ARIAs 2017: Gang of Youths crowned kings of Australian music industry

It looked set to be the year of the female at the ARIAs but a massive number of nominations failed to translate into wins for the ladies of Australian music.

With a female artist nominated in nearly every category and some categories dominated by women, it could have been a night of girl power but in the end it was the men who dominated. 

Gang of Youths were crowned the kings of the Australian music industry, taking home three awards.

Big winners: Gang of Youths perform during the 31st ARIA Awards at The Star, in Sydney. Photo: AAP

Big winners: Gang of Youths perform during the 31st ARIA Awards at The Star, in Sydney. Photo: AAP

The Sydney indie rock group, whose second studio album Go Farther in Lightness topped the ARIA charts when it was released in August, took out the coveted album of the year award, as well as best group and best rock album. They had already picked up producer of the year at the industry awards earlier this year.

In a passionate acceptance speech, frontman Dave Le'aupepe paid tribute to the band's diverse backgrounds, and his own grandparents who came to Australia as Jewish refugees after the holocaust. 

"We're all immigrants to this country, and this country was built on a strong Indigenous people and on the backs of immigrants," he said. 

"You have no idea how important it is for us to win this because no one gave a shit about us for so long."

Aussie icon Paul Kelly added to his already heaving cabinet of awards by beating the likes of Dan Sultan, Vance Joy and Illy for the best male artist gong, along with the award for best adult contemporary album for his 23rd studio album Life is Fine; which was also his first number one album in Australia. This year's win places Kelly in equal eighth position for the most number of awards won.

ARIA winner: Amy Shark performs during the 31st ARIA Awards at The Star, in Sydney. Photo: AAP

ARIA winner: Amy Shark performs during the 31st ARIA Awards at The Star, in Sydney. Photo: AAP

He took to the stage for a lively performance of his 1989 hit Dumb Things, alongside Dan Sultan and hip-hop duo A.B. Original, who took home best urban release and best independent release for their provocative album Reclaim Australia

Briggs, one half of the rap duo, called the album a successful attempt to "upset all those rednecks".

"They were vocal, but we just had a better album," he joked onstage.

After being nominated 21 times and winning three times, rocker Jimmy Barnes took home his first award for best children's album for Och Aye The G'Nu​, released this year with The Wiggles.

He took to the stage with one of his 13 grandchildren, grandson Dylan, saying: "This one's for kids everywhere; it's for my grandkids."

ARIA winner: Briggs of A.B. Original performs with Paul Kelly during the 31st ARIA Awards at The Star, in Sydney. Photo: AAP

ARIA winner: Briggs of A.B. Original performs with Paul Kelly during the 31st ARIA Awards at The Star, in Sydney. Photo: AAP

Melbourne rapper Illy, who won an ARIA in 2013 for Bring it Back, was named the best Australian live act, beating Grammy award-winner Flume who went home empty handed.

Bliss N Eso, who haven't won an ARIA since 2008, earned a nod for the film clip accompanying their single Moments, taking home best video.

Daryl Braithwaite was also inducted into the ARIA hall of fame, winning over the room with a belting version of that unlikely millennial favourite, Horses, alongside Guy Sebastian and Vera Blue.

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In the end female artists took home a disappointing four awards on the night.

Gold Coast indie-darling Amy Shark, who was nominated for a whopping six awards, took home two for breakthrough artist and best pop release for her debut EP Night Thinker.

Her breakout single Adore, which shot her to fame after landed in the second spot on the Triple J Hottest 100, failed to score her the song of the year gong. It went to electronic duo Peking Duk for their dance floor banger Stranger.

Empty handed: Jessica Mauboy performs during the 31st ARIA Awards at The Star. Photo: AAP

Empty handed: Jessica Mauboy performs during the 31st ARIA Awards at The Star. Photo: AAP

Sia, who didn't make it to the ceremony again this year, was nominated for five awards but only managed to score one for best female artist, beating favourite Jessica Mauboy who was nominated six awards but failed to win any.

Tash Sultana, who was nominated in four categories, also went home empty handed.

Other female winners included Kasey Chambers, who won best country album for Dragonfly, and All Our Exes Live In Texas, whose When We Fall took out best blues and roots album.

A who's who of the Australian music industry marched their way along the red carpet to attend the awards in Sydney, including international guests Harry Styles and Lorde. Both performed at the ceremony along with many of the Australian artists who took home trophies.

Harry Styles accepts the ARIA for Best International Artist during the 31st ARIA Awards at The Star, in Sydney. Photo: AAP

Harry Styles accepts the ARIA for Best International Artist during the 31st ARIA Awards at The Star, in Sydney. Photo: AAP

An embarrassing technical hiccup hit Styles' anticipated live performance, with the Brit star forced to restart after audio awkwardly cut out on his set. The mishap was cut from Nine's broadcast, which was aired on delay.

It was convenient timing for Styles to be at the Australian awards, he was named best international artist beating Lorde, Ed Sheeran, The Rolling Stones and even Adele, who made her Australian concert debut earlier this year in stadiums around the country.

- with Rob Moran