New Zealand’s top country music achievements were announced last night with Delaney Davidson & Barry Saunders receiving the Recorded Music NZ Te Kaipuoro Tuawhenua Toa Tui | Best Country Music Artist and Tami Neilson taking out the APRA Best Country Song for ‘Hey Bus Driver! ’.
For their collaboration Word Gets Around, Delaney Davidson & Barry Saunders have received the 2020 Tui for Recorded Music NZ’s Best Country Artist. After success in their respective solo careers and a significant number of collaborations with acclaimed Kiwi musicians, their joint venture is a tour de force of atmospheric, striking country music.
Taking out APRA’s Best Country Song, Tami Neilson has further cemented her spot as one of New Zealand’s most energetic and diverse country musicians. Tami adds this year’s award to an increasingly populated mantel, having previously won Best Country Album four times (2009, 2010, 2012, and 2015) as part of the New Zealand Music Awards, Best Female Artist at the New Zealand Country Music Awards in 2010, 2011 and 2014, and Best Country Music Song in 2014 for Whiskey and Kisses with Delaney Davidson.
Other finalists for the Recorded Music NZ Best Country Artist were Katie Thompson for her album Bittersweet, and Kendall Elise for her album Red Earth.
‘Any Fool With A Heart’ by Tami Neilson, ‘That Summer’ by Kaylee Bell and ‘West Coast’ by Katie Thompson were the other finalists for the APRA Best Country Music Song.
Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan says the finalists and winners of the Te Kaipuoro Tuawhenua Toa Tui continue to fulfil and evolve the legacy of the genre.
“There’s a renaissance of country music happening in New Zealand, with our musicians embracing and advancing the storytelling fans of the genre have come to love.
“There’s so much raw soul and talent coming through, it’s an incredibly exciting time to be a country music fan.”
APRA AMCOS Head of New Zealand Operations Ant Healey says:
“The calibre of country music in Aotearoa continues to be some of the best in the world as demonstrated by all the finalists, and Tami is undoubtedly an international star who we’re lucky to call a Kiwi.
“We would love to be celebrating this song with her in Gore where the NZ Country Music Awards are usually held, and want to acknowledge Jeff, Ross, and the whole team down there who have done such a great job of celebrating country music. We look forward to heading back next year.”
Finalists for Recorded Music NZ Te Kaipuoro Tuawhenua Toa | Best Country Music Artist
- WINNER: Delaney Davidson & Barry Saunders – Word Gets Around
- Katie Thompson – Bittersweet
- Kendall Elise – Red Earth
Finalists for APRA Best Country Music Song