The Toyota 51st Golden Guitar Awards 2023 have taken place at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre (TREC) to a large crowd of country music legends, artists, musicians and fans.
Commencing in 1973, the Toyota Golden Guitar Awards are the nation's longest-running music awards and play a vital role in developing and promoting Australian country music talent. The Awards celebrate country music's strong collaborative nature, and tonight it delivered to a jampacked venue of non-stop entertainment.
Australia’s best country artists and rising stars have been recognised and celebrated in the nation’s country music capital, with winners crowned at the 51st Golden Guitar Awards in Tamworth, NSW.
Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley took home three awards from their four nominations, including Country Music Capital News Group or Duo of the Year, Song of the Year for their single Star of the Show, and Apple Music Single of the Year for their song Memory Lane, with the duo also taking to the stage to perform their award-winning track Star of the Show.
Brooke and Adam’s daughter, 10-year-old Tiggy Heart Eckersley becomes the youngest person in history to be recognised with a Golden Guitar, sharing the Song of the Year win with her parents and Dan Biederman as fellow songwriters.
Taking out the top awards for the night was country rocker and ARIA Award winner Casey Barnes who claimed the highly coveted Toyota Album of the Year, as well as Top Selling Album of the Year, for his album Light it Up. The multi-award winner wowing crowds with his performance of God Took His Time On You.
Celebrating 20 years of her career, five-time Golden Guitar winner Amber Lawrence was crowned Female Artist of the Year, while two-time Golden Guitar winner Andrew Swift was named Male Artist of the Year.
Country music young gun James Johnston claimed his first ever Golden Guitar award, picking up two gongs for New Talent of the Year and Vocal Collaboration of the Year with Kaylee Bell for their single Same Songs, while Luke O’Shea picked up two awards, including Heritage Song of the Year and CMT Video of the Year, which was co-directed by Luke O’Shea and Jay Seeney for his track South East Queensland.
2022 Female Artist of the Year, Ashleigh Dallas claimed Traditional Country Album of the Year for her album In the Moment, and nine-time Golden Guitar winner Lyn Bowtell was awarded Contemporary Country Album of the Year for Wiser, while Kim Cheshire’s album Looks Like Heaven was named Alt Country Album of the Year.
Dean Perrett picked up Bush Ballad of the Year for his original track Out On Killarney, while Kristy Cox claimed Bluegrass Recording of the Year for her track Good Morning Moon and The French Family Band’s track Soda Cap Boogie was named Instrumental of the Year.
While recognising nominees and winners and celebrating the success and resilience of Australia’s dynamic country music industry, the Toyota 51 st Golden Guitar Awards was also a moment to honour and acknowledge one of Australia’s most charismatic and versatile media all-rounders, Colin Buchanan who was tonight announced as the 2023 inductee into the Australasian Country Music Roll of Renown – country music’s Hall of Fame. Colin joins previous inductees Beccy Cole, Kasey Chambers, Lee Kernaghan, Slim Dusty, and John Williamson. He has won nine Golden Guitar Awards.
The night also featured performances from this year’s top nominees James Johnston and Amber Lawrence, as well as the night’s winner’s Ashleigh Dallas, Kaylee Bell, Lyn Bowtell, Luke O’Shea, Andrew Swift, Dean Perrett, Kristy Cox, Kim Cheshire, the night’s host Travis Collins and by multi-Golden Guitar award winner Melinda Schneider.
Toyota Australia Vice President of National Sales, Marketing and Franchise Operations, Sean Hanley, attended on behalf of Toyota Australia and congratulated the winners and finalists of the 2023 Toyota Golden Guitar Awards for their exceptional talent and contribution to country music in Australia.
“It’s a great pleasure for Toyota Australia to play its part in growing the future of Australian country music and we’re delighted to celebrate the outstanding talent evident here with the Toyota Golden Guitar finalists and winners.” Mr Hanley said.
“This year Toyota is celebrating its 31st year supporting Tamworth Country Music Festival and 27 years of supporting the Toyota Star Maker competition and we’re proud to continue our commitment in supporting the wealth of talented musicians and artists who we’ve seen tonight at the awards.
” Toyota Golden Guitar Awards, Executive Producer, Mr. Peter Ross said it was an honour to celebrate Australia’s country music industry and recording excellence over the past year. “A very big congratulations to all of this year’s winners and nominees. Tonight, was a fantastic showcase of how far Australia’s country music industry has come and highlights the bright and talented future it has. I look forward to what the next decade holds for the industry.
” Chairman of the Country Music Association of Australia, Mr. Dobe Newton said: “Once again, the Golden Guitar winners demonstrate the incredible breadth of talent across the 'broad church' that is Australian country music. We as a community of artists, fans and businesses, never cease to be amazed at the talent that is on display and honoured at the annual Toyota Golden Guitar Awards.
“The results reflect the diversity and inclusion we are so proud of. I know I'm speaking on behalf of all in saying that we are very, very proud that the future of our music is in such safe and exceptional hands.
” The Toyota Golden Guitar Awards are the only industry affiliated country music awards in Australia and the greatest celebration of Australian country music talent. The awards are the pinnacle event on the Australian country music calendar and are presented LIVE by Tamworth Regional Council and supported by the CMAA.
For more information and to keep up to date head to www.3knd.org.au
The WINNERS of this years Toyota 51st Golden Guitar Awards were…
2023 TOYOTA ALBUM OF THE YEAR: LIGHT IT UP: Casey Barnes | Producers: Michael DeLorenzis and Michael Paynter
Alt Country Album of the Year: LOOKS LIKE HEAVEN Kim Cheshire | Producer: Rod McCormack
Contemporary Country Album of the Year: WISER Lyn Bowtell | Producer: Shane Nicholson
Traditional Country Album of the Year: IN THE MOMENT Ashleigh Dallas | Producer: Brett Dallas
Male Artist of the Year: ANDREW SWIFT
Female Artist of the Year: AMBER LAWRENCE
Country Music Capital News Group or Duo of the Year: BROOKE MCCLYMONT & ADAM ECKERSLEY
Vocal Collaboration of the Year: JAMES JOHNSTON & KAYLEE BELL: Same Songs
Bush Ballad of the Year: OUT ON KILLARNEY
Dean Perrett | Songwriter: Dean Perrett
Heritage Song of the Year: SOUTH EAST QUEENSLAND Luke O’Shea | Songwriters: Luke O’Shea, Fred Smith, Mitchell Lynham
Instrumental of the Year: SODA CAP BOOGIE The French Family Band
Bluegrass Recording of the Year: GOOD MORNING MOON Kristy Cox
New Talent of the Year: JAMES JOHNSTON
Song of the Year: STAR OF THE SHOW
Brooke McClymont & Adam Eckersley | Songwriters: Brooke McClymont, Adam Eckersley, Dan Biederman, Tiggy Heart Eckersley
CMT Video of the Year: SOUTH EAST QUEENSLAND Luke O’Shea | Director: Luke O’Shea, Jay Seeney
Apple Music Single of the Year: MEMORY LANE Brooke McClymont & Adam Eckersley
Top Selling Album of the Year: LIGHT IT UP Casey Barnes
First Australians Media Enterprises (FAME) incorporating Radio 3KND in collaboration with the CBAA, CBF, Good Morning Country, Tamworth Regional Council, Toyota, the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, Apple Music, Country Music Capital News, CMT, and the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) including all artists who gave there time to be interviewed on 3KND KoolnDeadly, the Aboriginal Showcase and the Traditional Owners the Kamilaroi/Gomeroi people who allowed us to broadcast on their country.
Lastly to the broadcast team in Tamworth, Erica Higgins, Lorena Walker, BBAdams and Zion Akarana thank you for an outstanding broadcast and engagement.