Felicity Urquhart was the night’s big winner with six Golden Guitars including Toyota Album Of The Year and Female Artist of the Year.
Morgan Evans named Male Artist of the Year and Blake O’Connor, Qantas New Talent of the Year.
Australian country music’s night of nights, the 48th Country Music Awards of Australia – The Toyota Golden Guitar Awards, shined a light on the industry tonight, as it came together to celebrate the best in Australian country music from the past year.
Felicity Urquhart was the night’s big winner taking out six awards from her ten nominations including APPLE MUSIC SINGLE OF THE YEAR (Chain Of Joy), APRA AMCOS SONG OF THE YEAR (Chain Of Joy), FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR, TRADITIONAL COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR (Frozen Rabbit), and TOYOTA ALBUM OF THE YEAR (Frozen Rabbit).
Urquhart performed her award-winning song Chain Of Joy – an ode to the many joys to be found in daily life during the show, cementing her place as one of Australia’s best-loved singer-songwriters.
International chart-topping singer-songwriter Morgan Evans took out MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR and CONTEMPORARY COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR for Things That We Drink To.
Brad Butcher collected the Golden Guitar for ALT COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR with Travelling Salesman.
Rounding out the album awards was Lee Kernaghan, who was presented with the previously announced TOP SELLING AUSTRALIAN ALBUM OF THE YEAR for this latest album, Backroad Nation, taking his career tally to 38 Golden Guitars, equalling the record set by the great Slim Dusty.
The evolution of Australian country music was on show at the Awards tonight with The Buckleys, Brad Butcher, Blake O’Connor, Sinead Burgess, Casey Barnes, Busby Marou and Andrew Farriss making their debut Golden Guitar Awards performances alongside Awards mavens Lee Kernaghan, Sara Storer, Gina Jeffreys, Felicity Urquhart, Amber Lawrence, Jeff Brown, The Wolfe Brothers, Brad Cox, and Luke O’Shea & Lyn Bowtell whose song Sing Me A Story awarded them VOCAL COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR and HERITAGE SONG OF THE YEAR.
COUNTRY MUSIC CAPITAL NEWS GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR went to Kevin Bennett & The Flood, while BUSH BALLAD OF THE YEAR went to one of Australia’s most recorded songwriters Allan Caswell for Country Copper co-written with Manfred Vijars.
First-time finalist, 2019 Toyota Star Maker Blake O’Connor took home his first Golden Guitar for the hotly contended QANTAS NEW TALENT OF THE YEAR.
Rod McCormack with his song Timeless Traveller was the recipient of COCA-COLA INSTRUMENTAL OF THE YEAR, Kristy Cox received tonight’s award for BLUEGRASS RECORDING OF THE YEAR (Yesterday’s Heartache), and Fanny Lumsden & Dan Stanley Freeman received the CMC VIDEO OF THE YEAR award for their clip Real Men Don’t Cry (War On Pride).
Chairman of the Country Music Association of Australia Mr Dan Biddle said, "Country music is enjoying a new golden era in Australia, and tonight's show has been an incredible showcase of emerging talent and industry legends.
"The combination of captivating performances, emotional tributes, and wonderful celebrations shows the remarkable spectrum of country music that we have here in Australia and, on behalf of the board of the Country Music Association of Australia, I would like to congratulate all the winners tonight."
To close out the show, guests at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment Conference Centre, and the fans watching on the live-stream, were treated to a very special tribute performance to country music legend Joy McKean to honour her 90th birthday, and in recognition of her elevation to the Australiasian Country Music Roll of Renown.
It was a fitting climax to a spectacular night of celebration, and in making the presentation to Joy, Troy Cassar-Daley, said she is an inspiration to multiple generations.
Toyota Australia’s Chief Marketing Officer, Wayne Gabriel said: "On behalf of Toyota Australia, we'd like to congratulate all of the finalists and winners of the 2020 Toyota Golden Guitar Awards for their outstanding musical achievements and contributions."
Toyota has been a proud partner of the Country Music Festival in Tamworth for 28 years, and we are thrilled to be able to continue our commitment to supporting country music in Australia from a grassroots level and beyond."
The 48th Toyota Golden Guitar Awards was hosted by Caitlyn Shadbolt, Sinead Burgess, and Melanie Dyer. The Red Carpet hosted by ABC New England North West Chief of Staff Anna Moulder and two-time Golden Guitar winner Andrew Swift.
The Toyota Golden Guitar Awards are proudly presented by Tamworth Regional Council and supported by Toyota, the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, APRA AMCOS, Apple Music, Country Music Capital News, CMC, ABC, QANTAS, Coca-Cola, and the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA).
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 of the Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth.
Listen to the Toyota Golden Guitar Awards Finalists playlist on Apple Music here: Apple Music 2020 Golden Guitar Awards Finalist Playlist