Kimbra faces tough competition at ARIAs
New Zealand songstress Kimbra is up for two Australian music awards on Thursday, but she may struggle to hold out a resurgent Missy Higgins.
The Hamilton-born, Melbourne-based singer won the ARIA award for best female artist in 2011, and earlier this month picked up five New Zealand music awards.
She is again up for best female artist for her breakthrough album Vows, which made an impact in the United States as well as Australia and New Zealand.
But the Australian bookies favour Higgins, who made a spectacular return with her third album The Ol' Razzle Dazzle, ahead of other strong performers like Kimbra, Washington and Jessica Mauboy.
Kimbra is also up for best pop release for Vows, where she takes on Mauboy, Guy Sebastian, Gotye and San Cisco.
Vows has been certified gold in New Zealand, where it debuted at No 3, and Australia, where it debuted at No 5, while it also reached No 14 on the US Billboard chart.
Kimbra made the cut in a standout year for Australian music, where homegrown acts scored eight No 1 albums and six No 1 singles.
Melbourne hip-hop star 360 heads the nominations list with seven, though it has been difficult in the past for hip hop artists to win ARIAs.
Sydney band The Jezabels will fancy their chances with five nominations for their album Prisoner.
Star guests at the ceremony include Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj and comedian Russell Brand.
Kimbra's five New Zealand Tui awards included best female solo album and album of the year.