This year's finalists for Best Country Music Artist and Song have been announced by Recorded Music New Zealand and APRA AMCOS NZ.
The award recognises outstanding contributions to the Aotearoa country music scene in the last year.
Current country music Queen Tami Neilson leads the nominations, as a finalist in both te Kaipuoro Tuawhenua Toa | Best Country Music Artist for her album CHICKABOOM, and APRA Best Country Music Song for ‘Queenie Queenie’.
Joining Neilson in Best Country Music Artist category is former winner Jody Direen for her album Smokin’ Ashes and Christchurch/ Ōtautahi newcomer Ryan Fisherman for his debut album Vibe.
In the APRA Best Country Music Song category, Neilson is joined by Delaney Davidson for ‘Sleep’ and Kendall Elise Todd for ‘Between Hello and Goodbye’.
Finalists for Recorded Music NZ Te Kaipuoro Tuawhenua Toa | Best Country Music Artist
· Jody Direen – Smokin’ Ashes
· Ryan Fisherman – Vibe
· Tami Neilson – CHICKABOOM!
Finalists for APRA Best Country Music Song
· Delaney Davidson – ‘Sleep’
· Kendall Elise Todd – ‘Between Hello and Goodbye’
· Tami Neilson – ‘Queenie, Queenie’
The 2021 Best Country Music Artist and Best Country Song winners will be announced as part of the Tussock Country Festival on Thursday 3rd June. Tickets available here
NZ Country Music Awards Committee chairman Jeff Rea says: “I’m amazed at the ever increasing standard of songs entered in the MLT NZ Songwriting Award and this year with close to record high entries of 117, we can’t wait to hear the top 10 finalists perform their song on the theatre stage.”