Country music is all about stories, and the story of Kiwi songstress Kaylee Bell's road to a dream duet with Keith Urban mirrors his own path to stardom.
Both artists are New Zealand-born and both won the Star Maker prize in Tamworth, Australia's country music capital - Bell last year and Urban in 1990. Next year will be 25 years since Urban won the competition.
Last week Bell was Urban's guest on his Australian Light The Fuse tour in Narrabri, Australia, where she performed a duet with the country music heart-throb.
The 25-year-old said like many others, she has wanted to meet Urban since she first heard his breakthrough album Golden Road and when she won Star Maker she thought she might be one step closer.
"When I went to Nashville last year as a part of my Star Maker prize I thought maybe it'll happen there", said Bell.
Bell, now based in Bathurst, Australia, was invited to a "meet and greet" with Urban in Narrabri and said she couldn't wait to meet the man who was an inspiration to her and the reason she relocated to Australia to enter Star Maker.
A week or so later she received an email inviting her to sing the Urban and Miranda Lambert hit duet We Were Us at the concert.
Bell was ready as she had already learned the duet which she was to sing with Damian Baguley and The Viper Creek Band at an after party following the concert.
Bell said she will never forget her brush with superstardom, rehearsing with Jerry Flowers, Danny Rader, Brian Nutter and drummer Chris McHugh and nearly four minutes on stage with Urban face-to-face in duet.
"It still feels like it was a dream. I get flashbacks of being on stage with him and I can't believe that it was real," the Western Advocate reported Bell as saying.
"He was so lovely and nice ... it felt like I had known him for years.
"I have always looked up to him and he was one of the reasons I moved from New Zealand to Australia. I thought if he can do it, I can too," she said.
In May this year at the New Zealand Country Music Awards in Gore Bell won New Zealand Country Album of the Year for her album Heart First.
DREAM DUET: On stage with Keith Urban. Photo: KAYLEE BELL MUSIC/Facebook
- The Timaru Herald