Sia and Kylie Minogue raised awareness for the campaign for marriage equality in Australia at the ARIA Awards on Wednesday (23Nov16).
Australian stars used their appearance at the Australian Recording Industry Association's (ARIA) annual ceremony, the music world's most prestigious, to highlight the growing movement to legalize same-sex marriages in Australia, where unlike the U.K., and U.S., it is still illegal.
Chandelier singer Sia, who was unable to attend the ceremony, enlisted LGBT equality Campaign ambassador Angie Greene to collect her Best Female Artist gong.
Taking to the stage, Angie told the audience: "Outrageously Sia has asked me to accept this award on behalf of marriage equality. I could just walk off now."
Dedicating the award to those in Australia who are unable to legally wed, she continued: "No one’s lives and the people they love should be up for debate. We have the opportunity not to just do a great thing but do the right thing. I can’t thank Sia enough, you’re such a boss!"
The message was continued by singer Kylie, who attended the ceremony with her British-born model fiance Joshua Sasse who has launched the Say I Do, Down Under campaign to lobby the public to support a change in the law. The pair have also stated they won't wed until there is marriage equality in Kylie's home country.
Appearing on stage to introduce Troye Sivan's performance of his track Youth, Kylie said: "We’re here to introduce a shining light in the Australian music industry. But, we’re also here to say thank you to everyone who has supported Josh’s campaign for equality.”
Joshua added: "This is more than a movement, this is people’s lives and we want to say to every single member of the LGBT community that you are not alone. You have a voice and if we all stand together we can bring Australia back on the right side of history and make 2017 the year that we can all say ‘I Do’ Down Under.”
Troye took home a gong later in the evening, collecting his award for Song of the Year from Robbie Williams. In an emotional speech, Troye thanked his supporters, telling the crowd: "This is for every gay Australian kid who wants to make music, you can do it and win an ARIA too."
The singer, born in South Africa and raised in Perth, Australia, also spoke backstage about the lack of marriage equality in Australia, insisting he is determined to be a part of raising the issue.
"To me, it feels like it's no longer an issue of the people and just an issue for politicians," he said. "Australia is such a progressive, inclusive country and I'm so glad to be from here; it sucks that (gay marriage) isn't represented. It's only a matter of time but that doesn't mean we can get complacent.
"I feel what I can do is keep pushing the issue forward as far as the opinion of the public goes."
The list of main winners at the 2016 ARIA Awards is as follows:
Best Male Artist: Flume - Skin
Best Female Artist: Sia - This Is Acting
Best Group: Violent Soho - WACO
Best Urban Album: Drapht - Seven Mirrors
Best Pop Release: ?Flume - Never Be Like You (feat. Kai)
Best Independent Release: Flume - Skin
Best Adult Alterntative Album: Sarah Blasko - Eternal Return
Best Country Album: Sara Storer - Silos
Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity
Best Blues & Roots Album: Russell Morris - Red Dirt Red Heart
Best Children’s Album: The Wiggles - Wiggle Town!
Best International Artist: One Direction
Best Video: Troye Sivan - YOUTH Acoustic
Best Adult Contemporary Album?: Bernard Fanning - Civil Dusk
Best Dance Release?: Flume - Skin
Best Rock Album: Violent Soho - WACO
Best Australian Live Act: Hilltop Hoods The Restrung Tour
Apple Music Song of the Year: Troye Sivan - Youth
Breakthrough Artist: Montaigne - Glorious Heights