Bell's career in takeoff mode

Off to Nashville to join Keith Urban

AL WILLIAMS
Last updated 05:00 29/05/2013
Kaylee Bell
Supplied

ON SONG: Kaylee Bell will performing at the famous Honky Tonk Central.

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Former Waimate songstress Kaylee Bell is off to Nashville.

Bell was crowned the 2013 Toyota Star Maker at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in Australia in January.

She heads to Nashville on Saturday to perform at a global artists showcase alongside performers selected from different countries at the famous venue Honky Tonk Central.

"This is the lead-up to the Country Music Association (CMA) Festival week that runs in early June featuring Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Rascall Flatts and lots more.

"This is my second time being selected to perform on the show; last time it was thanks to the award I won at the New Zealand Country Music Awards two years ago, so I can't wait to get back and perform," she said.

Bell's first single from her upcoming album was released two weeks ago and went to No 2 on the New Zealand country charts and 11 in Australia.

The new album, Heart First , is due for release on July 5 and the singer returns to New Zealand for a home launch.

Bell was the first New Zealand-born female artist to take out the Star Maker award and joined a prestigious roll of winners, including Keith Urban, Luke Dickens and Lee Kernaghan.

Her win secured her a recording deal and a new vehicle, which also came with an unlimited fuel card for 12 months.

At 23, Bell already has a list of accolades to her name, including New Zealand's Gold Guitar award, which she won at the age of 18.

She has also had chart success and was a Star Maker grand finalist in 2011 and 2012.

Last year was busy for Bell, who played the Rocks and the Hunter 2012 festival, headlined by country music power couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

She has performed all over New Zealand and has a bachelor of performing arts degree, specialising in musical theatre, from the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art.

She moved to Australia in April 2011.

Her debut album, Wayward, was recorded in both Australia and Nashville.

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- The Timaru Herald

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