Fat Freddy's, Bic Runga star at Music Awards [+pictures]

By Joanna Hunkin

Fat Freddy's Drop continued their golden run at this year's New Zealand Music Awards, when the seven-piece group claimed three of the prized Tui statues, including their second consecutive People's Choice Award.

Last year, the seven-piece band was the toast of the town, taking home four awards for their unique brand of soulful reggae, as featured on the album Based on a True Story.

After receiving the award for Highest Selling New Zealand album, band member Toby Laing said: "We're really, really over the moon. We have a really amazing group of supporters out there and this is a tribute to them.

"We'd just like to say thank you to the public on New Zealand."

>>Pictures: On the red carpet
>>Q&A: The winners
>>Newstalk ZB audio: Elemeno P's Dave Gibson talks to Paul Holmes

The video for their single Wandering Eye also won a Tui for its director, Mark Williams.

But the night was not limited to history repeating and there were more than a few surprises along the way.

Auckland rockers Pluto beat out favourites Bic Runga and Hollie Smith for the New Zealand Herald Single of the Year award, with the track Long White Cross.

Punk rockers the Bleeders were the other big winners of the night, taking home Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Best Rock Album, for their 2006 sophomore release As Sweet As Sin.

Perennial favourite Bic Runga also won two awards - Album of the Year and Best Female Solo Artist - while New Zealand music royalty Dave Dobbyn received his 15th Tui in 27 years, winning Best Male Solo Artist.

Runga had earlier won two technical Tuis, presented last month.

Elemeno P's album Trouble In Paradise earned them Best Group and former NZ Idol winner Rosita Vai even claimed a prize, with the song All I Ask winning Highest Selling NZ Single.

The night was also not without hitches. The fire alarm was set off just as the awards ceremony ended and staff had to usher the crowd out of the Aotea Centre into Aotea Square. The Fire Service checked the venue before declaring a false alarm.

* Highlights of the New Zealand Music Awards will screen on C4 tomorrow night at 8.30pm.

Winners:

Album of the Year: Bic Runga - Birds.
Single of the Year: Pluto - Long White Cross.
Group: Elemeno P - Trouble In Paradise.
Male Solo Artist: Dave Dobbyn - Available Light.
Female Solo Artist: Bic Runga - Birds.
Breakthrough Artist: Bleeders - As Sweet As Sin.
Music Video: Mark Williams - Wandering Eye (Fat Freddy's Drop)
Rock Album: Bleeders - As Sweet As Sin.
Urban/Hip Hop Album: Frontline - Borrowed Time.
Dance/Electronica Album: Concord Dawn - Chaos By Design.
Aotearoa Roots Album: Fly My Pretties - The Return of Fly My Pretties.
Maori Album: Te Reotakiwa Dunn - Te Reotakiwa Dunn.
Gospel / Christian Album: juliagrace - juliagrace.
Classical Album: Tower Voices Of New Zealand - Spirit of the Land.
People's Choice Award: Fat Freddy's Drop.
Highest Selling NZ Album: Fat Freddy's Drop - Based On A True Story.
Highest Selling NZ Single: Rosita Vai - All I Ask.
Radio Airplay Record of the Year: The Feelers - Stand Up

- Additional reporting NZPA

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