Killing Heidi, Madison Avenue win big Down Under

SYDNEY — Emerging victorious from a difficult year that saw increased competition from imports and increased sales taxes, Australia’s music industry bestowed most of its highest honors upon newcomers at Tuesday’s 14th annual Australian Record Industry Assn (ARIA) Music Awards.

The prizes came amid a controversy which saw Latin pop sensation Ricky Martin and dance music artist Fatboy Slim withdraw as guest presenters amid mounting fury that the pair might perform at what is traditionally an exclusive showcase for Oz acts.

Killing Heidi took gongs for album of the year, group, new album artists and rock album, while “Don’t Call Me Baby,” the Oz and U.K. chart-topping debut single from Madison Avenue, won prizes for record of the year, highest selling Oz single, new single artists and video.

Elbowed aside was Savage Garden, taking only an honor for highest selling Oz release, while David Bridie won best original soundtrack album for his work on Bill Bennett’s film “In a Savage Land.”

Olympic perfomers shut out

Kylie Minogue’s “Spinning Around” landed the best pop release nod, while fellow Olympic ceremony performers Vanessa Amorosi and Christine Anu surprisingly came away empty handed.

But Anu’s “Sunshine on a Rainy Day” was named single of the year at Monday’s sixth annual Deadly Sounds Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Music Awards, at which Yothu Yindi’s “Garma” won album of the year and Wesley Enoch and John Rodgers took the prize for excellence in film or theatrical score for the Queensland and Sydney Theater Cos.’ “Sunshine Club.”

Meanwhile, Silverchair is refusing to cooperate with the plans of its former label Sony to release a greatest hits compilation from its first three albums, saying that it is too soon to focus on the past.

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