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Celebrate Kiwi music - it's the 2003 NZ Music Awards!

Award fever is once again set to grip this proud nation as calendar pages are flicked over to reveal May 2003 - it's New Zealand Music Month!

Will The Datsuns bring it on home for the 2003 Tui Awards?

But before radio stations up and down the country dust off their underplayed Kiwi album collections and do what most of us know all along to be the best thing for a world-weary music view - absorb slices of local aural genius on a regular basis - the biggest night for local music looms up ahead like a large glitter ball, reflecting all the eclectic sights and sounds that make this country's music writing and performing populace so tastily diverse.

Yep, it's the 2003 New Zealand Music Awards - the Tuis! It's Wednesday April 30, and tonight artists from the distant corners of New Zealand will come together to celebrate what they create, to applaud their peers and to cross their fingers until their knuckles are white that their name will be on the presenter's lips when the envelope is opened and the moment of truth has arrived.

Constantly evolving, in order to keep up with the rapidly changing nature of the local music industry, the Tuis - now in their 38th year - have a total of six new categories in their make-up for 2003. Awards for Best Urban, Best Dance, Best Roots Music and Best Pacific Island albums have been added alongside gongs for highest selling single Goldenhorse - pop rock with an undeniable twist of genius and album, which are chosen with the aid of independent auditors.

2003 also marks another change - although perhaps not such a popular one. This year the invitation to attend the Tuis was not extended to members of the record buying public - a move that has prompted grumblings of criticism.

While the star-spotting crowds at last year's event, in Auckland's St James Theatre, were noticeably thin on the ground, it is still felt in many quarters upon the build-up to the Tuis that a live, responsive, appreciative audience made up of those who support the bands and performers with their wallets is a major plus to have been neglected by the organisers. This year's awards night (to be held again in Auckland at the ASB Theatre in the Aotea Centre) is an industry-only affair.

Possible crowd controversies aside, the 2003 Tuis promise to be a fantastic evening, featuring performances from some of our leading lights and those all important awards going to fresh talent and hardworking pros alike.

Deceptikonz looking to take home Best Urban Album award on the night

Will Pacifier take away the Best Album award for the first longplayer released under their new moniker (talk about controversies!)? Will that fabulous slice of Pacific sound from Nesian Mystik, "It's On", take away the Best Single gong? Will turntablist supremo P-Money walk to the stage to receive the Breakthrough Artist award? And just who will be judged to have made the biggest impression on the international market in the last 12 months? will have all the results from the Tuis, so make sure you check back here tonight for updated news, results and outrageously subjective opinion!