Get Ready for the 2013 National Country Music Awards
2nd May, 2013

Featuring a LIVE performance from American Grammy Award Winning Queen of Hearts JUICE NEWTON

One of the most prestigious events on the country music calendar, the 2013 National Country Music Awards will be held at Founders Theatre, Hamilton on Saturday August 17 and this year’s show will feature, for first time ever in New Zealand, a performance from International multi-award winning JUICE NEWTON!

Kiwi Music fans will know Newton best from her NZ Top-10 hits Angel of the Morning, Queen of Hearts and The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known) but she has also had 14 Top-10 hits in the US, hit tracks in much of Europe, the UK, Canada and Australia, plus won numerous awards such as her Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Top International Country Artist at the Australian Music Awards.

Promoters Kiwi Pro-Am are very proud to have International music legend Juice Newton feature alongside some of New Zealand’s best young performers including; 2013 Horizon Award nominees CAMERON SCOTT, JOSHUA GRAY and DAVID SHANHUN, Telstra Road To Discovery winner GENA ROSE BRUCE (AUS) as well as winners of the 2012 National Country Music Awards, JODY DIREEN, KYLIE PRICE, TREVOR V STEVENS, THE HEARTLEYS, ALY COOK and 2013 Toyota Star-maker Songwriter winner KAYLEE BELL. 

Early-bird tickets to the New Zealand Oscars of country music go on sale today.  Strictly limited, early bird tickets are priced from $65.00 and are available until June 2013 (if the early-bird allocation is not sold out before) and are available NOW from Ticketek.

JUICE NEWTON is an American multi-award winning pop/country artist with several Gold and Platinum records to her credit and during the 1980s she gained 14 Top 10 hits across the US Billboard Country, AC, and Hot 100 charts, with six of the songs hitting the #1 position.

Her third album titled Juice sold more than a million copies in the US and spawned three consecutive US Top 10 pop hits with The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known), Angel of the Morning and Queen of Hearts – with the latter two songs becoming international Top 10 hits in NZ, Canada, South Africa and Switzerland.

Her fourth solo album (released in 1982) Quiet Lies, sold 900,000 copies in the US and went platinum in Canada (100,000 copies).  The singles Love's Been a Little Bit Hard on Me and Break It to Me Gently went Top 10 and the latter won Newton her first Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, beating out contemporaries Dolly Parton, Rosanne Cash and Emmylou Harris.  The album's third and final single, Heart of the Night, garnered Newton an Australian award as the Top International Country Artist.

Newton went on to work with artists such as Bryan Adams, Bill Medley (Righteous Brothers), Eddie Rabbitt, Willie Nelson, the Pointer Sisters and Frankie Valli and in 1994, Newton contributed the track Lovers of One Day to an Edith Piaf tribute album, which also included songs by Pat Benatar and Donna Summer.

In 1999 Newton’s first album of all-material since 1989 was released.   American Girl featured the single They Never Made It to Memphis alongside tracks written by Otha Young, Freddie Mercury, Nanci Griffith and Tom Petty.  Most recently, in May 2012, all of Newton's 17 studio albums were issued on CD and last month Newton’s vocals can be heard on the the new Carla Olson album, Have Harmony, Will Travel.

KAYLEE BELL grew up in the small town of Waimate in the South Island and began performing country favourites as a four year old alongside her brother and sister before learning to play the guitar and hitting the stage solo when she was just seven.  Occupying a space in the country music continuum somewhere between LeAnn Rimes, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift, Bell has won a Horizon Award at the NCMA and a NZ Gold Guitar Award.  She has already had four singles from her debut album (Wayward) in the Australian country music Top 10, with her latest single Heart First reaching #2 on the NZ iTunes Country Chart.  This year in Tamworth Bell took out the prestigious Toyota Star Maker Award – fellow Kiwi Keith Urban’s career was launched when he won Star Maker in 1990. Now 24, Bell lists Urban as one of her favourite performers and said she hoped to mirror his cross-over success.

ALY COOK is a Nelson based artist who has performed at the Urban Country, Blue Water, Canberra and Tamworth Country Music Festivals in Australia, plus Americana International and Towerfest in the UK and France.   Her track I Wonder was nominated for 2005 APRA NZ Country Song of the Year and Grow was a Finalist in 2007 MLT Awards.  In 2011 she was a finalist in the NEXT NZ Woman of the Year and the following year was a finalist at the Music OZ Independent Awards.  Over the past year Cook has had two Top 20 singles on the Country Tracks Charts in Australia (with Country Storm and Midnight Sun) and she won the 2012 award for NZ Female Country Artist of the Year  

TREVOR V STEVENS has played in solo, in RnR and country bands and has performed at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, in Nashville Tennessee and all around NZ. He won the NCMA Country Music Male Artist of the Year 2010 and 2012, has won prizes and/or been nominated for many other awards; including the Gospel Competition, Gold Coast Country Music Festival 2003 (Australia), 1996 Country Music Entertainer of the Year, 1994 NZ Country Music Entertainer of the Year, 1993 Smoke Free Artist of the Year.  Stevens has recorded three albums - I Wanna Feel That Way Again (2010), Little Rock (2006), Keeper of the Stars (2005) - and is currently receiving tremendous support from country radio stations in Australasi

THE HEARTLEYS - Kayla Martin and Taylor Cairns grew up in Gore. Fresh from winning the 2008 NZ Gold Guitars Award the duo released their debut album and in Australia and quickly found a niche in a competitive ‘chick singer’ country scene.  With three consecutive hit singles on the Australian country music charts, they signed to Shock Records, garnered a main stage performance at the 2009 Gympie Festival, performed at the 2010 Tamworth Country Music Festival, were awarded the Southland Ambassadors of the Year Award, won the NZ Southland Achievement in Music Award and were finalist for the NZ Country Music Album of the Year.  In 2010 the Halogaland Norwegian Country Music Festival invited The Heartleys to perform main stage at their festival and the duo went on to tour throughout Europe.

The Heartleys musical influences are united by respect for the traditional country song and a love of the new cross over. With tight performances, edgy harmonies and musicality, The Heartleys are redefining the perception of country music from Southern shores.

JODY DIREEN was raised in Wanaka where living a true country lifestyle influenced her love for country music. The last two years have seen Jody headline her own shows, perform at festivals in NZ and Australia and spend much time writing for her next studio album. She recently returned from a three month trip to Nashville where she was writing with some of Nashville's best writers and performed at the Global Artists Showcase - thanks to Kiwi Pro-Am. Jody is known for her powerful deliverance of up-beat energetic performances of edgy country rock-pop. 

KYLIE PRICE is 18 years old and studies at Otago University in Dunedin where she has lived all of her life.  She entered the NZ Gold Guitars Awards and won the Intermediate Section Overall in 2010 with a song she wrote, before going on to represent NZ at the Tamworth Country Music Festival last year.  Over the past year Kylie has won several awards at the Gore Gold Guitar Awards including NZ Gold Guitar Overall Winner, NZ Composition, Traditional, Gospel and the Country Rock Section.  Her inspiration comes from artists like Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Josh Turner, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss, Kaylee Bell and Gretchen Wilson

CAMERON SCOTT began competing in country music competitions when he was in secondary school and in 2009 opened for the International Rodeo at Westpac Arena in Christchurch, singing to an audience of several thousand people.   Cameron was laid up with a hip operation in 2010 and during his recovery time became involved with the South Canterbury Drama League where later he landed himself the lead role in Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat. Also in 2010, Cameron won the Southern Alps Country Music Awards, the Caroline Bay Talent Quest and the Male Section at the Gold Guitars in Gore.

Feeling that he had reached a crossroads with his music, Cameron was encouraged to apply to attend the CMAA Academy of Country Music in Tamworth and has since performed at the Tamworth Country Music Festival where he won the Aristocrat Competition and the Male section of the CCMA Competition. He also attended the Gympie Muster where he entered the Maton Talent Search.  Recently, Cameron won the Sun City Country Music Awards in Nelson and will be competing in the Best of the West Awards in Westport in May.  

JOSHUA GRAY started singing on stage at the age of six years old and began writing music a few years late.  In 1994 he won the Junior NZ Country Music Entertainer of the Year and in 1996 toured Australia with Eddie Lowe. In 2002 Gray formed a band called 4Eulogi.  They won the award for New Zealand’s Best Vocalist in the 2003 Battle of the Bands and with the help of management company Ray Columbus Organization (Ray Columbus also managed hit band ZED) 4Eulogi released two singles and music videos - both made the NZ Kiwi Hit Disc and their debut video was nominated for the Juice TV Music Awards. 

DAVID SHANHUN was born in Australia but he moved with his family to NZ when he was nearly two years old, and has been singing ever since!  He was heavily involved in music through school, playing piano, trumpet, trombone and singing in various school choirs and barbershop quartets. He studied B.Mus in Classical Guitar at Massey University and taught guitar before moving to Auckland to become a professional musician. David has been a finalist in the 2010 Singer Songwriter Syndicate's Singer/Songwriter Competition, performed with Grammy Award winning artist Bryan White and has been nominated for the Pat McMinn Rising Star Award.  He is currently working on writing and recording for a new album, to be released this year.

GENA ROSE BRUCE is a singer songwriter who plays guitar, sometimes on her own, and sometimes with the group The Plains.  Born and raised in Melbourne, her music is a little bit country rock, part indie pop, and a bit of folk.  Gena won the Victorian heat of the 2010 Telstra Road to Tamworth and progressed all the way to the Grand Final at the Tamworth Music Festival in 2011

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