The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) has announced its updated criteria for 2023 submissions, which have been expanded to “help shine a greater light on local artists”.

The updated criteria, announced today (June 21), will allow “more Australian artists to submit nominations and help shine a greater light on local artists,” per announcement from ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd.

Herd added: “Each year we review the criteria for the awards in consultation with members and this year we have stepped up that process to create additional channels of open communication and undertake deeper consultation with managers and artists, particularly in new and developing genres. “

Some of these changes include expanding or completely removing chart criteria to determine whether an artist is eligible for nominations. These changes to the criteria come a month before the submission period for this year’s ARIA Awards.

Baker Boy at the ARIA Awards 2022
Baker Boy with the ARIA Award for Album of the Year at the ARIA Awards 2022. Credit: Hanna Lassen/Getty Images

The category for the Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist award has been expanded to cover releases from the Top 50 Australian artist charts, up from the previous criteria of the Top 40 last year.

Meanwhile, the Best Soul/R&B category has removed chart appearance requirements entirely, instead only requiring artists to have been vetted for the Hip-Hop and R&B charts.

This comes after criticism was leveled at ARIA last year for nominating just four artists in the Best Soul/R&B Release category, while other categories included at least five acts. While presenting at the awards in November, Illy wore a t-shirt highlighting some of Australia’s R&B acts who were not nominated, including A.GIRL, Becca Hatch, KYE, Lara Andallo, Liyah Knight, Billymaree, Chanel Loren, Larissa Lambert, Pania and Shanae.

Herd acknowledged criticism of last year’s R&B category in his statement today, noting that the changes are aimed at helping shine more light on local artists, “especially those in emerging genres like R&B, who certainly deserve more than the four qualified artists who submitted last year”.

Illy and Flex Mami
Illy and Flex Mami will present the award for Best Soul/R&B Release at the 2022 ARIAs Credit: Wendell Teodoro/Getty Images

In the Best Pop Release category, previously only the main Top 100 singles and albums were eligible for submissions. Now it has been tweaked to introduce additional shortlist criteria for Australian artists’ top 50 singles and albums.

The Best Rock Album and Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album categories have also been updated to allow releases from the Australia Artist Top 50 Album charts to submit for eligibility. This was previously reserved only for Main Top 100 Album Chart entries.

Amyl and The Sniffers win Best Group at the ARIA Awards 2022. Credit: Hanna Lassen/Getty Images

Singles and albums in the Australian Artist Top 20 Dance Singles chart or the Top 10 Australian Artists Albums Dance chart can now be submitted for eligibility in the Best Dance/Electronic Release category. This was previously only reserved for main dance charts or club charts.

ARIA has also outlined several changes to other categories. Check out the complete list of updated submission criteria here.

Entries for the 2023 ARIA Awards open on 21 July with voting starting on 30 August. The nominees for this year’s awards will be revealed at the end of September, and the awards ceremony is scheduled to take place later this year on an undisclosed date.

Last year’s biggest winner at the ARIA Awards 2022 was Baker Boy, who won a total of five trophies, including Album of the Year and Best Solo Artist. Other notable winners included King Stingray, The Kid LAROI, Amyl and The Sniffers, Budjerah, The Chats, Julia Jacklin and more.

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