Kaylee comes home, briefly

20:27, Jul 23 2013
kaylee bell
LIVE: Kaylee Bell, second left, at her Waimate album launch with musicians, from left, Alistair Bradley, Sheryl Higgs and Cameron Scott.

It was a homecoming gig for former Waimate songstress Kaylee Bell.

Bell was in town at the weekend to perform for a capacity crowd at the Waimate Town and Country Club.

Now Australia-based, she was back to promote her new album, Heart First. The album hit the No 1 position on the New Zealand country iTunes charts.

"It was very important for me to come back to Waimate where it all began," she said. "I was so stoked with the turnout; there were about 300 people in the club and it is really nice to know so many people walked away with a copy of my album to share with family and friends.

"Lots of friends and family were there which was so nice."

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


She 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.

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

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.

Bell heads back to Australia soon with performances at more festivals. She moved to Australia in April 2011.

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

The Timaru Herald