Tina Arena has used her ARIA Hall Of Fame acceptance speech to call for commercial radio stations to play more Australian music and ditch ageist programming.
Arena used her speech to call on radio stations to “continue to support Australian music on the quality of the song and not the age of artist”. She implored stations not to “meet your Australian quotas because you have to”, but to “exceed them because you want to”.
As Fairfax Media reports, Arena also name-checked the likes of Kylie Minogue, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Annie Lennox while addressing the audience.
“I want to still acknowledge that ladies over 40 are still in the game,” Arena said.
“Keep doing what you’re doing, ladies, because we will decide when it’s time for us to stop. I’m not trying to be rude, I’m just trying to make the most of it.”
“Please respect the arts,” she added. “Because without the music, we are, really all screwed.”
Arena later spoke to reporters and accused Australian commercial radio stations of being ageist in their programming.
“I do believe radio has been a bit ageist,” she said. “Who decides in radio a woman at a certain point in her life is not valuable?
“Why is about our age and looks? There’s a big difference between a woman on her 20s and a woman in her 40s who has lived her life. You need to be proud of your age.”
Last night, triple j’s Matt Okine also used his ARIA Award acceptance speech to call out the lack of female awards nominees and performers in this year’s Best Comedy Release category. The speech was not broadcast, but has surfaced online.
Tina Arena’s Hall Of Fame acceptance speech came after she performed her song Chains alongside The Veronicas and Jessica Mauboy. Catch that performance in full alongside snippets of her speech, below.
Arena, who got her start on Young Talent Time, has won a total of six ARIA Awards throughout her career, and released her latest album, Eleven, in October this year.
This year’s ARIA Awards were dominated by Melbourne singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett and Perth rockers Tame Impala. Catch the full wrap up of all the winners and nominees right here.
— ARIA (@ARIA_Official) November 26, 2015