Entries open for 39th Toyota Star Maker
1 September 2017
Entry is now open for the 39th Toyota Star Maker – Australia’s longest running search for a new country music star. Star Maker has been a crucial launching pad for some of Australia’s biggest country music stars including Keith Urban, Lee Kernaghan, James Blundell, Travis Collins, Kylie Sackley, Beccy Cole, Sam McClymont, Darren Coggan, Lyn Bowtell, Kirsty Lee Akers, and Kaylee Bell.
Australia’s Star Maker platform sets out to find a new country music star and all the aforementioned winners are leading the way with strong careers both internationally and locally.
In 2018, competition will be as tough as ever with former winners setting strong examples of what is possible when committed to a career in the country music industry.
“Toyota Star Maker has a responsibility to deliver a new winner who is not only the ‘next big thing’ but who also becomes an automatic ambassador for the Australian country music industry,” said coordinator Cheryl Byrnes.
We want someone who is already making a considerable impact in country music, who has the country music x-factor, is driven and articulate, motivated and talented and someone who lives country music.
Cheryl said, “Entrants should already be working the scene and have basic business knowledge and prepared to work with a team with nearly 40 years experience.”
Toyota’s commitment to Star Maker is inspiring both finalists and, in particular, the annual winner, their passion to progress, setting the benchmark in showcasing Australian country music’s best new talent.
Rachael Fahim has taken advantage of her prize package driving the country in her Toyota RAV4 using her courtesy fuel card and last night (31 August) performed to 25,000 people at the pre-game for Toyota Cowboys versus the Broncos in Townsville, Qld. Confetti, her first single as the 2017 Toyota Star Maker has enjoyed chart success on both national radio and the Country Music Channel.
The prize package includes:
- Use of the title 2018 Toyota Star Maker;
- 12 months use of a brand new, fully-serviced Toyota motor vehicle;
- A fuel card for the length of reign;
- Return air flight including 4-nights accommodation for one to Nashville for the CMA Festival in June 2018 courtesy of Chris Watson Travel;
- Photographic portfolio with Andrew Pearson Photography Tamworth;
- A Maton acoustic guitar;
- Fender products;
- Shure products from Jands Australia;
- A recording session with Australia’s top musicians and producer;
- Recording, distribution and promotion of a four-track EP;
- Production of two professional video clips by an award-winning director;
- 12 months media promotion in Australia’s only monthly country music magazine Country Music Capital News;
- Full colour promotional material including posters, a pull-up and more;
- Direct and personal introductions to industry based on the organisers 38 years history;
- Guidance and support by HSF Artist Services;
- Media promotion including radio, print and television;
- Hair and make-up styling by Plush Hair Designs & Make-up of Tamworth for photographic portfolio;
- A designated list of events for Toyota including National Tree Day, Shades Day and more;
- Guaranteed paid performances at a designated list of festivals and events;
- A guaranteed paid performance with Tamworth’s Wests Entertainment Group;
- A guaranteed performance with The Pub Group;
Toyota Star Maker is organised and promoted by Tamworth Regional Council, publishers of Country Music Capital News and the Official Guide to the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
2017 Toyota Star Maker Announced
Tamworth, NSW – After an amazing set of performances, Rachael Fahim has been crowned the 2017 Toyota Star Maker winner. Fahim outshined a slew of talented artists in front of a roaring crowd to win the title.
Toyota Star Maker, an event that has become a crowd favourite, is Australia’s oldest and most prestigious country music talent search. The legacy of Star Maker boasts a roll call of winners which includes the likes of Keith Urban, Travis Collins, Lee Kernaghan, Samantha McClymont, James Blundell and last year’s winner, Karin Page, in its 38-year history.
Toyota Star Maker co-ordinator, Cheryl Byrnes praised all the entrants saying, “The Toyota Star Maker competition continues to unearth some of the most exciting new country music talent and tonight is no exception. Our expert judging panel found it extremely difficult to choose the one, but it’s a sign of just how healthy the industry is overall, and that excites us.”
The victory will see Fahim receive a prize pack including the recording of three singles and three videos clips, a brand new Toyota RAV4 with an unlimited fuel card for 12 months, and guaranteed performances at major festivals throughout Australia.
Fahim’s Toyota Star Maker win comes off the back of a thrilling performance of her upbeat song, ‘Confetti’, followed by a powerful rendition of the Dolly Parton classic, ‘Jolene’.
Toyota Australia Senior Corporate Manager, Marketing Operations, Wayne Gabriel, was delighted to see Fahim join the Toyota Star Maker family.
“We congratulate all the finalists and Rachael Fahim especially, for taking out the 2017 Toyota Star Maker crown. It’s a fantastic opportunity Rachael who has shown everyone what amazing talent and potential she has,” Gabriel said.
The event was also given extra star shine with performances and appearances from former Star Maker winners, Karin Page and compere Darrin Coggan and a special impromptu performance by Guy Sebastian.
WHO WILL BE AUSTRALIA’S NEXT BIG COUNTRY STAR?
2017 TOYOTA STAR MAKER
FREE IN TOYOTA PARK FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME!
Fairfax Rural Events and Toyota are proud to announce exciting changes to Australia’s most prestigious country music talent search. Ten of Australia’s top emerging talent will vie for the honour of becoming the 38th Toyota Star Maker in a winner-takes-all, event in Toyota Park, in the leafy heart of Tamworth, Australia’s Country Music Capital. Toyota Star Maker has traditionally been the main event of the first festival weekend, but this concert on Sunday, January 22, makes it an even more significant occasion. For the very first time in Star Maker history, the event will be FREE, with all 10 finalists being judged on the night, with one winner emerging.
The winner will receive a prize package which includes a new Toyota motor vehicle, an unlimited fuel card for 12 months to transport them around the country, plus guaranteed performances at major festivals and events throughout Australia. Toyota has a long and proud history of supporting country music in Australia, including 22 years of sponsoring the emerging artists of Star Maker and 25 years backing the overall Country Music Festival in Tamworth.
Among the exclusive Star Maker alumni are Lee Kernaghan, Keith Urban, Beccy Cole, James Blundell, Darren Coggan, Travis Collins, Gina Jeffreys, Samantha McClymont, Kirsty Lee Akers, Kaylee Bell and many more. The 2017 Toyota Star Maker finalists, chosen from across the country, are:
- Andrew Swift, Berwick Vic
- Angus Gill, Wauchope NSW
- Brook Chivell, Labrador Qld
- Cassidy Rae Gaiter, Flagstaff Hill SA
- Jade Holland, Balgal Beach Qld
- Liam Kennedy-Clark, Sippy Downs Qld
- Meg Doherty, Pakenham Vic
- Megan Sidwell, Melbourne Vic
- Michelle Plozza, Kingston Qld
- Rachael Fahim, Cherrybrook NSW
Toyota Star Maker co-ordinator Cheryl Byrnes said she was delighted with the standard of performers applying for Toyota Star Maker 2017.
“Toyota Star Maker is a fabulous opportunity and it truly is getting harder to judge each year as entrants raise the bar,” Ms Byrnes said.
“It’s a great platform and gives the finalists and the winner a jumpstart in their careers. For the winner, the title also brings exposure to invaluable contacts in the industry and a variety of exciting challenges.”
Toyota Australia sales and marketing executive director Tony Cramb was thrilled with the exciting changes to this long-established quest.
“It’s a wonderful thing that Star Maker will now be so much more accessible to a worldwide audience, through live-streaming in the park, and an absolutely free event for the public,” Mr Cramb said.
“Toyota is very proud of its long association with this prestigious quest and we offer our hearty congratulations to the 2017 finalists.
“We wish each and every finalist the very best on the night. It is a pleasure and a privilege to play a role in launching another new career onto the Australian country music scene.
“It is yet another way in which Toyota can show its commitment to supporting rural and regional Australia.”
KARIN PAGE, TO PERFORM AT MUSIC CITY, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, Karin Page, the 37 th winner of Star Maker, Australia’s most prestigious country music search, will perform at CMA World GlobaLive! in Nashville, Tennessee, the heart and soul of country music. CMA World GlobaLive! Is considered the gateway concert to the 44 th CMA Festival – June 9 to 12.
Karin has relocated from her home in Western Australia to Byron Bay in NSW to make the most of the year. Her first single as the Star Maker winner will be released mid June along with a music video. She will be the guest of The McClymonts as they embark on their 10 year celebration tour (see dates below) and will appear at numerous coming events and festivals.
This year’s CMA GlobaLive! will be held on an outdoor stage at Hard Rock Café in downtown Nashville. The concert is free and open to the public and will feature performances by country artists from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK.
“This event continues to grow along with CMA’s strategic focus on developing markets outside of the United States for Country Music,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “We are pleased to provide an annual platform for these international performers to reach and cultivate domestic fans, as well as garnering attention from the music industry.” Karin’s appearance at CMA World GlobaLive! forms a part of her Star Maker prize and also includes travel to and from Nashville thanks to the generous sponsorship by Chris Watson Travel Partners in Tamworth.
Karin shares the stage with Australian star Troy Cassar-Daley and Caitlyn Shadbolt plus Raquel Cole, Chad Brownlee and Brett Kissell from Canada, Frankie Davies and Pauper Kings from the UK and Kayla Mahon from New Zealand.
For all the latest info on CMA Music Festival visit CMAfest.com and stay connected with CMA at
Facebook.com/CMA , Twitter.com/CountryMusic , and Instagram.com/CMA
KARIN PAGE NAMED 2016 TOYOTA STAR MAKER WINNER
After an amazing set of performances at the Toyota Concert for Rural Australia in Tamworth, Karin Page from Perth has been crowned the 2016 Toyota Star Maker winner. Karin, Missy Lancaster and Allison Forbes all took to the stage, to perform in front of a crowd of thousands, for the chance to win the prestigious title of Toyota Star Maker.
Toyota Star Maker, an event that has become a crowd favourite, is Australia’s oldest and most prestigious country music talent search. The legacy of Star Maker boasts a roll call of winners which includes the likes of Keith Urban, James Blundell, Lee Kernaghan, and last year’s winner, Mickey Pye, in its 37-year history.
Toyota Star Maker co-ordinator, Cheryl Byrnes praised all the entrants saying; “The Toyota Star Maker competition continues to unearth some of the most exciting new country music talent and tonight is no exception. Our expert judging panel found it extremely difficult to choose the one, but it’s a sign of just how healthy the industry is overall, and that excites us.”
The victory will see Karin receive a prize pack including the recording of three singles and three videos clips, a brand new Toyota vehicle with an unlimited fuel card for 12 months, and guaranteed performances at major festivals throughout Australia.
Karin’s Toyota Star Maker win comes off the back of a beautiful ballad and an upbeat anthem that ended with a toe-tapping reprise of “Stuck in the Middle with You,” to the crowd’s delight.
Toyota Australia Chief Marketing Officer Brad Cramb was delighted to see Karin join the Toyota Star Maker family.
“We congratulate all the finalists and Karin especially, for taking out the 2016 Toyota Star Maker crown. It’s a fantastic opportunity for Karin who has shown everyone what amazing talent and potential she has.
The event – Toyota’s chosen charity for the Toyota Country Music Festival – Tamworth 2016 was also given extra star shine with performances from country music icons Lee Kernaghan, The McClymonts, and former Star Maker winners, Travis Collins, Lyn Bowtell, Kate Ballantyne (Bella with Karen O’Shea), Luke Dickens, Luke Austen, Jared Porter, Kaylee Bell, and Mickey Pye and a surprise performance by Beccy Cole.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW FOR 2016
Tickets are now on sale for Australia’s most significant country music talent search – Toyota Star Maker.
When it comes to unearthing new country music talent in Australia, Toyota has well and truly come of age. The 37th annual Toyota Star Maker talent search in January 2016 will mark the 21st year of sponsorship with the motoring giant.
The Star Maker Top 10 Final is a major event on the first weekend of the Toyota Country Music Festival Tamworth and will feature the 10 finalists. Three grand finalists will be selected on the night and will compete for the 2016 Toyota Star Maker Winner title at the big Toyota Concert In The Park on Friday 22 January 2016 at Toyota Park Tamworth NSW.
Other performances on the night are outgoing winner Mickey Pye who returns to prove just why he was chosen in 2015, 2012 winner with his musical amigos The Bob Corbett Band will have the audience dancing in their seats and 1996 winner Darren Coggan will host the evening making this another memorable night in the history of Star Maker.
The iconic festival will be held from Friday 15 January to Sunday 24 January 2016.
The 2016 Toyota Star Maker Winner will be added to an honour roll that includes Lee Kernaghan, James Blundell, Keith Urban, Beccy Cole, Kylie Sackley, Travis Collins and many more (listed below).
36TH TOYOTA STAR MAKER WINNER
2015 Toyota Star Maker winner Mickey Pye will release his debut album, Unleashed, at this month’s Gympie Music Muster.
The album, Mickey’s major prize as the reigning Toyota Star Maker winner, is a 12-track guitar-driven album.
Together with producer, Sean Rudd at The Vault Studios in Balmain, Mickey hopes that Unleashed is received as a solid country album.
The album includes fresh originals and co-writes with his great musical mates including a duet with 2004 Toyota Star Maker winner Travis Collins, Where The Angels Are, written with Travis and Adam Eckersley Band’s Scott Greenaway plus there’s a cover of Sammy Kershaw’s Sugar. Mickey’s sister Clancy Pye, has two tracks on her brother’s album with her song Can’t Ever Get Enough and their song If I Could Make A Wish.
When She’s Drinkin’, the #1 single – a Mavericks and Dwight Yoakam-style track – was written by Joe Collins, Mark Irwin and Ryan Griffin (writer of Dibs the current hit for US-star Kelsea Ballerini). Matt Lawrence of Fairfax Media said of the single; “They say the first slice of Pye is the sweetest. I guess that remains to be seen, but in the meantime, I’ll drink to that – in fact I’ll have what she’s having!”
2015 TOYOTA STAR MAKER WINNER
“They say the first slice of Pye is the sweetest. I guess that remains to be seen, but in the meantime, I’ll drink to that – in fact I’ll have what she’s having!” Matt Lawrence, Fairfax Media.
When She’s Drinkin’ is the first taste of Mickey’s soon-to-be released debut album – his major prize as the reigning Star Maker winner.
The 27-year-old country gunslinger won this year’s Star Maker competition and has already captured the attention of his peers and is currently on tour with former Star Maker winner country star Beccy Cole.
Mickey delivers rapid fire-stinging country licks that would grab the attention of superstars Keith Urban (Star Maker winner 1990) and Brad Paisley and When She’s Drinkin’ won’t disappoint.
When She’s Drinkin’ has an authentic sound and it won’t take you long to work out who among your friends Mickey’s singing about.
On June 10, Mickey performed at the CMA World GlobaLive! Concert – a gateway concert to the 43rd CMA Festival – the world’s biggest country music festival. GlobaLive! featured performers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand and the UK.
Mickey is currently recording his debut Toyota Star Maker album which will be launched at the Gympie Music Muster in August. There’ll be a sneak preview of Mickey’s debut single at The Longyard Hotel on Saturday, July 4, 2015 from 6-7pm at the Hats Off To Country Festival in Tamworth – Country Music Capital where Mickey’s Star Maker journey began. It is a free event.
TOYOTA STAR MAKER
TO OPEN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA’S BIGGEST COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL – JUNE 5
“COUNTRY SUMMER FENDER CONTENDER CHALLENGE”
Jared Porter, the 2014 Toyota Star Maker was voted fan favourite winning the Fender Contender Challenge to perform at Country Summer, Northern California’s biggest country music festival from June 5-7 at Sonoma County Event Centre. Jared also wins the $5,000 grand prize.
More than 400,000 votes were cast to determine the Fender Contender Challenge four finalists and ultimate grand prize winner.
Jared was elated when told of the news live to air on the Rob and Joss Morning Show on Froggy 92.9 Today’s Country, Santa Rosa, California. "Wow man. This is great news. This is so cool!” he said, calling in from Queensland.
Jared was the 35th Star Maker winner and since winning has performed at the CMA World GlobaLive Concert in Nashville, toured with Australia's biggest names in country and recorded his debut album East To West.
Jared recently signed an international co-publishing agreement as a songwriter with Dog Whistle Music Australia and Dan Hodge Music Nashville. Deep End, the first single, climbed the official radio airplay charts to No. 3 and Pieces the second single, a duet with Kaylee Bell, went one further reaching No. 2.
Currently on tour in Australia, Jared can’t wait to head back to the United States to make it big on the Country Summer stage.
Country Summer features 13 entertainers and on June 5 Jared will open the festival followed by Gary Allan, Chris Young and Parmalee, June 6 is the The Band Perry, Lee Brice, Jerrod Niemann, Frankie Ballard and The Swon Brothers and June 7 Brantley Gilbert, Trace Adkins, Easton Corbin and Cassadee Pope.
2015 TOYOTA STAR MAKER WINNER
Photo Credit: John Elliott
Mickey to perform in Music City - Nashville, Tenn.
Nashville, Tennessee is the heart and soul of country music and on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 9am EST, (in Nashville | Monday, June 8, 2015 at 6pm-11:15pm) 27-year-old country gunslinger Mickey Pye, winner of this year’s Star Maker competition will perform at the CMA World GlobaLive! concert a gateway concert to the 43rd CMA Festival – June 11 to 14.
The 2015, GlobaLive! will be held on an outdoor stage in Walk Of Fame Park, with international food and beverage vendors. The concert is free and open to the public and will feature performances by country artists from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand and the UK.
“This event continues to grow in attendance and popularity with our fans,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Each of the artists performing has already achieved a high degree of notoriety abroad and GlobaLive! provides these performers a platform to reach and cultivate domestic fans, as well as garnering attention from the music industry.”
“We are excited about this year’s line-up and the burgeoning popularity of country music overseas,” said Jeff Walker, CMA Board member and executive producer of CMA WorldGlobaLive! with associate producer Matt Watkins and music coordinator Mark Moffatt.
“By presenting shows like GlobaLive!; participating in events like C2C, Country to Country, in the UK, Dublin, and Scandinavia; and our ongoing outreach to other international country music organisations, we are creating an environment to escalate the expansion of the country music brand around the world,” Walker concluded.
Mickey’s appearance at CMA World GlobaLive! forms a part of his prize as the 36th winner of Star Maker, Australia's longest running search for a new country music star and his prize also includes travel to Nashville and return courtesy of a generous sponsorship by Tamworth’s Chris Watson Travel Partners.
Mickey delivers rapid fire-stinging country licks that would grab the attention of superstars Keith Urban – the 1990 Star Maker winner and Brad Paisley.
The line-up includes Indian (Annah and Dino Scarpelli) from Brazil; Canadians McKenzie Porter, The Lovelocks and The Road Hammers; Stringcaster from the Netherlands; from UK/Ireland Pauper Kings, The Shires, Ward Thomas; Cam Luxton from New Zealand; and Australians Morgan Evans, Adam Eckersley Band and Mickey Pye.
“Providing an opportunity for these artists to connect with fans in the US is an important part of our mission to grow the format around the world,” said Trahern. “Identifying the most deserving talent is important and we rely on the expertise of our CMA International Committee and the task forces we work with in Australia, Canada, and the UK.”
The Ultimate Country Music Fan Experience began in 1972 as Fan Fair®, bringing 5,000 fans to Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium. More than 40 years later, the now legendary festival has become the city’s signature music event with a daily attendance of more than 80,000 in 2014 representing every state and two dozen foreign countries.
For all the latest info on CMA Music Festival visit CMAworld.com/cms-music-festival/
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CMA Music Festival is organised and produced by the Country Music Association. Fan Fair® is a registered trademark of CMA.
Mickey is currently recording his debut Toyota Star Maker album that will be launched at the Gympie Music Muster in August. There’ll be a sneak preview of Mickey’s debut single at The Longyard Hotel on Saturday, July 4, 2015 at the 16th Hats Off To Country Festival in Tamworth – Country Music Capital where Mickey’s Star Maker journey began. It is a free event.