“It’s a bit of déjà vu,” Gotye told WHO ahead of a triumphant result at the 26th ARIA Awards, which saw him scoop four trophies including Album of the Year for “Making Mirrors” and Best Male gong for the second year in a row. “I’d convinced myself that it was really going to bomb,” said the US Billboard chart-topper of his success over the past 18 months. “There were lots of pinch yourself moments.”
Acknowledging Gotye’s wins, “It couldn’t go to someone more deserving,” said his “Somebody That I Used To Know” sidekick Kimbra, who was also riding a wave of success after winning Best Female for the second consecutive year. “To finish the year like this … is super special,” she said backstage. “It’s a huge honour for me.”
PHOTOS: 2012 ARIA Awards: The Best & Worst Dressed
It was a night of milestones, with ‘90s stars Yothu Yindi inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
The ground-breaking Aboriginal band from Arnhem Land received a standing ovation after a special performance of their ‘91 hit Treaty, featuring former Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett, and musicians Paul Kelly, Gurrumul, Jessica Mauboy and Dan Sultan.
“The many people that were involved, like Peter Garrett and Paul Kelly and Jessica, who helped making sure our recognition was there, it was really good. I’m happy about it,” lead singer Mandawuy Yunupingu said.
Sultan said it was “very humbling… and pretty surreal” to perform with a band he had looked up to as a child. “I remember being about eight or nine years old… and thinking, well they’re doing it and they’re Aboriginal,” he said.
The Temper Trap won Best Group and Best Rock Album, while Missy Higgins was awarded Best Adult Contemporary Album for the Ol’ Razzle Dazzle. After a five-year hiatus, “It’s nice to be recognised for this album as it was such a labour of love.”
Bringing some international star wattage to the Sydney Entertainment Centre was Russell Brand, who took his mum on stage to present Kimbra her gong. “I’m very much looking forward to your Australian musicians,” said the British comedian, who had been enjoying some of Sydney’s tourist hot spots, like the Opera House and the Botanic Gardens, since his arrival.
The single star, who filed for divorce from Katy Perry in late 2011, also had summer love on his agenda: “I want to get right amongst it. I want to cuddle and kiss lots of women.”
US country darling Taylor Swift, who performed “I Knew You Were Trouble,” was impressed with her warm welcome: “Woah. The fans at the ARIAs came out in full force!!” she Tweeted. “This is INSANE!”
Adding to the party vibe were Guy Sebastian, who performed his chart-topper “Battle Scars” with Lupe Fiasco, and DJ’s Ruby Rose and Havana Brown who took to the decks in the star-studded auditorium. “Australian artists work really bloody hard and every year I’m more impressed,” Rose told WHO. “I think it’s a great night to celebrate what everyone has achieved.”
For much more on the 2012 Arias - be sure to pick up next week's WHO!