The finalists for 2020 Best Country Music Artist and Best Country Music Song have been announced.
The finalists for Best Country Music Artist are:
- Delaney Davidson and Barry Saunders
- Katie Thompson
- Kendall Elise
The finalists for Best Country Music Song are:
- ’Any Fool With A Heart’ and ‘Hey Bus Driver’, both by Tami Neilson
- ‘That Summer’ by Kaylee Bell
- ‘West Coast’ by Katie Thompson.
The winners will be announced live on RNZ’s Music 101 on Saturday, May 30.
For Delaney Davidson, it all started when he met Barry Saunders at church. They were sound checking for the Churches Tour with Marlon Williams and Tami Neilson - Barry playing old gospel songs and Delaney chugging out his signature blues.
Since then, the two collaborated on the album Word Gets Around, which was released in April 2019. A nationwide tour followed, and they’re now are up for the 2020 Recorded Music NZ Best Country Artist award.
For her third studio album Bittersweet, the talented Katie Thompson worked alongside award-winning producer Ben Edwards at The Sitting Room studio in Lyttelton. They created an unpretentious, and confidently personal release, which includes Katie’s ‘West Coast’, now a finalist for APRA Best Country Music Song.
In 2016, Kendall Elise launched her solo career with the debut single ‘Heart Full of Dirt’ It paved the way for the Kiwi singer-songwriter’s self-produced debut EP I Didn’t Stand A Chance, which saw her selected as a finalist for the APRA Best Country Music Song in 2017.
After recording at Neil Finn’s famed Roundhead Studios, Kendall released her Kickstarter-funded debut album Red Earth in May 2019. A deeply introspective album of intricate storytelling brought to life with evocative instrumentation; meaningful lyricism and a golden voice.
Kendall is a finalist for Recorded Music NZ Te Kaipuoro Tuawhenua Toa | Best Country Music Artist.
No stranger to the Country Music Awards, Tami Neilson has been nominated for two songs – ‘Any Fool With A Heart’ and ‘Hey Bus Driver’ – both from her latest album CHICKABOOM!
Tami has previously won Best Country Album four times (2009, 2010, 2012, and 2015), and Best Female Artist at the New Zealand Country Music Awards in 2010, 2011 and 2014.
Kaylee has had a whirlwind year as the first Australasian artist to play C2C (Country to Country) London in 2019 after being handpicked for Key West Songwriters USA and C2C Australia. Her song ‘That Summer’ is the fourth finalist for the APRA Best Country Song award this year.
Tune in to Music 101 on RNZ National (101 FM), from midday on Saturday, May 30 to find out who wins!