All the highlights of the 2017 VNZMAs

The biggest and brightest stars of the New Zealand music industry were celebrated in style last night at the highly anticipated, always fabulous annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards! The calibre of Kiwi music is as high as ever, so we were lucky enough to be treated to some epic performances and dish out plenty of well-deserved rounds of applause. 

[caption id="attachment_31820" align="alignnone" width="700"] Topic/ Hannah Rolfe[/caption]

The Spark Arena (hmmmm) was totally glammed out for the awards, and every table loaded with beautiful food and wine. It set an awesome vibe for a night that only got better! Famous funny boys Jono and Ben made hilarious and energetic hosts, with on-point political calls and ridiculous one-liners that were just as entertaining as the music. They were joined by an illustrious array of presenters for each award, including bigshots from behind the scenes of the music industry, former VNZMAs host Dai Henwood, and NZ boss-woman Jacinda Ardern

[caption id="attachment_31805" align="alignnone" width="700"] Jono and Ben doing their thing. Topic/ Hannah Rolfe[/caption]

Opetaia and Olivia Foa'i opened with a performance that would make the entire Pacific proud, a huge song and dance of 'We know the way' - the hero single from the soundtrack of Disney's new Pacifica smash hit Moana. It was all too fitting that Opetaia Foa'i was extensively praised for his work on Moana with an International Achievement Award, and the entire crowd in standing ovation. 

[caption id="attachment_31810" align="alignnone" width="700"] Performance of 'We know the way'
Topic / Hannah Rolfe[/caption]

Onehunga crew Swidt have dominated the hip-hop scene this year with their debut album Stoneyhunga, and celebrated their wins of both Best Group and Best Hip Hop Artist with a fun and energetic rendition of their single 'Player of the Day'. Hip-hop artist Kings was also well-recognised for his smash hit 'Don't worry bout it' with two Tuis - Vodafone highest selling single and NZ on Air Highest Airplay Record, and accepted the awards with the sweetest, humblest speeches we ever did see.

[caption id="attachment_31807" align="alignnone" width="700"] Swidt performing 'Player of the day'. Topic/ Hannah Rolfe[/caption]

Breakthrough Artist of the year and Best Alternative Artist went to Aldous Harding, who is currently touring her debut album Party in the UK. This gal is going to be HUGE! We can't wait to catch her performing at the end of November in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland. 

Oh-so-sauve and soulful Teeks won Best Maori Artist following his debut album The Grapefruit Skies EP, and put on a woo-worthy performance for us. This new-kid-on-the-block is going to make waves with his smooth voice, and will definitely be one to watch for next years awards! 

[caption id="attachment_31806" align="alignnone" width="700"] Teeks! Topic/ Hannah Rolfe[/caption]

We were also lucky enough to be treated to performances from newcomer Theia with her dreamy single 'Roam', and a fireworks-laden rock hit from Devilskin. Devilskin won Best Rock Artist thanks to their 2016 album Be Like the River which smashed #1 on the NZ charts, and has received extensive praise both in NZ and overseas.

[caption id="attachment_31821" align="alignnone" width="700"] Theia killing it with her hit single 'Roam'. Topic/ Hannah Rolfe[/caption] [caption id="attachment_31818" align="alignnone" width="700"] Devilskin! Topic/ Hannah Rolfe[/caption]

Other noteworthy recipients were The Koi Boys, who recieved Highest Selling Album for their debut Meant to Be. Best Roots Artist went to Israel Starr, who has been making waves with his new album The Producers Chair Dancehall, Vol. 1.. Electroic duo Truth recieved a well deserved nod for Best Electronic Artist. And, no surprise, Ladi6 took out Best RnB artist!

The coveted Legacy Award and an induction into the NZ Hall of Fame allowed us to honour the awesome long-time career of Sharon O'Neill, who dominated the music scene in the 80's and 90's. Recently reunited 8-time Tui winners Stellar closed the awards with a powerful cover of O'Neill's hit song 'Maxine'.

[caption id="attachment_31802" align="alignnone" width="700"] Stellar performing 'Maxine'. Topic/ Hannah Rolfe[/caption]

And then, there was Lorde! NZ's own superstar was there on home turf to graciously pick up a ridiculous 6 (!!) Tuis. Melodrama won Album of the Year, and 'Green Light' Single of the Year. The pop queen was also crowned Best Solo Artist and Pop Artist, along with the Vodafone People's Choice Artist of the year. She has now also smashed the record for the International Achievement Award, recieving it a 4th time! Those 6 Tuis will sit amongst her now 18 VNZMA triumphs in a bulging trophy cabinet with well-deserved recognition from all over the world, including 2 Grammies! Her performance of 'Green Light' was one of the highlights of the show, and honestly, left us mind blown.

[caption id="attachment_31801" align="alignnone" width="700"] So much confetti! Topic/ Hannah Rolfe[/caption] [caption id="attachment_31808" align="alignnone" width="700"] Yassss queen! Topic/ James Ensing-Trussell[/caption] [caption id="attachment_31816" align="alignnone" width="700"] Topic/ Hannah Rolfe[/caption] [caption id="attachment_31812" align="alignnone" width="700"] Lorde shares love with the PM. Topic/ Hannah Rolfe[/caption]

We are so lucky to have so much talent in such a small country! We couldn't be prouder of our musicians, and can't wait for yet another year of epic Kiwi music.