The ARIA Awards are set to undergo a major overhaul.

This year’s ceremony will be held virtually on November 25 due to uncertainty around border closures during the coronavirus pandemic.

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And for the first time, the Best Female and Male Artists will be merged into one Best Artist category of 10 nominees.

“The time for separating artists based on gendered categories that exclude non-binary artists altogether has passed,” ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd said in a statement.

“There are artists, including artists who have charted at No. 1 in the past year, who don’t identify as male or female.

“We wanted to put everyone on equal footing for an award, as they should be.”

Tones and I was a big winner at the 2019 ARIA Awards.
Tones and I was a big winner at the 2019 ARIA Awards. Credit: Getty Images
Keith Urban arrives for the 32nd Annual ARIA Awards in 2018.
Keith Urban arrives for the 32nd Annual ARIA Awards in 2018. Credit: Getty Images

The gender neutral change puts the ARIAs in line with international events such as the Grammys and MTV VMAs.

More details about this year’s online ceremony are expected to be unveiled when nominations are revealed next month.

ARIA Awards to go gender neutral in major change for Australian music’s biggest night
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