2022 has been a momentous year for the country-pop singer-songwriter.
Born in Waimate, New Zealand, Kaylee Bell began singing and learning guitar from four years of age and started songwriting at 14. She later moved to Australia and was crowned Toyota Star Maker in 2013 – the first New Zealand born artist since 1990 winner Keith Urban. However, 2022 has been the most momentous year for the country-pop singer-songwriter.
Bell is the only female artist to have a track rank in the top 10 list of biggest songs on the end of year Australian airplay charts, compiled by Radio Monitor, the industry standard in music monitoring across the globe. Her smash hit Keith ranks at #8, while two of her collaborations also ranked in the top 100, with Same Songs with James Johnston at #22 and Living Free with Lindsay Ell at #99. Bell is one of only three females, alongside Amy Sheppard and Taylor Moss, to appear in the list three times. See the full list here.
Off the back of Keith, Bell is the most streamed Australian-based country artist for 2022 with over 18 million Spotify streams. Released in 2021 off her The Red EP, Keith was penned with Phil Barton and Lindsay Rimes and makes reference to several songs by Urban.
Bell performed the song on season 11 of The Voice Australia, which made all the coaches turn, including Urban himself. Due to a technicality, she joined Jess Mauboy’s team where she was later eliminated in the battle rounds, to the bewilderment of Urban and fans alike.
Keith, however, became a global hit with over 30 million Tik Tok plays and charting in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Norway and New Zealand. The song also took the #1 spot All Genre in Australia for a week ahead of Harry Styles and Luke Combs and become the most streamed country song of the year, with over 12 million streams. Keith also reached #1 on the Countrytown Hot 50 Country Airplay Chart for four weeks.
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Bell is nominated for three Golden Guitar Awards, including ‘Contemporary Country Album Of the Year’ and ‘Toyota Album of the Year’ for Silver Linings and ‘Vocal Collaboration of the Year’ alongside Johnston for Same Songs. Same Songs peaked at #1 on the Countrytown Hot 50 Country Airplay Chart, where it remained for two weeks. It currently sits at #5.
Bell was personally chosen to appear on the duet, Johnston’s first, after he asked fans on social media who he should duet with. The overwhelming answer was Bell, who later joined him in a sneak peek of Same Songs in one of his Facebook videos.
Her latest single, Small Town Friday Nights, is currently at #6 on the Countrytown Hot 50 Country Airplay Chart. Bell also recently released the Taylor Swift holiday track, Christmas Tree Farm, at Spotify's request as part of their Single's programme.
This year, Bell has been on tour opening for New Zealand’s biggest band, Six60, playing to large stadium crowds. She also headlined Coca Cola Christmas In The Park NZ, headlined her first NZ show at The Tuning Fork in Auckland and opened for Brad Paisley on the NZ leg of his World Tour alongside Morgan Evans and MacKenzie Porter.
She is nominated for the 2022 ‘Jeff Walker Global Country Artist Award’ alongside Ilse DeLange (The Netherlands), Dallas Smith (Canada) and The Wolfe Brothers (Australia). The CMA International Award recognizes outstanding achievements by a Country Music artist signed outside of the United States, and states that the artist must have furthered the popularity of Country Music as well as brought attention to the Country Music format in their foreign based territory.
Notablly, she was chosen as the face of Spotify's EQUAL campaign which saw her featured in Times Square, New York representing female in music globally. She was also the most streamed country artist for Australasia in 2020 behind Urban and Evans.
In 2023, Bell is set to perform alongside Johnston at the sold out TREC show at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. She also promises new music, adding to her discography including Heartfirst (2013), The Red EP (2021) and Silver Linings (2021), numerous singles and collaborations with Josh Mirenda, Lepandi, The McClymonts and Lindsay Ell.
Keep up to date with Kaylee Bell and follow her on Facebook here.