17-26 January 2020

The 2020 Toyota Golden Guitar Awards Finalists Are…

19 November 19

Tamworth Regional Council and the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) today announced the finalists for the 2020 Toyota Golden Guitar Awards - the 48th Country Music Awards of Australia.

At an all-star event at The Seymour Centre in Sydney hosted by Australia’s most loved and successful country group, The McClymonts, the finalists in all categories were revealed and the 49th Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth, officially launched.  Guests were treated to performances by Lee Kernaghan with Robby X, Felicity Urquhart, and 2019 Toyota Star Maker Blake O’Connor as well as a rare opportunity to get together as an industry. 

Chairman of the Country Music Association of Australia, Daniel Biddle said: “On behalf of the board of the Country Music Association of Australia, I congratulate all the finalists announced today.”

“Country Music is enjoying a new golden era in Australia, which is a testament to the incredible talent of artists such as those we are celebrating today. From the first-time finalists to our legends of the industry, we thank them for continuing to inspire the public with their music and lead the way for Australian country music to shine well into the future.

“Today’s event has certainly set the stage for another incredible night of celebration when the winners are announced in Tamworth on 25 January 2020.”

With eight finalist category places apiece, 2019 ARIA Award Nominees, Lee Kernaghan, and Felicity Urquhart lead the finalist's field.  Kernaghan with his album and single of the same name Backroad Nation will vie for the coveted TOYOTA ALBUM OF THE YEAR and MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR, APPLE MUSIC SINGLE OF THE YEAR, CMC VIDEO CLIP OF THE YEAR, APRA AMCOS SONG OF THE YEAR, HERITAGE SONG OF THE YEAR, CONTEMPORARY COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR, and VOCAL COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR with The Wolfe Brothers with their song Till It Ends.

Urquhart will contend for TOYOTA ALBUM OF THE YEAR (Frozen Rabbit), APPLE MUSIC SINGLE OF THE YEAR, CMC VIDEO CLIP OF THE YEAR, APRA AMCOS SONG OF THE YEAR (Chain Of Joy) HERITAGE SONG OF THE YEAR featuring Shanley Del (Where The Fruit Hangs Low), VOCAL COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR featuring Karl Broadie (Slow It Down).  Plus FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR and TRADITIONAL COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR (Frozen Rabbit). 

Sara Storer may also be adding to her collection of 21 Golden Guitar Awards with seven nominations for her seventh studio album Raindance.  Storer who is also nominated for this years ARIA Awards is a finalist in TOYOTA ALBUM OF THE YEAR, CMC VIDEO CLIP OF THE YEAR, APRA AMCOS SONG OF THE YEAR, HERITAGE SONG OF THE YEAR (Hayrunner), VOCAL COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR with Colin Hay (Next Year People), FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR and TRADITIONAL COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR. 

International chart-topping singer-songwriter Morgan Evans comes in next with four finalist places.  The Nashville-via-Newcastle sensation is up for TOYOTA ALBUM OF THE YEAR (Things That We Drink To),  APPLE MUSIC SINGLE OF THE YEAR (Young Again), CONTEMPORARY ALBUM OF THE YEAR (Things That We Drink To) and MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR. 

Coming in with three places is Amber Lawrence, Brad Butcher, Luke O’Shea & Lyn Bowtell, and The Wolfe BrothersLawrence will be looking to add another FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR award to her tally in 2020 with a finalist berth in this category, as well as CONTEMPORARY COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR and TOYOTA ALBUM OF THE YEAR (Spark).  And Butcher who hasn’t slowed down since his 2018 New Talent of the Year win is up for ALT COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR, MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR and HERITAGE SONG OF THE YEAR (Freshwater Lady). 

With 16 Golden Guitar Awards between them, Luke O’Shea & Lyn Bowtell will be looking to add VOCAL COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR, HERITAGE SONG OF THE YEAR, and APRA AMCOS SONG OF THE YEAR.  And The Wolfe Brothers CMC VIDEO CLIP OF THE YEAR, APPLE MUSIC SINGLE OF THE YEAR and VOCAL COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR with Lee Kernaghan. 

Dual places goes to 2019 Toyota Star Maker Blake O’Connor, who tops off an amazing year with his first-ever finalist positions in MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR and QANTAS NEW TALENT OF THE YEAR categories with his debut studio album Everything I Feel which landed at #1 on the ARIA Australian Country Charts. Blake will compete with an impressive group of artists for the QANTAS NEW TALENT OF THE YEAR category including Casey Barnes who recently signed with Chugg Music, Sinead Burgess who has been making in-roads in the UK & US markets, Seaforth who are signed to Sony Music Nashville and touring extensively in the US and family group The Buckleys who signed with Petrol Records/Universal Music this year and had their debut single reach #1 on the Australian Country Airplay chart.

In other great news for the Toyota Star Maker family, 2018 winner Brad Cox is up for two awards, APRA AMCOS SONG OF THE YEAR and APPLE MUSIC SINGLE OF THE YEAR for the song Rusty Strings. These finalist placings follow a huge year for Brad in which he signed a global recording deal with Sony Music.

Also, in contention for dual awards is Allan Caswell, Ashleigh Dallas, Busby Marou, Cornell & Carr, Gina Jeffreys, Kevin Bennett & The Flood, and Michael Waugh.

Rounding out the list of artists up for one award each are: Andrew Swift & Gretta Ziller, Angus Gill, Dean Perrett, Fanny Lumsden, Graham Rodger, Hayley Marsten, Jenny Mitchell, Jetty Road, John O’Dea, Michael Fix, Mickey Pye, Mustered Courage, Phil Emmanuel with Jacob Funnell, Rod McCormack and The Viper Creek Band. See below for the full list of finalists.

Toyota Australia Chief Marketing Officer, Wayne Gabriel said, “As the proud long-term partner of the Toyota Country Music Festival, we love seeing Australian artists such as Lee Kernaghan, Gina Jeffreys, Brad Cox and Blake O’Connor progress from Toyota Star Makers to Toyota Golden Guitar Award Finalists. We look forward to seeing the nominated artists in Tamworth in January 2020.” 

Stay tuned for updates on the announcers, musical performances, special guests and the latest Toyota Golden Guitar Awards news in the coming weeks at www.tcmf.com.au

In the meantime, you can listen to the Toyota Golden Guitar Awards Finalists playlist on Apple Music here: Apple Music 2020 Golden Guitar Awards Finalist Playlist