The award aims to recognise artists or organisations in the industry who have been making positive contributions and influencing social change through their music and live performances.
The contenders were announced today (October 9), with E^ST, real name Melisa Bester, nominated for her debut album, ‘I’m Doing It’. Bester was selected for her honest lyricism on the record and discussions around mental health, as well as her online performances.
- Read more: Heart-on-sleeve pop songwriter E^ST: “I don’t feel like I’m missing out by not having a target audience”
She was followed by Guy Sebastian, who was nominated for the work of his charity The Sebastian Foundation, his contributions to Firefight Australia and for raising $20,000 with The Sony Foundation.
Dance duo Peking Duk were also selected for their contributions following the Australian bushfire crisis and performance at the Firefight Australia benefit, as well as their fundraising efforts for Support Act.
Other nominees include Sydney hip-hop artist L-Fresh the LION for his work influencing positive social change in his South Western Sydney community, as well as Mushroom Group’s Mushroom Vision, who supported the music community through COVID-19 with their ABC series, The Sound.
The #NLMAs & Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD) are thrilled to reveal the nominees for the inaugural Musicians Making A Difference Live Award – starting with @iameastofficial! pic.twitter.com/K5zO9wnBLp
— National Live Music Awards (@NLMAs20) October 8, 2020
The NLMAs are set to take place later this month, with winners announced during a virtual ceremony on October 20.
Speaking of the event in a press statement earlier this year, NLMAs founder and director Larry Heath revealed that a decision to pivot to a livestream format had saved the 2020 ceremony from being axed.
“While the initial instinct was to take the year off, as the pandemic developed, and the ingenuity and perseverance of the music industry sat at centre stage, it became clear there was a lot to celebrate this year,” he said.
“We are a resilient industry, and as we faced our darkest hours, we collaborated, we created, and we pushed on. This year’s award show will reflect that, and also look ahead to a better and brighter future for this vibrant, wonderful industry.”