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The prestigious and highly-coveted Australian Music Prize has today been won by Gurrumul, for his 2018 release Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow). 

Rising above a shortlist of eight other amazing Australian albums on the 2018 shortlist, the album was chosen by the panel of 21 judges including artistsjournalists, retailers, programmersand more, to be the most important album release of the year, walking away with $30,000 thanks to principal partner PPCA. 

Gurrumul’s posthumous fourth LP‘ Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow)’ which took out four ARIA Awards, among countless other accolades in 2018, stands as the final masterpiece from one of Australia’s most important artists.  

Over four years in the making and completed just weeks before his passing in 2017, ‘Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow)’ is an astounding achievement of music, presenting traditional songs and harmonised chants from his traditional Yolngu life with dynamic and hypnotic orchestral arrangements in a blend of the highest forms of both his culture and our European orchestral culture.

Michael Hohnen with the 14th Annual Australian Music Prize at Melbourne Town Hall, on behalf of Gurrumul. Photo – Ric Clifford


“I am very pleased to announce that ‘Djarimirri’ by Gurrumul has won the 14th Australian Music Prize. Every year, The AMP is a testament to the vibrancy and importance of the album as an art form in today’s music landscape,” said judging panel leader, journalist and Hoodoo Gurus frontman Dave Faulkner. “As Gurrumul proves, albums are more than just a collection of singles, they are a statement, a message, a story that adds an artist’s voice to our nation’s cultural fabric and this is something that Gurrumul and indeed all of our finalists have achieved.”

2018’s shortlist was a testament to the true artist breadth of Australian music; from Gurrumul’s posthumous orchestral release ‘Djarimirri’ to Courtney Barnett’s indie pop tome ‘Tell Me How You Really Feel’ to The Presets’ self-described “Pub Rock Techno” album ‘Hi Viz’. Then there’s Abbe May’s sexy funk on ‘Fruit’, Dead Can Dance’s art-rock masterpiece ‘Dionysus’, dream-pop songwriter Laura Jean’s ‘Devotion’ and the baroque-folk of Grand Salvo and their record ‘Sea Glass’.  The instrumental jazz stylings of Sam Anning’s ‘Across A Field As Vast as One’ and rock of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s ‘Hope Downs’ rounds out perhaps the most eclectic list in the Australian Music Prize’s 14 year history. 

The AMP Shortlist transcends genre, popularity and politics, with 21 judges – including artists, journalists, retailers, programmers and more – selecting the best Australian albums of the year based solely on artistic merit. In a serious and robust process, the judges collaborated across the year to compile the long-list before meeting in Sydney in January to debate and settle on the AMP shortlist. The final meeting was held in Melbourne today in advance of the ceremony to select the 2018’s Australian Music Prize recipient. 

With past winners including The Drones, A.B. Original, Courtney Barnett, Sampa the Great, Lisa Mitchell and The Jezabels, the Australian Music Prize awards the year’s best album $30,000 courtesy of its principal partner PPCA and is respected along with global contemporaries including the UK’s Mercury Prize and Canada’s Polaris Prize

Dan RosenChief Executive PPCA said, “On behalf of all at PPCA, it is an honour to present a cheque for $30,000 for what was truly a remarkable album and a worthy addition to the growing list of AMP winners that have left their mark on Australian music. We hope this contribution from PPCA will provide further assistance in taking his music to the world.


Abbe May  –  Fruit
Courtney Barnett  –  Tell Me How You Really Feel
Dead Can Dance  –  Dionysus
Grand Salvo  –  Sea Glass
Gurrumul  –  Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow) WINNER
Laura Jean  –  Devotion
The Presets  –  Hi Viz
Rolling Backouts Coastal Fever  –  Hope Downs
Sam Anning  –  Across A Field As Vast As One
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