Jet inducted into ARIA Hall of Fame over Delta Goodrem and other iconic Australian musicians

If you had to think of an Australian band or performer from the past three decades worthy of being added to the pantheon of our greatest ever artists – alongside the likes of Kylie Minogue, INXS and Yothu Yindi – who comes to mind?

Silverchair? Powderfinger? The Presets? Delta Goodrem? The Avalanches? All seem worthy, but all are yet to be inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, the most prestigious prize an Australian musician can receive.

Australian band Jet are set to be inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.

Australian band Jet are set to be inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.Credit: AP

How about Jet, the Melbourne band who released their debut album Get Born in 2003 to massive commercial success, followed it up with two less-than-stellar records, disbanded in 2012 and reformed in 2017 to play live shows? Um, really?

This week, Jet became the first musicians since Archie Roach to join the Hall of Fame, news that neatly coincides with their upcoming 20th anniversary tour which is yet to sell out. The announcement has drawn a mixed reaction, especially since the band is being inducted ahead of many other acts who had a bigger impact on the Australian music scene and peaked around the same time.


The question of whether Jet “deserves” to be considered alongside Midnight Oil, Divinyls and Paul Kelly really comes down to what the ARIA Hall of Fame is recognising. The main argument in favour of the recognition: Get Born sold over four million copies worldwide, an extraordinary feat for an Australia band. Its lead single, Are You Gonna Be My Girl, was ubiquitous, hitting number one on the Hottest 100 and featuring in a global iPod commercial. Beyond that, though, the arguments for their entry are pretty slim.

Jet’s sound, which they have admitted is derivative, as well as their follow-up albums that failed to excite critics and audiences, make it hard to see the band’s influence on the generations of Australian artists who have followed in their wake.

Given how notoriously insular and fearful of criticism the Australian music industry is, I’m sure there are Jet fans sharpening their pitchforks right now. But the argument isn’t that the band is objectively bad (though many have made that case), or that they don’t deserve recognition for being wildly popular in the early 2000s, it’s that the Hall of Fame is surely about something bigger than acknowledging a band that had one successful record 20 years ago.

Since the Hall of Fame was introduced in 1988 it has celebrated more than 80 iconic Australian bands and artists. Only 11 have been women, or women-fronted bands. Meanwhile, 11 men have featured twice, in their capacities as solo artists and separately as members of an inducted band. There are three Indigenous acts and only one woman of colour (Marcia Hines).

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