While the Logie Awards was forced to cancel for the second year running, the 2021 ARIA Awards will be going ahead, albeit virtually.

Australian music’s big night, which will be streamed on YouTube, has given its award categories a shake-up by ditching gender elements.

Similar to the Grammys and VMAs, the ARIAs have merged categories of Best Female and Male Artists into one Best Artist award featuring 10 nominees instead of five.

According to ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd, “the time for separating artists based on gendered categories that exclude non-binary artists altogether has passed.”

“There are artists, including artists who have charted at No. 1 in the past year, who don’t identify as male or female,” she added.

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“We wanted to put everyone on equal footing for an award, as they should be.

“What we didn’t want to do in making that change was recognise fewer artists.”

While the awards have been televised on free-to-air television since 1992, the uncertainty around border closures has forced the ARIA board to move online.

Nominations are expected to be revealed next month, with the virtual event happening on November 24.

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