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Hall of Fame Tribute for Gurrumul at National Indigenous Music Awards


Blak music’s highest honor will be presented to the late singer Yolŋu Gurrumul at the National Indigenous Music Awards this Saturday.

In front of a host of the best and brightest First Nations musicians, the beloved singer and songwriter will be inducted into the NIMA Hall of Fame.

A former member of Yothu Yindi, Gurrumul gained international attention with the release of his debut album in 2008, which sold over 200,000 copies and won numerous awards.

The blind guitarist and singer, who died in 2017, joins fellow singer-songwriter Archie Roach and his former band in the revered ranks of NIMA.

Manuel Dhurrkay of the Saltwater Band, a former member of the Gurrumul group, will give a special performance to mark his entry into the Hall of Fame.

He will also be honored on Thursday with a performance of his favorite piece “Buŋgul” with the help of the Darwin Symphony Orchestra.

Return to the live event

Anticipation is building up for Saturday’s event, the first live ceremony since the advent of COVID-19.

Black royalty from all walks of life will be in attendance, with appearances from Uncle Jack Charles, Senator Malarndirri McCarthy, stellar musicians and more.

They will be joined during the evening by a roll call of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island musical excellence, including Thelma Plum, King Stingray, Emma Donovan & the Putbacks, Birdz & Fred Leone, Yirrmal, J-MILLA and the Red Flag Dancers.

With the irrepressible Stephen Oliver appearing as MC, NITV’s Tanisha Stanton and Tyrone Pynor will host the show live.

However, the joy of the evening’s festivities will no doubt be tempered somewhat by the sensational announcement last week of the passing of music great Blak elder Archie Roach.

The queen of rap leads the pack

Malyangapa Barkindji powerhouse Barkaa looks set to land her first NIMA gong: the rapper tops the nominees list with four mentions, including for her tracks “King Brown” and “Black Matriarchy,” and as new talent of the year.

Fellow countryman Baker Boy is close behind with three nominations following last year’s highly anticipated release of his debut album ‘Gela’.

The list of nominees also includes some of the country’s brightest lights on the music scene, including previous finalists and winners The Kid Laroi, Jessica Mauboy, Electric Fields, Miiesha, Mo Ju, Dallas Woods and Archie Roach.

Jem Cassar-Daley, Lil Kootsie, Dobby and dameeeela receive their first-ever nominations.

NIMA will be simulcast live on NITV and SBS VICELAND on Saturday, August 6 at 7:30 p.m., and will be available to stream on SBS On Demand.