Three breakthrough artists lead the finalists for the 2009 New Zealand Music Awards.
Pop-rock group Midnight Youth and electronica vocalist Ladyhawke earned six nominations for the Vodafone-sponsored awards, known as the Tuis, while hip-hop trio Smashproof are next with five nominations.
The nominations for all three included ones for breakthrough artist of the year.
They also earned nominations for single of the year - Midnight Youth for their popular radio hit All On Our Own, Ladyhawke for her Australian top 10 song My Delirium, and Smashproof for Brother, which spent 10 weeks at No 1.
Rounding off the single of the year nominations are P-Money for Everything and Kids of 88 for My House.
Midnight Youth and Ladyhawke also earned album of the year nominations , Midnight Youth for The Brave Don't Run and Ladyhawke for her self-titled album.
Also nominated were The Mint Chicks (Screens), Cut Off Your Hands (You And I), and Fat Freddy's Drop (Dr Boondigga and the Big BW).
The Mint Chicks and Fat Freddy's Drop were the best of the established artists in terms of Tui nominations, earning four each.
The Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) also announced that 1960s band Ray Columbus and the Invaders would receive the Legacy Award and be inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.
Ray Columbus and the Invaders were the first Australasian band to inspire Beatlemania-type scenes following their trans-Tasman hits She's A Mod and Till We Kissed.
Earlier recipients of the Legacy Award were 1950s rocker Johnny Devlin and 1980s-90s independent Dunedin band Straitjacket Fits.
Three other 2009 awards were announced. Best album cover goes to Mint Chicks member Ruban Neilson for the cover to their album Screens, Andrew Buckton won best engineer for Midnight Youth's album The Brave Don't Run, and Fat Freddy's Drop collectively won best producer for their album Dr Boondigga and the Big BW.
No finalists were announced for the highest selling NZ single, highest selling NZ album and the radio airplay record of the year awards.
These, along with the international achievement award - which is judged by the RIANZ Board and awarded at the board's discretion - will be announced at the main awards at Vector Arena in Auckland on October 8.
Finalists for the New Zealand Music Awards:
Album of the year: The Mint Chicks – Screens; Midnight Youth – The Brave Don't Run; Ladyhawke – Ladyhawke; Cut Off Your Hands – You And I; Fat Freddy's Drop – Dr Boondigga and the Big BW.
Single of the Year
Midnight Youth - All On Our Own
P-Money featuring Vince Harder - Everything
Ladyhawke - My Delerium
Smashproof - Brother
Kids of 88 - My House
Fat Freddy's Drop
The Mint Chicks
People's Choice Award
Fat Freddy's Drop
The Black Seeds
Best Male Solo Artist
Don McGlashan & The Seven Sisters
Best Female Ssolo Artist
Breakthrough Artist of the Year
Best Music Video
Sam Peacocke - I Can't Stop Being Foolish (The Mint Chicks)
Chris Graham - Brother (Smashproof)
Tim Van Dammen - Turn Around featuring Iva Lamkum (Sola Rosa)
Best Rock Album
Midnight Youth - The Brave Don't Run
The Mint Chicks - Screens
Cut Off Your Hands - You And I
Best Urban/Hip-hop Album
Ladi 6 - Time Is Not Much
Smashproof - The Weekend
Savage - Savage Island
Best Aotearoa Roots Album
The Black Seeds - Solid Ground
Fat Freddy's Drop - Dr Boondigga and the Big BW
The Woolshed Sessions - The Woolshed Sessions
Best Dance/Electronica Album
Antiform - City In Exile
Ladyhawke - Ladyhawke
Sola Rosa - Get It Together
Best Gospel/Christian Album
Parachute Band - Technicolour
Mumsdollar - Ruins
The Ember Days - EP
Primalband - Your Way
Best Classical Album
Gareth Farr - Gareth Farr: Tangaroa
Ogen Trio and NZ Chamber Soloists - Ahi
David Bremner - Gung Ho
Ray Columbus and the Invaders
Technical Awards (winners)
Best Album Cover: Ruban Nielson, Screens (The Mint Chicks).
Best Engineer: Andrew Buckton, The Brave Don't Run (Midnight Youth).
Best Producer: Fat Freddy's Drop, Dr Boondigga and the Big BW (Fat Freddy's Drop)
* Who do you think will win? Post your comments below.