Culture / Music

Genesis Owusu was the most decorated artist at the 2021 ARIA Awards

After almost two years of interrupted gigs, album releases, festivals and cancelled shows, the Australian music industry pulled together last night at Taronga Zoo for the annual Australian Recording Industry Association Awards — or the ARIAs if you have no interest in a jaw spasm — to celebrate the best in Australian music for 2021.

And what a night it was, especially if you were Genesis Owusu. The 23-year-old Ghanaian-Australian took out four categories for his debut album Smiling With No Teeth making him the most awarded on the night. The four awards in question were the highly coveted album of the year, as well as best hip-hop release, best cover art and best independent release.

Upon accepting album of the year, Genesis said, “This is insane". "I used to get side-eyed a lot when I was younger for the way I dressed and the things I did but all the people I loved and respected always stood firm, immovable, unshakeable because we knew the power in who we were and what we created."

I’m lost for words honestly," he continued. "This means so much for me ... It’s not for us to change for people; it’s up to them to catch up, and see what they’ve been missing out on.”

Genesis Owusu was in good company with 19-year-old Budjerah Slabb awarded with the Michael Gudinski breakthrough artist award, while The Kid LAROI was recognised for best pop release and best artist.

Find the full list of winners for the 2021 ARIA Awards, below.

Album Of The Year

Genesis Owusu — Smiling with No Teeth 

Best Artist

The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber — 'Stay'

Best Dance Release



Best Group


Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist

Budjerah — Budjerah (EP)


Best Pop Release

The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber — Stay

Best Hip Hop Release

Genesis Owusu — Smiling with No Teeth

Best Soul/R&B Release

Tkay Maidza — Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 3


Best Independent Release

Genesis Owusu — Smiling with No Teeth

Best Rock Album

Middle Kids — Today We're The Greatest


Best Adult Contemporary Album

Crowded House — Dreamers Are Waiting

Best Country Album

Troy Cassar-Daley — The World Today


Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album

Tropical F**k Storm — Deep States

Best Blues & Roots Album

Archie Roach — The Songs Of Charcoal Lane


Best Children's Album

Bluey The Album — Bluey


Best Video

Missing Piece — Vance Joy, Annelise Hickey


Best Australian Live Act

Lime Cordiale — Relapse Tour


Song of the Year

Spacey Jane — Booster Seat

Most Popular International

Taylor Swift — Evermore


Music Teacher Award

Zoë Barry — Sacred Heart School, Melbourne VIC


Best Cover Art

Kofi Anash & Bailey Howard for Genesis Owusu - Smiling With No Teeth


Engineer Of The Year

Konstantin Kersting


Producer Of The Year

Konstantin Kersting & The Rubens


Best Classical Album

Genevieve Lacey and Marshall McGuire — Bower


Best Jazz Album

Mildlife — Automatic


Best Original Soundtrack or Musical Theatre Cast Album

Angus & Julia Stone — Life Is Strange


Best World Music Album

Joseph Tawadros — Hope In An Empty City

Looking to refresh your mind on who else was nominated for the 2021 ARIA Awards? We've got you covered.

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