Rising country singer wins award

FLORENCE KERR
Last updated 12:47 18/08/2014
 Kaylee Bell
MARK TAYLOR/Fairfax NZ
RISING STAR: Kaylee Bell (right) with Tami Neilson were jointly named Best Female Artist of the year at the National Country Music Awards over the weekend.

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Rising country music star Kaylee Bell has added another prize to her promising career, winning at the National Country Music Awards in Hamilton on Saturday night.

Bell shared the spotlight with Tami Neilson when the singers were jointly awarded the Best Female Artist of the Year award at the National Country Music Awards evening held at Founders Theatre on Saturday.

Bell who has lived in Australia for three years to focus on her music career, said she was thrilled to be recognised in the New Zealand music circles.

"Country music is growing and there's a lot of great female country music artists coming through here so it's pretty cool to still be in the mix. It's a really good boost to my career."

And what a career it is has been so far for the 25-year-old who is currently rocking the country music charts in Australia with her hit single, Just a little crazy.

The song is track number 3 on her award-winning album, Heart First, which earned a Tui Award for for best country album in May.

The Kiwi songstress has also won the Gore Gold Guitar award - New Zealand's highest accolade for country music - the NZCMA Best Female Artist of the Year twice, and the Horizon award at the NZ Country Music Awards, and Australia's 2013 Toyota Star Maker.

Bell was also a nominee for the prestigious Australia Gold Guitar Award.

The accolades have been a notch on an already sterling career.

In June, Bell sang a duet with Kiwi country music sensation Keith Urban at one of his concerts in Australia. The experience was "amazing," she said. "It was huge. It was something that was so unexpected. I was really lucky to have a great team around me that made it happen."

Bell started her music career as a four-year-old in the South Island.

"I have really focused solely on my music since I moved to Australia . . . Right now music is the priority."

Bell, who has been to Nashville, the heart of the country music scene in America, said her ultimate dream would be to headline her own shows, but for now she is putting in the hard yards.

"I want to continue with my song writing which is a big thing and continue travelling, touring and trying to get some support spots with the big American country artists that tour Australia." florence.kerr@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

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- Waikato Times

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