THE finalists for Australia’s biggest and most prestigious country music competition, the Toyota Star Maker, have been announced.
Ten of Australia’s top emerging country music artists will compete to become the 37th Toyota Star Maker winner at the Toyota Star Maker Final 10, the main event on the first Sunday of the iconic Tamworth Country Music Festival.
The 2016 Toyota Star Maker finalists, chosen from across the country include local Tamworth singer songwriter Allison Forbes; Queenslanders Damien Agius, Hayley Marsten and Liam Kennedy-Clark; West Australians Kate Hindle, Sharmain Kendrick and Karin Page; Tasmanian Tom Coulston; Hayley Jensen from Pyrmont and Missy Lancaster from Picton.
The winner will receive a prize package including a brand new Toyota vehicle, an unlimited fuel card for 12 months to transport them around the country, and guaranteed performances at major festivals and events throughout Australia.
The competition has been a stepping stone in the careers of some of the industry’s biggest names including Keith Urban, Lee Kernaghan, Beccy Cole, James Blundell, Darren Coggan, Travis Collins, Samantha McClymont, Kirsty Lee Akers, Luke Austen, Bob Corbett, Luke Dickens, Jared Porter and Kaylee Bell.
The final takes place on Sunday, January 17, where three grand finalists will be selected to compete in the grand final on Friday, January 22, as part of the Toyota Concert For Rural Australia.
“It’s a great platform giving the finalists and the winner a jumpstart in their careers,” Star Maker co-ordinator Cheryl Byrnes said.
“For the winner the title also brings exposure to great contacts in the industry and a variety of exciting challenges.”