The Golden Guitar Awards are a highlight of the Tamworth Country Music Festival!
The Toyota Golden Guitar Awards are a highlight of the Tamworth Country Music Festival, and this year was no exception. Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley were the real stars of the show, taking home three out of four nominations. James Johnston, Casey Barnes, Luke O’Shea, Ashleigh Dallas, Amber Lawrence, Colin Buchanan, Andrew Swift and more were also big winners on the night!
It was night of laughs, surprises, stunning performances and let’s not forget “the tractor”, because if you know, you know. Here are our top ten favourite moments from the 2023 Golden Guitar Awards and the red carpet!
Tiggy, the ten-year-old daughter of Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley, took home a trophy for co-writing ‘Song of the Year’ with her parents and Dan Biederman. She also joined her parents on piano as they performed the winning song – Star of the Show – for the captivated audience. The win makes Tiggy the youngest ever Golden Guitar winner.
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It was a real family affair with nominees Andy Penkow, Lyn Bowtell, Kristy Cox, songwriter Mary O'Brien and Amber Lawrence all walking the red carpet with their mothers. Jenny Mitchell was joined by her sister, Nicola, meanwhile Felicity Urquhart; Melinda Schneider and Mark Gable; TC Cassidy and husband Josh; Raechel Whitchurch and husband Ben; Melody Moko; and Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley, all had kids in tow.
Cass Hopetoun’s baby bump was full on display as she walked the red carpet with husband and fellow 2023 ‘New Talent of the Year’ nominee Blake Dantier. Cass is due to give birth to their first child in March.
Walking the red carpet with her husband Jesse Anderson, Kirsty Lee Akers upcycled her purple satin gown from the 2009 Golden Guitar Awards. We love a sustainable moment!
She later shared, “I wonder if anyone noticed I wore the same dress from the Golden Guitars 2009 red carpet as I did last night? Only difference 14 years later is Jesse spent an hour taping my boobs up so they would sit like they once did in 2009.”
Melinda Schneider gave a moving performance of I Honestly Love You during the 'in memoriam' part of the show. The touching segment honoured the late Olivia Newton John, Archie Roach, Slim Newton and more.
While a lot of females would be embarrassed to be caught in the same dress at an event, Claudia Tripp and Sari Abbott took it in their stride by posing on the red carpet together with the other 2023 Toyota Star Maker Finalists in their black tulle gowns. Both ladies looked stunning and are easily up there with the best dressed on the night!
Not only did Travis Collins have the audience in stitches hosting the 2023 Golden Guitar Awards, he shared, “When I told a Scottish friend that I was gonna be hosting the Golden Guitars tonight in Tamworth NSW, they said ‘Wear The Fox Hat’... so I did.”
Amber Lawrence celebrated two decades in the industry by not only walking away with the ‘Female Artist of the Year’ trophy, but the Tamworth Regional Council announced her as the 2023 Galaxy of Stars inductee. Launched more than 20 years ago, the Galaxy of Stars recognises artists who’ve made a significant contribution to Australia’s music industry.
Amber was also named ambassador of the 2023 Golden Gig, a talent search that helps foster the next generation of country music artists. Way to go Amber!
We love a true under-dog story, and no shade to him or the other nominees, but few would have guessed that Andrew Swift would triumph over hot favourites Casey Barnes, Adam Brand, Morgan Evans and newcomer James Johnston. No one looked more surprised than Andrew himself, who held back tears as he thanked his partner Simone Sordello for her unwavering belief and support. Onya, Andrew, a well deserving winner!
James Johnston closed the night with an explosive performance of his hit single, Small Town. James also walked away with two awards for ‘New Artist of the Year’ and ‘Vocal Collaboration of the Year’ with Kaylee Bell for their single Same Songs.
Watch the 2023 Golden Guitar Awards below!