Music Awards: Songbird showdown on a big night

By Amelia Wade

Nominations put Gin Wigmore and Kimbra head to head for the top honours at tonight's music awards.

Kiwi songbirds Kimbra and Gin Wigmore go head to head at the biggest night in New Zealand music tonight.

Follow along tonight as we live blog the awards ceremony.

The two are the solo artists with the most nominations at the Vodafone Music Awards. Kimbra is leading the race with six, including best album, while Wigmore has four.

Kimbra, from Hamilton, is pipped to clean up after a big year in which she reached the top of America's Billboard charts with her smash single Somebody That I Used to Know.

She is also up for Single of the Year for Warrior, Best Female Solo Artist, Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Best Pop Album and the People's Choice Award.

Wigmore will be battling Kimbra in each of the categories except Album of the Year and Breakthrough Artist.

The blonde husky-voiced singer has also been busy - she stars in a new television commercial for Heineken alongside James Bond actor Daniel Craig.

All finalists in the running for Best Pop Album are women - Kimbra, Wigmore and Bic Runga with Belle.

But it's men-only in the nominations for Best Rock Album - The Checks with Deadly Summer Sway, Clap Clap Riot for Counting Spins, and Head Like a Hole with Blood Will Out.

The Herald's Legacy Award will be presented to punk rock legends Toy Love.

They will also be inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.

Recording Industry Association of New Zealand managing director Chris Caddick said tonight's event wasn't only the biggest night of the year for local musicians, it was the country's biggest awards show.

"I don't think it can get even bigger because there's no bigger venue in New Zealand than Vector," he said. "Over the last 10 years it's fair to say it's really grown from a relatively small event at the Aotea Centre to the big spectacular it is today."

The awards have come a long way since 1965 when a panel decided which record would become "the Loxene Golden Disc", named after a shampoo sold by the sponsor.

From 1973 to 1976 they were known as the Recording Arts Talent Awards, from 1978 to 1999 they were the RIANZ Awards before becoming the New Zealand Music Awards.

Mr Caddick said that 10 years or so ago the event didn't do New Zealand music justice.

"But now I think we can be very proud of it."

* nzherald.co.nz will have full coverage of tonight's awards, including a live blog, photo galleries, videos, interviews and all the winners as they come to hand. Join us here from 5pm.

- NZ Herald

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