Empire of the Sun lead ARIA award count

The big night for the Australian music industry has come and gone for another year, and not surprisingly Aussie powerhouse Empire of the Sun has scooped the pool with their album Walking On A Dream. Both mainstays of the band, Luke Steele (frontman) and Nick Littlemore (producer) are not newbies to the music industry, working on independent projects for EMI when they collaborated to found Empire. The single, also titled Walking On A Dream, was released in Australia back in October 2008 where it peaked at number 10 on the singles chart, and had moderate success in the fickle UK reaching number 64.

The album has gone platinum in Australia and a follow-up single We Are The People, doing business as high as number 24 on the charts. Virgin UK carries the band in Europe and their music has also made the grade as part of the soundtrack of Mark Walberg’s Entourage TV series.

Their rise to fame has not been without controversy however, with claims that Donnie Sloan, bass player for Sneaky Sound System, threatened to take legal action against the band, in order to be recognised as writer, performer and producer on We Are the People, Walking on a Dream, and other tracks. He claims he wrote the music for the songs for a solo album in 2005 and gave the tracks to Nick Littlemore for remix consideration. Sloan however, said the media took his words out of context and has no current rub with the outfit.

Although somewhat upstaged by the crowd’s enthusiasm for Robbie Williams who also performed at the ARIA awards, Empire of the Sun staged a terrifically theatrical performance of their popular single in front of an Australian television audience of millions. And Luke Steele’s humility and gratefulness to his fans (and parents) was evident in his acceptance speech(es).

Ultimately in the ARIA Music Awards of 2009 Empire of the Sun received the most nominations of any artist, numbering eleven. They walked home with a total of seven. Good work guys!

Pic: Tim Stackpool at the 2009 ARIA Awards.