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Australian pop music awards have included the TV Week King of Pop Awards (1967–1978), TV Week/Countdown Music Awards (1979–1980) and Countdown Music and Video Awards (1981–1986). Early awards were based on popular voting from readers of teenage pop music magazine Go-Set and television program guide TV Week. They were followed by responses from viewers of Countdown, a TV pop music series (1974–1987) on national broadcaster Australian Broadcasting Corporationmarker (ABC). Some of the later award ceremonies incorporated listed nominees and peer-voted awards. From 1987 the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) instituted its own entirely peer-voted ARIA Music Awards.

1967–1978: King of Pop Awards

Teen-oriented pop music magazine, Go-Set was established in February 1966 and conducted an annual poll of its readers to determine the most popular personalities. In 1967 the most popular performer was Normie Rowe and when the awards were announced on the related Go!! television show there was a crowning of Rowe as 'King of Pop'. In the following years, TV Week provided coupons for readers to vote for their choice, a similar system had been in use for TV's Logie Awards since 1960. The 'King of Pop' awards ceremony was televised by the 0-10 Network from 1967–1975, and from 1976–1978 by the Nine Network. On the 0-10 Network it was run by Johnny Young's production company which also provided Young Talent Time.

1967



1968

  • King of Pop — Normie Rowe


1969



Durbin is often referred to as the 'Queen of Pop', however:

1970

  • King of Pop — Johnny Farnham
  • Best Female Artist — Allison Durbin


1971

Guest presenter: Liberace

Award winners:
  • King of Pop — Johnny Farnham
  • Best Female Artist — Allison Durbin
  • Best Album – Bloodstone (Russell Morris)
  • Best Bass Guitarist – Beeb Birtles (Frieze)
  • Best Dressed Female Performer – Allison Durbin
  • Best Dressed Male Performer – Johnny Farnham
  • Best Drummer – Gary Young (Daddy Cool)
  • Best Group — Daddy Cool
  • Best Lead Guitarist – Rick Springfield (Zoot)
  • Best Organist – Jenny Johnson (New Dream)
  • Best Songwriter – Russell Morris for "Mr America"
  • Outstanding Newcomer — Jamie Redfern


1972

Award winners:
  • King of Pop — Johnny Farnham
  • Queen of Pop — Colleen Hewett
  • Best Arranger – Geoff Hales
  • Best Dressed Female – Judy Stone
  • Best Dressed Male – Jeff Phillips
  • Best New Talent — Robin Jolley
  • Best Songwriter – Billy Thorpe (Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs)
  • Biggest Selling L.P. – Teaser and the Firecat (Cat Stevens)
  • Biggest Selling Single – "The Rangers Waltz" (The Moms & Dads)
  • Contribution to Teenage Television – Brian Henderson
  • Most Popular Australian Album – When You Wish Upon a Star (Jamie Redfern)
  • Most Popular Australian Musician – Rick Springfield (solo)
  • Most Popular Australian Single – "Walking the Floor" (Johnny Farnham)
  • Most Popular Group — Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs
  • Most Popular Overseas Group — The Bee Gees
  • Most Popular Overseas L.P. — American Pie (Don McLean)
  • Special Gold Award for '20 years service to the Industry' – Johnny O'Keefe


1973

Guest presenter: Davy Jones (ex-The Monkeys)

Award winners:
  • King of Pop — Johnny Farnham
  • Queen of Pop — Colleen Hewett
  • Best New Talent — Linda George
  • Best Songwriter – Brian Cadd
  • Contribution to Australian Pop Industry – Brian Cadd
  • Most Popular Australian Album – Hits 1: Magic Rock 'N' Roll (Johnny Farnham)
  • Most Popular Australian Group — Sherbet
  • Most Popular Australian Musician – Brian Cadd
  • Most Popular Australian Single – "Venus" (Jamie Redfern)


1974

King Of Pop '74–'75

Shows winners trophy.
Ceremony details: Held on 8 March 1974, guest presenters: David Cassidy, Gary Glitter. A compilation album titled King Of Pop '74–'75 was released with tracks supplied by previous winners and guest presenters. Next to the list of various artists, the cover depicts the trophy that was presented to award winners.

Award winners:
  • King of Pop — Jamie Redfern
  • Queen of Pop — Debbie Byrne
  • Best New Talent — Benjamin Hugg
  • Best Songwriter – Harry Vanda & George Young
  • Contribution to Australian Pop Industry – Brian Cadd
  • Most Popular Australian Album – My Name Means Horse (Ross Ryan)
  • Most Popular Australian Group — Sherbet
  • Most Popular Australian Musician – Brian Cadd
  • Most Popular Australian Single – "Hitch a Ride" (Jamie Redfern)


1975

Ceremony details: Held October 1975, live performance: AC/DC "High Voltage"

Award winners:
  • King of Pop — Daryl Braithwaite (Sherbet)
  • Queen of Pop — Debbie Byrne
  • Australian Record of the Year — "Horror Movie" (Skyhooks)
  • Best Australian Songwriter – Greg Macainsh (Skyhooks)
  • Best New Talent — Mark Holden
  • Contribution to Australian Pop Industry – Countdown
  • Most Popular Australian Album – Ego is not a Dirty Word (Skyhooks)
  • Most Popular Australian Group — Sherbet
  • Most Popular Australian Single – "Summer Love" (Sherbet)


1976

Award winners:
  • King of Pop — Daryl Braithwaite (Sherbet)
  • Queen of Pop — Marcia Hines
  • Best Australian International Performer – Olivia Newton-John
  • Best Australian Record Producer – Richard Lush
  • Best Australian Songwriter – Harry Vanda & George Young
  • Best Australian TV Performer – Supernaut
  • Best Cover Design – Straight in a Gay Gay World (Skyhooks)
  • Contribution to Australian Pop Industry – Johnny O'Keefe
  • Most Popular Australian Album – Howzat (Sherbet)
  • Most Popular Australian Group — Sherbet
  • Most Popular Australian Single – "Howzat" (Sherbet)
  • Most Popular New Group — Supernaut
  • Most Popular New Talent — Mark Holden


1977

Performer: Mark Holden

Award winners:
  • King of Pop — Daryl Braithwaite (Sherbet)
  • Queen of Pop — Marcia Hines
  • Australian Record of the Year — "Help Is on Its Way" (Little River Band)
  • Best Australian International Performers – Little River Band
  • Best Australian Record Producer – Peter Dawkins
  • Best Australian Songwriter – Glenn Shorrock
  • Best Australian TV Performer – The Ferrets on Countdown
  • Best Cover Design – Trees (Doug Ashdown)
  • Most Popular Australian Album – Photoplay (Sherbet)
  • Most Popular Australian Country Musician – Slim Dusty
  • Most Popular Australian Group — Sherbet
  • Most Popular Australian Single – "Magazine Madonna" (Sherbet)
  • Most Popular New Group — Dragon
  • Most Popular New Talent — John St. Peeters


1978

Ceremony details: Held on 13 October 1978, hosted by Glen Shorrock, guest presenters: Kate Bush, Leif Garrett

Award winners:
  • King of Pop — John Paul Young
  • Queen of Pop — Marcia Hines
  • Australian Record of the Year — "Reminiscing" (Little River Band)
  • Best Australian Record Producer – Harry Vanda & George Young
  • Best Australian Songwriter – Harry Vanda & George Young
  • Best Australian TV Performer – Skyhooks "Hotel Hell" on Nightmoves and Little River Band "Help Is on Its Way" on Paul Hogan Show
  • Best Cover Design – Face to Face (The Angels)
  • Most Popular Australian Album – Sleeper Catcher (Little River Band)
  • Most Popular Australian Country Musician – Slim Dusty
  • Most Popular Australian Group — Sherbet
  • Most Popular Australian Single – "Love Is in the Air" (John Paul Young)
  • Most Popular New Group — The Sports
  • Most Popular New Talent — Paul O'Gorman
  • Outstanding Contribution to Australian Music Industry – Nightmoves (Australian TV series)
  • Outstanding Local Achievement – Dragon


1979–1980: TV Week/Countdown Music Awards

Countdown was an Australian pop music TV series on national broadcaster ABC-TV from 1974–1987, it presented music awards from 1979–1987, initially in conjunction with magazine TV Week which had sponsored the previously existing 'King of Pop' Awards. The TV Week/Countdown Rock Music Awards were a combination of popular-voted and peer-voted awards.

The award year below relates to the year of achievement and not the year they were presented.

1979

Ceremony details: Held on 13 April 1980, broadcast on Countdown by ABC-TV, the TV Week Rock Music Awards for 1979 presented a revamped awards ceremony with 'King of Pop' title replaced by 'Most Popular Male' and 'Queen of Pop' replaced by 'Most Popular Female'. Hosted by Glen Shorrock of Little River Band, there were three live performances: Christie Allen "He's My Number 1", Australian Crawl "Beautiful People" and Split Enz "I Got You". Various music industry personalities explained the categories, announced nominees and presented the 1979 awards. 'Most Popular' awards were voted for by readers of TV Week sending in printed coupons, with the three highest reader responses read out as nominations. Industry awards were voted for by radio programme directors, rock magazine editors and journalists. Presenters included Darryl Cotton, Richard Gower (Racey), John O'Keefe (son of Johnny O'Keefe), John Farnham, Colleen Hewett, Graeme Strachan, Ian Meldrum, and Harry Casey (KC & the Sunshine Band).

Award winners and nominees:

1980

Ceremony details: Held on 16 March 1981 at Regent Theatremarker Sydneymarker, and broadcast on 22 March, it was hosted by Countdown host Ian "Molly" Meldrum and international guests Suzi Quatro and Jermaine Jackson. Presenters included: Lee Simons, Donnie Sutherland, Marc Hunter, James Freud, Graham Russell, Russell Hitchcock and David Tickle. Performers were: Split Enz "History Never Repeats", Flowers "Icehouse", The Swingers "Counting the Beat", Air Supply "Lost in Love", "Every Woman in the World" and "All Out of Love", Australian Crawl "The Boys Light Up". Cold Chisel performed the last live number, "My Turn to Cry", to close the show and then trashed their instruments and the set. Sponsors TV Week withdrew their support for the awards and Countdown held its own awards ceremonies thereafter.

Award winners and nominees:
  • Best Australian Album
  • Best Australian Producer
  • Best Australian Record Cover Design
  • Best Single Record
  • Best Recorded Song Writer
  • Best New Talent (Johnny O'Keefe Memorial Award)
  • Most Outstanding Achievement (for excellence in the presentation or production of Australian rock music by an individual performer, group or group member)
  • Most Popular Female
    • Christie Allen
    • Annalise Morrow (The Numbers)
    • Lynda Nutter (The Dugites)
  • Most Popular Group
    • Australian Crawl
    • Cold Chisel
    • Split Enz
  • Most Popular Male Performer
  • Most Popular Record
    • The Boys Light Up – Australian Crawl
    • EastCold Chisel
    • True Colours – Split Enz
  • Best Disc Jockey (winners only, by State)
    • Ian McCray 2SM Sydney, New South Wales
    • Wayne Roberts 4BK Brisbane, Queensland
    • Steve Curtis 5AD Adelaide, South Australia
    • Jim Franklin 7HT Hobart, Tasmania
    • Greg Evans 3XY Melbourne, Victoria
    • Garry Shannon 6PM Perth, West Australia


1981–1986: Countdown Music and Video Awards

Countdown was an Australian pop music TV series on national broadcaster ABC-TV from 1974–1987, it presented music awards from 1979–1987, initially in conjunction with magazine TV Week which had sponsored the previously existing 'King of Pop' Awards. After Cold Chisel performed at the 1980 awards ceremony, and then trashed their instruments and the set, sponsors TV Week withdrew their support and Countdown held its own awards ceremonies until the 1986 awards which were broadcast in 1987. The awards ceremony was co-produced by Carolyn James (aka Carolyn Bailey) during 1981–1984 in collaboration with the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), which provided peer voting for some awards. Countdown provided coupons in the related Countdown Magazine for viewers to vote for some awards including 'Most Popular Male Performer', 'Most Popular Female Performer', 'Most Popular Group' and 'Most Popular International Act'. From 1987 ARIA instituted its own entirely peer-voted ARIA Music Awards.

The award year below relates to the year of achievement and not the year they were presented.

1981

Ceremony details: Broadcast on 18 April 1982, hosted by Ian "Molly" Meldrum with presenters: Greedy Smith, Ross Wilson, Michael Hutchence, Duran Duran, Sharon O'Neill, Renée Geyer, John Swan, John Paul Young, Daryl Braithwaite, Alex Smith and Angry Anderson. Performers were: Men at Work, Sharon O'Neill, Renée Geyer, Mental As Anything, Billy Field, Mondo Rock and the Divinyls.

Award winners and nominees:
  • Best Australian Album
    • ChemistryMondo Rock


  • Best Australian Producer
    • Peter Dawkins


  • Best Australian Single
    • "If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too?" – Mental As Anything


  • Best Australian Songwriter
    • Eric McCusker – Mondo Rock






  • Best New Talent
    • Men At Work


  • Most Outstanding Achievement
    • Air Supply


  • Most Popular Female
    • Sharon O'Neill




  • Most Popular Male Performer


Nominees included: Men at Work, Divinyls, Moving Pictures, Sharon O'Neill, Renée Geyer, Billy Field, Mental As Anything, Marcia Hines, Split Enz, Mondo Rock, Australian Crawl, Cold Chisel, Midnight Oil.

1982

Ceremony details: Held on 19 April 1983.

Award winners and nominees:
  • Best Australian Album




  • Best Debut Album
    • Spirit of PlaceGoanna


  • Best Debut Single
    • "Solid Rock" – Goanna






  • Best New Talent (Johnny O'Keefe Memorial Award)


  • Most Outstanding Achievement
    • Men at Work




  • Most Popular Group
    • Split Enz






Nominees included: The Angels, Moving Pictures, Goanna, Jo Kennedy, Divinyls, Eurogliders, Rose Tattoo, Split Enz, The Reels, Icehouse, Men at Work, Skyhooks.

1983

Ceremony details: Held on 15 April 1984 at the Palais Theatre, presenters included: Ross Wilson, Glen Shorrock, Pat Wilson, Graeme "Shirley" Strachan, Greg Ham, Ian "Molly" Meldrum, Jon Farriss, Michael Hutchence, Marc Hunter, Billy Idol. Live performers: Kids in the Kitchen "Bitter Desire", Models "I Hear Motion", Ross Wilson and Pat Wilson "Strong Love", Pseudo Echo "A Beat for You", Billy Idol "Rebel Yell", Tim Finn "In a Minor Key". The closing live performance was by an ensemble including Shorrock, Lynne Randell, Jim Keays, Darryl Cotton, Debbie Byrne, Strachan, Keith Lamb, John Paul Young, Darryl Braithwaite, and Hunter to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of Johnny O'Keefe's version of "Shout!".

Award winners and nominees:
  • Best Australian Album








  • Best Record Producer of the Year












  • Most Popular Male Performer
    • Tim Finn (solo)


  • Most Promising New Talent (Johnny O'Keefe Award)
    • Real Life


  • Songwriter of the Year
    • Tim Finn




1984

Ceremony details: Held on 19 May 1985 at Sydney Entertainment Centremarker, and broadcast on 25 May, it was hosted by Greedy Smith, presenters included: Brian Mannix, Meat Loaf, Vicki O'Keefe, Sharon O'Neill, Ian "Molly" Meldrum, Nik Kershaw, Grace Knight and Bernie Lynch (Eurogliders), Julian Lennon, Jenny Morris, Sean Kelly and James Freud (Models), Alan Johnson and Danny Simcic (Real Life), Suzanne Dowling (Rock Arena TV show host). INXS won seven awards and closed with a live performance of "Burn for You", dressed in Akubras (hats) and Drizabones (outdoor coats/oilskin jackets).

Award winners and nominees:



  • Best Debut Single
    • "Trust Me" – I'm Talking


  • Best Female Performance in a Video
    • Sharon O'Neill


  • Best Group Performance in a Video
    • "Burn for You" – INXS


  • Best Male Performance in a Video
    • Jimmy Barnes


  • Best Producer
    • Martin Armiger








  • Most Outstanding Achievement
    • INXS


  • Most Popular Australian Group
    • INXS


  • Most Popular Female Performer
    • Sharon O'Neill


  • Most Popular International Act
    • Duran Duran


  • Most Popular Male Performer
    • Michael Hutchence (INXS)


  • Most Promising Talent (Johnny O'Keefe Memorial Award)


1985

Ceremony details: Held on 14 April 1986 at Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Centre, and broadcast on 20 April, it was hosted by Ian "Molly" Meldrum and presenters included: Grace Knight and Bernie Lynch (Eurogliders), Rick Mayall and Ben Elton (The Young Ones), Sting, Vince Sorrenti, Brad Robinson, Zan Abeyratne, Richard Page, Iva Davies, Brian Canham, Brian Mannix, Tim Finn, Dee C Lee, Suzanne Dowling and Bob Geldof. Performers were: Pseudo Echo "Living in a Dream", Eurogliders "Absolutely", Do-Ré-Mi "Theme from Jungle Jim", Kids in the Kitchen "Current Stand", Mr Mister "Kyrie", Models "Let's Build it Up", I'm Talking "Do You Wanna Be?". At the awards ceremony fans of INXS and Uncanny X-Men scuffled and as a result ARIA decided to hold their own awards, which were the entirely peer-voted ARIA Music Awards first held in 1987.

  • Best Album
    • FundamentalsMental As Anything








  • Best Group Performance in a Video
    • "Live it Up" – Mental As Anything


  • Best Male Performance in a Video
    • "Working Class Man" – Jimmy Barnes


  • Best Producer
    • Mark Opitz


  • Best Video
    • INXS's "What You Need" – Richard Lowenstein and Lyn-Marie Milbourn


  • Best Single
    • "Out of Mind, Out of Sight" – Models
    • "Live it Up" – Mental As Anything


  • Best Songwriter




  • Most Popular Australian Group
    • INXS
    • Uncanny X-Men


  • Most Popular Female Performer
    • Sharon O'Neill


  • Most Popular International Act
    • Duran Duran
    • Madonna


  • Most Popular Male Performer
    • Tim Finn
    • Brian Mannix


  • Most Promising Talent (Johnny O'Keefe Memorial Award)
    • Do-Ré-Mi


1986

Ceremony details: Held on 19 July 1987 at Sydney Opera Housemarker, it followed the last regular Countdown show. It was hosted by Ian "Molly" Meldrum who revealed his bald head in imitation of Peter Garrett of Midnight Oil. Performers included: Icehouse "Crazy", Angry Anderson "Suddenly", and Mental As Anything "He’s Just No Good".

By the time of the last Countdown award ceremony, the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) had already instituted its own entirely peer-voted ARIA Music Awards, with its first ceremony held on 2 March 1987 at the Sheraton Wentworth Hotel in Sydneymarker. Elton John was the host but the ARIAs were not televised with presenters including Basia Bonkowski, Slim Dusty and Donnie Sutherland.



  • Best Debut Album


  • Best Debut Single


  • Best Female Performance in a Video


  • Best Group Performance in a Video


  • Best Male Performance in a Video


  • Best Producer


  • Best Video


  • Best Single


  • Best Songwriter


  • Most Outstanding Achievement


  • Most Popular Australian Group






  • Most Popular Male Performer


  • Most Promising Talent (Johnny O'Keefe Memorial Award)


Notes



References


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