ARIA Music Awards of 1987

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1987 ARIA Music Awards
Date 2 March 1987 (1987-03-02)
Venue Sheraton Wentworth Hotel,
Sydney, New South Wales

The First Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards (generally known as the ARIA Music Awards or simply The ARIAS) was held on 2 March 1987 at the Sheraton Wentworth Hotel in Sydney with Elton John as the host. The awards were introduced by ARIA Chairman, Paul Turner, who explained the nomination and voting procedures. Presenters of the 20 awards included Slim Dusty, Basia Bonkowski and Donnie Sutherland. The ceremony was not televised. The most successful artist was John Farnham with his album (Whispering Jack) and its associated single, "You're the Voice" helping him win six awards.


Countdown was an Australian pop music TV series on national broadcaster ABC-TV from 1974–1987,[1] it presented music awards from 1979–1987, initially in conjunction with magazine TV Week which had sponsored the previously existing 'King of Pop' Awards.[2][3] After Cold Chisel performed at the 1980 awards ceremony, and then trashed their instruments and the set,[4] sponsors TV Week withdrew their support and Countdown held its own awards ceremonies until the 1986 awards which were broadcast in 1987.[2] The awards ceremony was co-produced by Carolyn James (aka Carolyn Bailey) during 1981–1984 in collaboration with the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA),[5][6][7] 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'.[8] At the 1985 awards ceremony (held in April 1986) fans of INXS and Uncanny X-Men scuffled and as a result ARIA decided to hold their own awards.[7]

ARIA instituted its own entirely peer-voted Australian Record Industry Awards.[9][10] The first awards ceremony was held on 2 March 1987 at the Sheraton Wentworth Hotel in Sydney with Elton John as the host.[10][11][12] The awards were introduced by ARIA Chairman, Paul Turner, who explained the nomination and voting procedures.[10] The eligibility period was for material released in the previous calendar year with the final five nominees determined by independent auditors, Deloitte, Haskin & Sells.[10] Presenters of the 20 awards included John, Turner, promoter-manager Glenn Wheatley, Country music veteran Slim Dusty, Music Around the World host Basia Bonkowski, and Sounds Unlimited host Donnie Sutherland.[11] The 1987 ceremony was not televised, host John recommended that it not be televised in future:[11]

if you want to keep these awards fun. The only reason I agreed to do this is because it's not on television. If, in future years, you keep it like that, I think it means something more because it's much more personal.[13]

— Elton John

John Farnham was the most successful artist on the night, with his album Whispering Jack and its associated single, "You're the Voice" winning six awards.[11]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Winners are listed first and bolded, other final nominees (where known) are listed alphabetically.[10][11][12]

ARIA Awards[edit]

Fine Arts Awards[edit]

Artisan Awards[edit]


  1. ^ Atkinson, Ann; Linsay Knight; Margaret McPhee (1996). The dictionary of performing arts in Australia. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-86373-898-9. Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "TV Week "King of Pop" Awards". Milesago. 2002. Retrieved 2008-12-03. 
  3. ^ "Top 40 TV". Retrieved 2008-12-03. 
  4. ^ "Countdown Show no.:241 Date: 22/3/1981". Countdown Archives. Retrieved 2008-12-03. 
  5. ^ "WAM Scene". Western Australia Music Industry Association Incorporated. 2005. Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  6. ^ "The Countdown Story". Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). 2006. Archived from the original on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  7. ^ a b "The quirks that made it work". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2006-08-05. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  8. ^ "Countdown Magazine" (PDF). Australian Broadcasting Corporation. January 1986. Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  9. ^ Knox, David (2007-10-17). "ARIAs hall of infamy". TV Tonight. Archived from the original on 20 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-03. 
  10. ^ a b c d e "ARIA Awards". YouTube. ARIA Official YouTube Account. 13 November 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c d e "Winners by Year 1987". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "Australia 1987 ARIA Awards". Retrieved 5 December 2009. 
  13. ^ Jenkins, Jeff; Ian Meldrum (2007). Molly Meldrum presents 50 years of rock in Australia. Melbourne, Vic: Wilkinson Publishing. p. 228–229. ISBN 978-1-921332-11-1. Archived from the original on 24 June 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2009. 

External links[edit]