Australian country music trailblazers and industry icons have been recognised and celebrated, at the 2022 Toyota 50th Golden Guitar Awards in Tamworth, NSW.
Presented by Tamworth Regional Council and the Country Music Association of Australia Inc (CMAA) the Awards recognised recordings released between 1 October 2020 and 30 September 2021 and celebrated the theme “Then. Now. Forever. Australian Country” with 17 Golden Guitars presented celebrating the latest and greatest Australian country music talents.
The top winner for the night was Shane Nicholson, who took home four awards from his five nominations.
Nicholson’s 9 studio album Living in Colour saw him take out Alt Country Album of the Year and the highly coveted Toyota Album of the Year. His track And You Will Have Your Way was crowned APRA AMCOS Song of the Year and Apple Music Single of the Year, with Nicholson also taking to the stage to perform his awardwinning song.
In an historic night, Troy Cassar-Daley was named Male Artist of the Year. His album The World Today claimed gold in the Top Selling Album of the Year category, while his track South with Ian Moss was named Vocal Collaboration of the Year. Troy has now claimed 40 Golden Guitar Awards, surpassing fellow country legends Slim Dusty and Lee Kernaghan, to claim the greatest number of Golden Guitars Awards ever won by an individual artist. The accomplished artist also performed Back On Country, the lead-single from his award winning album The World Today.
The Wolfe Brothers were crowned Country Music Capital News Group or Duo of the Year and their nostalgic album Kids on Cassette took out the Contemporary Country Album of the Year. The Wolfe Brothers treated crowds at the 50 Golden Guitar Awards to a special performance of Something Good’s Gonna Happen, with special guest Amy Sheppard.
Tamworth local, Ashleigh Dallas took home two awards from her two nominations. She was crowned Female Artist of the Year, while her track with Luke O’Shea, Long Way ‘Round took out CMT Video of the Year, which was co-directed by Jay Seeney and Luke O’Shea.
Country-folk artists, The Weeping Willows also picked up two awards from their two nominations, with their single Black Crow named Bluegrass Recording of the Year, which the duo performed live on stage at the Awards. Their track Southern Gothic was also crowned Coca-Cola Instrumental of the Year, taking their total number of Golden Guitar wins to three.
Toyota 50th Golden Guitar co-host and performer, Adam Harvey took home his ninth Golden Guitar Award, with his 15th-studio album Songs From Highway One named Traditional Country Album of the Year. While singer-songwriter Angus Gill’s The Easy Way took out Bush Ballad of the Year, which was co-written with Manfred Vijars.
Australian country-pop group Darlinghurst was crowned New Talent of the Year for their track Where Do We Go, which the group also performed at the awards, while alt-country singer-songwriter, Michael Waugh took out Heritage Song of the Year for the title-track track off his fourth-studio album Dirty River.
While recognising nominees and winners and celebrating the success and resilience of Australia’s dynamic country music industry, the Toyota 50
Golden Guitar Awards was also a moment to honour and acknowledge on of Australia’s most successful and versatile entertainers, awards co-host Beccy Cole.
Announced as the 2022 inductee into the Australasian Country Music Roll of Renown – country music’s Hall of Fame, Beccy joins previous inductees Kasey Chambers, Lee Kernaghan, Slim Dusty, and John Williamson.
She has won 11 Golden Guitar Awards and released 10 studio albums.
The night also featured a star-studded tribute to country music great Lee Kernaghan to mark the 30th anniversary of the release of his iconic, multi-platinum breakthrough album, The Outback Club. The performance featured The Wolfe Brothers, Catherine Britt, Christie Lamb and James Johnston, artists that Lee has inspired and nurtured throughout his career.
Other fantastic performances on the night included Felicity Urquhart and Josh Cunningham, Ashleigh Dallas, Angus Gill, and new talents Camille Trail, Cass Hopetoun, and Raechel Whitchurch.
Toyota Australia Senior Manager of Marketing Integration, Tim Stuckey, said on behalf of Toyota Australia, he would like to congratulate all the finalists and winners of the 2022 Toyota Golden Guitar Awards for their outstanding contribution to country music in Australia.
“For over 30 years, Toyota has been a keen supporter of country music in Australia and in this, the 50th anniversary of the Toyota Country Music Festival, we are particularly proud to support such a strong creative industry,” Mr Stuckey said.
“From the performances we have seen tonight, Australia has a wealth of talented musicians and artists, many of whom play on the global stage, and we give our heartfelt congratulations to each and every one of them,” he said.
Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres said that Tamworth, the event organisers and the musicians had shown incredible resilience to persevere and overcome the challenges of recent years.
“2022 marks the 50th Golden Guitar Awards at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, a momentous milestone celebrating our very best performers and emerging stars of country music,” Mr Ayres said.
“The Festival is one of our most unique events, it’s Australia's largest music festival and one of the top 10 music festivals in the world. The variety of country music and shear depth of talent is astounding.
“The highpoint of the festival is the Toyota Golden Guitars - Country Music Awards of Australia and I hope that everyone enjoys the awards.”
“Congratulations to all those nominated for awards tonight and to all the successful golden guitar recipients!”
Toyota Golden Guitar Awards, Executive Producer, Mr. Peter Ross said it was an honour to celebrate the industry as it emerges from a difficult and exhausting time.
“It has been a long and hard journey for many artists over the last few years, but the Toyota 50th Golden Guitar Awards was a moment to stop and reflect on how strong and resilient Australia’s country music industry is. It has been a privilege to provide artists, the industry and fans with a close to normal awards night, and it was a great celebration. Onwards and upwards for the 51th awards!”
Chairman of the Country Music Association of Australia, Mr Dobe Newton said: “On behalf of the Board of the Country Music Association of Australia, I would like to congratulate tonight’s winners, nominees and everyone who brought the Toyota 50th Golden Guitar Awards show to life.
“Five decades is a truly remarkable moment to celebrate and tonight we honoured and saluted the legends and icons of the industry. And we celebrated new talent and up and comers, who’ll no doubt one day leave a fantastic mark on Australia’s country music scene. Congratulations everyone and here’s to another 50!”
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 the Country Music Association of Australia.
The NSW Government is proud to support the Tamworth Country Music Festival via its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.
A 90-minute highlights programme of the Toyota 50th Golden Guitar Awards will be aired on ABC TV on Sunday, April 24 at 2.30pm. It will also air on ABC Australia across many Asian and Island countries at various times.
We encourage everyone to save the date for 51st Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth, set to take place from 13 - 22 January 2023.
For more information and to keep up to date head to www.tcmf.com.au/awards.