his family’s home town in Greece.
“The love of my life proposed to me in his family’s home town of Kalymnos, Greece on the beach at sunset,” she wrote. “We are so happy. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. Thank you for all the love.”
It’s a big year for Indigenous music at the ARIAs. A record number of solo Australian Indigenous artists have been nominated in 2019, with one of the most diverse lists of acts selected in recent years.
Thelma Plum, Baker Boy, Briggs, Dan Sultan and Jessica Mauboy are nominated in major categories with Thelma up for six gongs including Best Female Artist and Album of the Year for her debut record Better in Blak.
First-time nominee Baker Boy, who raps in his native language Yolngu Matha, has three nods while Dan Sultan and Jess Mauboy are close behind on two nominations.
Briggs has claimed one nomination under the Best Video category for Life Is Incredible feat. Greg Holden. The all-star Indigenous clip features footy legend Adam Goodes, Michael O’Loughlin and George Rose, playwright Nakkiah Lui and Sapphires actor Shari Sebbens.
Electronic duo Electric Fields are also nominated for best Australian Live Act. The outfit’s Zaachariaha Fielding sings in Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara.
Thelma Plum said she’s “stoked” with the Indigenous representation at this year’s event.
“I’m nominated for Video of the Year and in that (category) there are four acts that are Indigenous,” she told HuffPost last month.
“It’s so important, there are so many of us that are so talented. It’s important that it’s recognised on a much larger scale, things like this is how that happens.”