An infusion of young blood has rocked the New Zealand music industry at the Apra Silver Scroll Awards.
Auckland band The Naked and Famous took out the country's top songwriting award for their No. 1 hit, Young Blood - just days after the release of their debut album Passive Me, Aggressive You.
The five-piece act said winning the prestigious award was "surreal and intense".
"It's voted by Apra, so it's songwriters going, 'You're pretty good boy'," singer Thom Powers told Stuff.co.nz.
The band were never certain the radio hit was destined to be an award winner, he said.
"How big it was going to go was unknown to us. We were celebrating a while back when the album was completed, so this is just more of a party."
However, Powers said the band wouldn't be celebrating straight away. They have a 4.30am flight to Brisbane where they are performing two shows.
More than 7500 Apra judges decided Young Blood was the best song released in New Zealand over the last 12 months, beating tracks by Julia Deans, Artisan Guns, The Mint Chicks and Anika Moa.
All five songs were performed by other local musical acts, some of them from completely different genres to the originals.
The 2010 winners of the Apra Best Pacific Song, Three Houses Down's reggae version of Young Blood was a hit with the Auckland Town Hall crowd.
Other finalists were performed by Street Chant (Artisan Guns' Autumn), The Unfaithful Ways (Julia Deans' A New Dialogue), Jared, Flick & Caoimhe (The Mint Chicks' Say Goodbye) and The Datsuns (Anika Moa's Running Through the Fire (Storm)).
Apra spokesman Anthoney Healey applauded the final result.
"Young Blood is outstanding: it's stroppy, it's youthful and energetic. It makes me want to be 18 again," Healey said.
"It seems like the perfectly written song for this very point in time. It should take the world by storm," he said.
Previous Silver Scroll winners include James Milne, Luke Buda, Neil Finn, Dave Dobbyn, Scribe and Chris Knox.
A rousing version of How Bizarre - the best-selling New Zealand record of all-time - kicked off the 45th year of the awards. The performance was a tribute to singer-songwriter Pauly Fuemana, who died of pneumonia earlier this year.
Sixties act The Fourmyula, best known for their hit Nature, received resounding applause as they were inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.
While accepting the honour they made a moving acknowledgement to the artists of today.
"It means so much to us, coming from you. We had it so much easier than you have it today."
MC Oscar Kightley held the audience's attention through a few technical glitches with his quick-witted humour.
Along with several guest presenters, he sent his best wishes down to Christchurch, where the Silver Scroll Awards were held last year.
Other awards given out tonight include:
Maioha Award: Jamie Greenslade aka maitreya - Sin City (featuring Awa)
Contemporary Award: Chris Cree Brown - Inner Bellow
Inducted in the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame: The Fourmyula - Wayne Mason, Carl Evenson, Martin Hope, Alistair Richardson & Chris Parry
Most Performed Work in New Zealand: Cruel by Dane Rumble, Te Awanui Reeder & Samuel King
Most Performed Work Overseas: Don't Dream it's Over by Neil Finn
Songwriting award finalists:
A New Dialogue - Julia Deans
Autumn - Matthew Hope, Jonathan Pearce, Reuben Stephens and Alexander Freer (Artisan Guns)
Running Through The Fire (Storm) - Anika Moa
Say Goodbye - Ruban and Kody Nielson (Mint Chicks)
Young Blood - Aaron Short, Alisa Xayalith and Thom Powers (The Naked And Famous)
* Did Young Blood deserve to win? Listen to it and post your comments below.
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