Sampa the Great reigns at Music Victoria Awards

Zambian-born, Melbourne-based performer Sampa the Great has finished the year on a high, sweeping the Music Victoria Awards on Wednesday night.

The multitalented singer-songwriter, whose real name is Sampa Tembo, took home best album and best funk, gospel or R&B album for The Return, best solo artist and best song for OMG.

Sampa the Great on stage in Melbourne last year.

Only a fortnight ago, Sampa the Great, who moved to Australia six years ago, also dominated the ARIA Awards, winning best female artist, best independent release and best hip-hop release.

The annual awards ceremony was held at Melbourne Recital Centre and streamed online with live performances from Alice Skye, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and Simona Castricum.

Chris Wilson, posthumously inducted into Music Victoria’s Hall of Fame.Credit:

Firebrand local rockers Amyl and the Sniffers also had a big night, nabbing best band and best live act, with vocalist Amy Taylor claiming the best musician prize.

In a special Hall of Fame induction, Paul Kelly paid tribute to late singer-songwriter, teacher and father Chris Wilson, whose sons joined Wilson's wife Sarah Carroll on stage. A blues singer and harmonica player, Wilson's career spanned four decades including fronting Harem Scarem and Crown of Thorns as well as influential solo recordings.

Other award winners on the night included Kuku Yalanji, Jirrbal and Badu Island artist Kee'ahn, who claimed the prestigious Archie Roach Foundation Award for Emerging Talent. Pinch Points were named best emerging talent in a field that also featured Alice Skye, Elizabeth, Grace Cummings and Nat Vazer.

Tracy McNeil and the GoodLife repeated their win from four years ago, taking home best country album withYou Be the Lightning, and punk rock trio Cable Ties won best rock/punk album for Far Enough. It was a popular win for Cable Ties, following multiple nominations over recent years.

For a third time, Lloyd Spiegel won the best blues category, Birdz won best hip-hop act and Robin Fox claimed the best experimental or avant-garde act.

Also inducted into Music Victoria's Hall of Fame was Mary Mihelakos, who started volunteering at community radio station Triple R as a teenager and over three decades has worked as a band booker, manager, publicist and music writer in a career dedicated to promoting Australia's music scene.

Music Victoria Awards

Public voted winners

Best Album
Sampa The Great − The Return
Best Band
Amyl and The Sniffers
Best Song
Sampa The Great − OMG
Best Solo Artist
Sampa The Great
Best Musician
Amy Taylor (Amyl and The Sniffers)
Best Breakthrough Act
Pinch Points
Best Live Act
Amyl and The Sniffers

Industry-voted winners

Best Regional/Outer Suburban Act
The Teskey Brothers (Warrandyte)
Archie Roach Foundation Award for Emerging Talent
Kee’ahn
Best Blues Album
Lloyd Spiegel − Cut and Run
Best Country Album
Tracy McNeil & The GoodLife − You Be The Lightning
Best Electronic Act
Sleep D
Best Experimental or Avant-garde Act
Robin Fox
Best Folk Album
Fiona Ross & Shane O'Mara − Sunwise Turn
Best Heavy Album
Diploid − Glorify
Best Hip Hop Act
Birdz
Best Intercultural Act
Black Jesus Experience
Best Jazz Album
Vanessa Perica Orchestra − Love is a Temporary Madness
Best Reggae and Dancehall Act
Dub FX
Best Rock/Punk Album
Cable Ties − Far Enough
Best Soul, Funk, Gospel or RnB Album
Sampa The Great − The Return

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