Tina Arena and *that* speech from 2015's ARIA Awards
Tina Arena has won 7 ARIA Awards and been nominated 18 times. She was the first woman in Australia to win the ARIA Album of the Year for Don't Ask which has sold over 2 million copies. Her career started on TV's Young Talent Time, but "Tiny Tina" is still around, evolving into the iconic star we know today, not vanishing into the black hole that sucks in many a child star. She has stayed true to her craft and her music, winning awards and fans in Australia and her second home of France - including a Knighthood of the Order of National Merit in France in 2009. In 2015, Tina Arena was accepted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, and her speech was remarkable, stopping everyone in their tracks as she called out ageism and sexism in the Australian music industry. Watch the full video below, and and read a powerful excerpt here:
"I was honoured to be the first woman to win the ARIA Album of the Year and to be probably one of the first ethnic children on TV but what excites me now is that there never needs to be firsts like these again. The world has opened up and I’m so happy that I may have played just a very, very small role in making those things easier and more accessible for women to come.
A very big thank you to radio, past and present, for supporting my music and continuing to do so. I implore commercial radio to continue to support Australian music and base your playlists on the quality of the song and not the age of the artist.
I want to also acknowledge the ladies over 40, still in the game in a big way.
My darling friend behind me, Miss Kylie Minogue, the wonderful Madonna, J Lo, Annie Lennox. My lord, the list does go on. Keep doing what you’re doing and keep doing what you do best, ladies, because we will decide when its time for us to stop, thank you.
I’m not trying to be rude, I’m just trying to make the most of this moment. Radio, please don’t meet your Australian quotas because you have to. Exceed them because you really want to. There is an extraordinary amount of talent here and on that note let’s just hear it for the beautiful Jessica Mauboy and the Veronicas.
I do remain incredibly optimistic that piracy can be tackled and I look forward to the day when streaming services will remunerate the content creators more fairly. And you know what? I know that’s coming soon, and that’s really exciting.
Please respect the arts because without the music we really are all screwed….
And to my wonderful peers, please please please believe in your work. Please stand proud Australia and New Zealand, because you are creating what I would consider the greatest music in the world today.....
Thank you for not making me a celebrity, thank you for celebrating my work because that is ultimately where I am my most comfortable.”
Tina Arena performs Chains at the ARIA Awards in 1996
Tina Arena performs Chains with Jessica Mauboy and the Veronicas in 2015
Tina Arena's full video package and speech at the 2015 ARIAs
For more ARIAs coverage, check out our walk down memory lane here, where we list every female ARIA winner from 1987-2015