Loren Ryan impressed the judges with her songs 'Bounce Back' and 'Suddenly'
Proud Gamilaraay woman, Loren Ryan has been crowned the 43rd Toyota Star Maker, following an impressive performance at the 2023 Grand Final concert, held at the 51st Tamworth Country Music Festival on January 15.
Impressing the judges with a stellar performance of her original songs Bounce Back and Suddenly, Ryan now takes the crown from Carrington singer-songwriter, Max Jackson, who became the 42nd Star Maker winner in 2022. Since her win, she had success with her singles Runnin' and Stratosphere and last week released her EP, Out Here.
Toyota Star Maker has been a launch pad for some of Australia’s biggest country stars since 1979 including Keith Urban, Lee Kernaghan, Beccy Cole, Travis Collins, Sam McClymont, Lyn Bowtell, Kirsty Lee Akers, Blake O’Connor and Brad Cox.
The panel of judges included Cheryl Brown, Coordinator, Toyota Star Maker; Craig Power, Owner of The Pub Group; Dan Biddle, Artist manager and Chugg Music Country, Special Projects Manager; Justin Thomson, KIX Country Program Director; Amy Sheppard, singer-songwriter and member of the multi-platinum pop band Sheppard; Kaylee Bell, 2013 Toyota Star Maker and Tom Inglis, Consultant, Toyota Star Maker publicist.
“The judges had a difficult time coming to a final decision tonight, as they so often do, and after taking all elements into consideration, it was Loren we felt most ready,” Star Maker coordinator and judge, Cheryl Brown said. “We were amazed at the social and musical diversity amongst the finalists. Max Jackson’s past eight months has been really rewarding and we look forward to making the year ahead just as memorable for Loren.
She added, “Whilst there is only one winner, the nine grand finalists should be proud of their performances tonight. It validates their worth in the Australian country music industry, and we hope that they can carry on long after the festival, knowing that they were chosen among the best new artists for the year.”
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Toyota Star Maker producer Barry Harley said, “Congratulations to Loren, who is a very deserving winner of the 2023 Toyota Star Maker title. This competition has launched the careers of some of the nation’s top artists including Lee Kernaghan, Beccy Cole, Travis Collins, Sam McClymont, Lyn Bowtell, Kirsty Lee Akers, Blake O’Connor, Brad Cox and international superstar Keith Urban, and Loren Ryan is now included in that illustrious Star Maker winner’s list.”
Thousands of country music fans packed Toyota Park for the Grand Final, where each of the 10 finalists performed two songs. Jackson also treated fans to songs from her new EP and Kaylee Bell celebrated her 10-year anniversary since winning Star Maker in 2013 with a performance of her latest single Small Town Friday Nights and Keith, which has become a global hit with over 30 million TikTok plays.
The night was compered by 88.9FM’s Ray McCoy, with the band including talented musicians Ian Lees, Glenn Wilson, Clare O’Meara, Rod Motbey, who were led by the fantastic Sam Hawksley.
In awarding the winner, Toyota Australia Senior Manager of Marketing Integration, Tim Stuckey, said that the line-up of artists that performed tonight showcased the remarkable strength and talent that underpins country music in Australia.
“On behalf of Toyota Australia, I would like to congratulate Loren on taking out the 2023 Toyota Star Maker title. The Toyota Star Maker is widely known as a platform for country music artists to achieve their dreams and Loren was truly a deserving winner of the 2023 Star Maker competition. We hope the prizes Loren takes home will help set up what is going to be an incredible career in music, and we wish her all the best for the future.”
As the 2023 Toyota Star Maker winner, Ryan receives a significant prize package, which includes 12-months use of a brand-new Toyota vehicle and fuel card, a trip to Nashville for the CMA Festival in June 2023 courtesy of Chris Watson Travel, photo portfolio with Andrew Pearson Photography, a recording session and production of two professional video clips, plus the opportunity to perform at major festivals and events across Australia and music products from Maton, Fender and Jands.
For further information on the Toyota Star Maker competition visit starmaker.com.au
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