Six60, L.A.B, Benee among Aotearoa Music Awards finalists

The finalists have been announced for this year's Aotearoa Music Awards, with longstanding favourites Six60 in the lead with five nods.

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Benee, L.A.B and Jawsh 685 were among the nominees. Source: 1 NEWS

The Dunedin five-piece group are up for Album of the Year for SIX60, Te Waiata Tōtahi o te Tau/Single of The Year for Please Don’t Go, Te Roopu Toa/Best Group, Edge Te Kaipuoro Arotini Toa/Best Pop Artist, and the new Te Māngai Pāho Mana Reo award - which recognises albums or singles with at least 50 per cent Te Reo Māori content - for Kia Mau Ki Tō Ūkaipō (Don’t Forget Your Roots).

Following close behind is L.A.B. - founded by Stuart and Brad Kora, Katchafire's Ara Adams-Tamatea, and Joel Shadbolt and Miharo Gregory - who are up for four Tui, including Album of the Year for L.A.B III, Single of the Year for the melodic In the Air, Best Group and Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa/Best Roots Artist.

Stella Bennett - a.k.a Benee. Source: 1 NEWS

Pop sensation Benee, meanwhile, is up for three Tui, including Te Kaipuoro Takitahi Toa/Best Solo Artist, Edge Best Pop Artist, and Single of the Year for Supalonely, which went viral after featuring on TikTok earlier this year.

Jawsh 685, who shot to fame for his single Laxed (Siren Beat) on TikTok and Savage Love (with Jason Derulo), is in the running for two Tui, including Single of the Year and Breakthrough Artist of the Year.

The 17-year-old's single Savage Love has topped the charts in more than 15 countries including New Zealand, Australia the United Kingdom and Canada.

Up-and-coming Māori artist Paige has been nominated for two Tui, including Spotify Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Edge Best Pop Artist.

Indie pop group The Beths, meanwhile, are back to reclaim their titles again this year for Te Kaipuoro Takitahi Toa/Best Alternative Artist and Best Group. The group has also been nominated for a new Tui this year, with their latest album Jump Rope Gazers being nominated for Album of the Year.

Other 2020 Aotearoa Music Awards finalists include Stan Walker for Te Māngai Pāho Te Kaipuoro Māori Toa/Best Māori Artist and Te Kaipuro Awe Toa/Best Soul/RnB Artist); Tami Neilson for Album of the Year with Chickaboom!; Troy Kingi with Single of the Year for All Your Ships Have Sailed; JessB for Best Solo Artist, CHAII for Spotify Breakthrough Artist of the Year; and City of Souls, Devilskin and Villainy all vying for Te Kaipuoro Rakapioi Toa/Best Rock Artist.

In a statement, Recorded Music New Zealand CEO Damian Vaughan said it is "imperative" that the music awards "continue to not only be a light for our music community and their achievements but a focal point for our industry and the NZ public to rally around our music whanau" amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our musicians and their music are always there for us in times of shared experience and when tragedy strikes, and now more than ever our artists need to be celebrated and supported so they can continue to make music and bring us all together," he said.

"It makes me proud to be a part of the ever-evolving and growing local music industry. We can’t wait to celebrate our music at the reinvented Aotearoa Music Awards for 2020. Mā te puoro, ka tuia."

This year will mark the first time the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards will go ahead under the rebranded Aotearoa Music Awards to better recognise tangata whenua and Te Ao Māori.

The awards show will take place on Sunday, November 15.