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This year’s ARIA Awards will have gender-neutral categories

ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd mentioned the transfer is aimed toward together with extra non-binary music artists who do not determine as male or feminine. 

“The time for separating artists based on gendered categories that exclude non-binary artists altogether has passed,” she mentioned in an announcement.

ARIA chair Natalie Waller mentioned the elimination of gender-based categories is a big shift for the awards present, which this 12 months due to the pandemic will be streamed dwell on YouTube.

“We are incredibly proud to enter the next chapter of ARIA’s ever-evolving journey by removing the gender-based award categories, reconstructing the way in which the event has been traditionally held,” she mentioned.

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In 2012, the Grammy Awards eliminated all gendered categories. In 2018, the Music Victoria Awards changed its Best Male and Best Female Artist categories with the Best Solo Artist discipline.

RMIT University’s Catherine Strong, who has researched gendered elements of standard tradition and the music trade, has welcomed the ARIA transfer.

“It is really good at the end of the day that people are having these discussions in that organisation,” she instructed SBS News. “But there are still some big stalwart organisations in the Australian music industry that hasn’t been having these conversations in the way they needed to. It is very encouraging to see this taking place – and hopefully it will lead to much more.”

Dr Strong mentioned there’s nonetheless loads of progress to be made and unconscious bias is “still a big problem”.

“People don’t realise that there are a whole bunch of ways that we judge whether or not an artist is good that are often attached to their gender in ways that we don’t realise,” she mentioned.

“So the danger in having a category where you put everyone in together is that you could turn around in three years from now and realise only men have been nominated because there is still unconscious bias in the music industry around who does good music.”

The 2021 ARIA Awards will happen on 24 November.

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