Gudinski to be honoured at state memorial service
Michael Gudinski will have an ARIA award renamed in his memory, ahead of the late music industry icon's state memorial tonight.
The ARIA Award for Best Breakthrough Artist will now be known as The Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist ARIA Award.
Gudinski, who passed away on March 2, was passionate about New Australian artists - championing Mia Wray, D'Arcy Spiller, the Rubens, Gordi, Violent Soho, DMAs, Merci, Mercy and the Teskey Brothers in recent years.
Gudinski's family signed off on the new, permanent ARIA award in his honour this week.
Jimmy Barnes, who called Gudinski his "brother" hailed the move - the first recipient of the new award will be at this year's ARIA awards at the end of 2021.
"That's a really nice gesture, all Michael ever did was fight for New Australian music," Barnes told News Corp.
The Breakthrough Artist award was first presented in 1987, with Gudinski-associated winners of the award including Frente, George, Deni Hines, the Badloves and Youth Group.
WATCH MICHAEL GUDINSKI'S STATE MEMORIAL LIVE FROM 7.07PM AEDT
Denis Handlin, Chairman of ARIA, said Gudinski changed the face of the Australian music industry and put local music on the map overseas.
"It is unequivocal that Michael's passion was breaking Australian artists and putting them on a world stage and he had a proud history of success in doing so. Following personally discussing this with Michael's family, this is the most appropriate honour for ARIA to bestow as it recognises Michael's profound impact on Australian artists, and the memories and legacy he created."
Meanwhile Gudinski's state memorial has been extended to run for over two and a half hours, with a mystery list of performers and speakers.
It kicks off at precisely 7.07pm tonight - a reference to his favourite Penfolds 707 cabernet - and doors open from 5.30pm at Rod Laver Arena.
Those who did not score one of the 8000 tickets can watch on a free one-off live stream, which is being made available across Australia and internationally on You Tube, but will not be accessible to view once the event ends.
Organisers are keeping the onstage talent a closely-guarded secret, however UK superstar Ed Sheeran was photographed arriving in Melbourne on Monday.
Sheeran and Gudinski were close friends who met on the British singer's first Australian visit in 2011 - their working partnership building to 2018's Divide stadium tour, which broke records by selling over one million tickets in Australia and New Zealand and became the highest-grossing tour of the last decade worldwide.
Sheeran, with his wife and daughter, spent 14 days in quarantine in New South Wales to pay his respects to Gudinski tonight, after being unable to attend his private funeral on March 10.
Gudinski's closest musical allies including Jimmy Barnes, Kylie Minogue, Mark Seymour, Diesel, Paul Kelly, James Reyne, Vika and Linda and Vance Joy are rumoured to be taking part in tonight's event, which will celebrate his exceptional life and career.
International artists including Bruce Springsteen, the Foo Fighters, Garbage and Billy Joel have paid tribute to Gudinski on social media, with Springsteen noting he had "never met a better promoter" over his entire career.
Originally published as Gudinski to be honoured at state memorial service