Brad Cox is this year’s Toyota Star Maker winner.
The singer from Jindabyne took out last night’s grand final, after 10 emerging country music artists took to the stage performing two songs each during in Toyota Park on Sunday night.
“This is a weird feeling, I don’t think I’ve won much in my life,” Cox told the crowd after he was announced as the winner.
- Read more: PHOTOS: Star Maker grand final unfolds
- Read more: Why the 10 grand finalists entered Star Maker
In an emotional tribute, Cox later mentioned the recent death of Northern Territory girl “Dolly” Everett.
“I don’t usually get emotional, but a little girl called Dolly took her own life in the Northern Territory.
“Her mum and dad are very good friends of mine and she was a beautiful girl,” Cox said.
There were thousands in Toyota Park to watch the grand final, which was compered by 1996 Star Maker winner Darren Coggan.
The sun was still shining when Emily Joy was the first finalist to step up to the microphone.
By the time it set, all 10 finalists had performed their first song, then they returned in the same order, after dark, to perform their second grand final song.
Speaking to The Leader backstage at last night’s grand final, Star Maker co-ordinator Cheryl Byrnes said there had been a lot of new talent introduced to country music through Star Maker.
Most of this year’s entrants were artists who were already working as professional singers and musicians, but Ms Byrnes said many were unknowns.
“Which is fantastic,” Ms Byrnes said. “Because Star Maker is all about uncovering talent.
“But there are some that we have seen come through from the time they were busking.”
Before the grand final the finalists went through an interview process with the judges, which plays a large part in determining the winner.
“What I really liked, is when they went through the interview, all of them said what they love about country music is it’s a family,” Ms Byrnes said.
The judges for this year were husband and wife country stars Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley, artist managers Dan Biddle, Tom Inglis and Roxanne Brown, as well as Justin Thomson, Scott Lamond and Craig Power from The Pub Group.
The prize package includes the recording and production of three singles and music videos, as well as bookings at major festivals, professional advice, a new Maton guitar and the use of a Toyota Rav4 and fuel card for the next 12 months.
The story Brad Cox delivers emotional tribute to Dolly after winning Star Maker first appeared on Queensland Country Life.