Kiwi leads Idol show by a neck

Last updated 05:00 10/09/2009
READ THE FINE PRINT: The tattoo on Stan Walker's  neck says
READ THE FINE PRINT: The tattoo on Stan Walker's neck says "ataahua'', which means beautiful. The Tauranga teen, who was born in Melbourne but grew up in New Zealand, is proud of his Maori heritage.

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He's a Kiwi through and through, but already Australia looks like claiming our latest singing sensation as one of their own.

Stan Walker, 18, has impressed judges and the audience during the new series of Australian Idol, earning a spot in the top 12 of the popular reality show and instantly becoming the bookies' favourite to win the competition.

Thanks to the tattoo on his neck, the Tauranga lad, who was born in Melbourne but grew up in New Zealand, has left fans in no doubt as to where his roots lie.

"The tattoo on my neck says `ataahua', which means beautiful in Maori," he told Australian media.

Singing had always been a part of his life, along with his "proud" Maori heritage. He entered the show because it was "time".

"No matter what happens with Idol I will continue singing and my involvement with the church. I want to become an ambassador for people who come from nothing.

The teen has received compliments from all the show's judges, including one who said his voice was "sexy".

"I come from a very musical family and they've just been supportive the whole way," Walker said.

"I've been singing for as long as I can remember but, when I was about five or seven, that's when I really took notice about my voice."

He lives in Coolangatta on the Gold Coast, working in men's fashion retail. He describes his favourite style of music as "melodic soul".

Click play to watch Stan Walker on Australian Idol

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- The Dominion Post

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