triple j rekindles the Hottest 100 debate

The date of triple j’s annual Hottest 100 countdown has long been a contentious issue. From notions of apathy and insensitivity, to the more light-hearted endeavour to embrace the most “Aussie” day of the year, May 8 – there’s been a plethora of arguments put forth to shift the day elsewhere from January 26.

Yesterday, the youth broadcaster launched a new survey asking their listeners to share their opinions on the current date of the countdown.

The statement on triple j’s website reads:

“Over the past 10 months we’ve been consulting with a range of people, musicians, community leaders and representative groups on their opinions of Australia Day and the implications of holding the Hottest 100 on that day. There’s some info on that process.

“And now we need to hear from you – triple j’s audience. You are the people who vote, listen to and celebrate the Hottest 100.  We want your thoughts on how you feel about triple j, the Hottest 100, and holding the Hottest 100 on Australia Day, January 26.”

Australian Indigenous alternative singer-songwriter Dan Sultan is a firm advocate for shifting the date.

“The 26th of January is a very sad day in Australia’s history,” he told TMN.

“It’s the day that the ongoing genocide of Australia’s first peoples started and to celebrate a day for all Australians on that day is a national disgrace as it excludes a huge percentage of Australians, and any organisation that caters to it is condoning it.”

Sultan appeared on last year’s Hottest 100 list at #16, featuring on AB Original’s single ‘January 26’, a track commenting on this very issue. 2.2 million votes (2,255,110) were cast that year, a rise of 7.6% from 2015, making it one of the biggest music polls in the world.

His latest album, Killer, also features a track references the famous Wave Hill walk-off of Gurindji Indigenous workers from a Northern Territory cattle station in 1966 – of which Sultan’s grandfather was one of those workers involved.

“So for JJJ to move the Hottest 100 to another day would not only be appropriate, but also very respectful and welcomed,” he continued.

“These aren’t opinions, these are facts. Be on the right side of history.”

Fans can have their say via the survey until August 9 on triple j’s website. It remains to be seen whether triple j and the ABC will take action on the results of the survey.

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