MELBOURNE artists shone the brightest at the 26th ARIA awards on Thursday night with Gotye, the Temper Trap and Missy Higgins among the winners at the music industry's annual night of celebration.
In a shift from last year's format, this year's awards ceremony was a rolling, live performance, with Hilltop Hoods opening the show, Guy Sebastian playing a song from new album Armageddon and Taylor Swift's live performance adding an international flavour.
Music industry guru Molly Meldrum, who joked about his fall from a ladder and hospitalisation almost 12 months ago, was also welcomed back into the fold.
In a year when Australian music made enormous waves overseas, this was a night to celebrate the achievements of newcomers, veterans such as Cold Chisel and the return of favourites.
Gotye, who has collected a swag of awards over the past two years, was typically humble collecting his statue for Best Album of the year for Making Mirrors. ''Last award of the night is for an album, which lots of people say doesn't mean anything any more, but I know I still love albums.
The Temper Trap added to their 2010 award for best group by taking out the gong again and capped a night of celebration at Sydney's Entertainment Centre with a stunning version of Trembling Hands from their chart-topping self-titled album.
Kimbra's breakthrough album Vows earned her the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) award for best female and she wowed the audience, which included new ARIA Hall of Fame inductees Yothu Yindi, with a performance of Settle Down.
Multiple ARIA award winner and Melbourne-born musician Missy Higgins won the award for best adult contemporary album for The Ol' Razzle Dazzle. It was a return to form for Higgins, who made a splash at the 2005 ARIA awards with her debut album The Sound of White. Higgins also won a people's choice best-video award for her song Everyone's Waiting, which was directed by Natasha Pincus.
Higgins, who performed last night at a piano accompanied by a string trio and backing vocalists, said ''it's nice to be recognised for this album because it was such a labour of love. It took so long to be in a place where I could write … I'm really proud of it, so it's nice to be recognised.''
Kimbra sang on Gotye's smash hit and last year's ARIA award winning song Somebody I Used To Know. Last night they again bathed in the spotlight that has come with their increasing success in Australia and overseas.
Gotye also won the best male artist and best pop release awards at last year's ARIAs and last night's accolades come on top of him filling concert stadiums across the world this year.