Country star makes his first trip Down Under
A who's who of New Zealand country music is coming to Hamilton this weekend, and they are bringing a Nashville star with them.
The 2011 National Country Music Awards will be held at Founders Theatre in Hamilton tomorrow night and United States country music powerhouse Bryan White will be there presenting one of the awards.
White, once named on People magazine's most beautiful people list, was busy packing his bag at his home in Nashville, Tennessee, earlier this week.
The American, who joined forces with Shania Twain to sing From This Moment On and has won a raft of awards, including a Grammy, was excited about his first visit Down Under, but unsure what to expect.
"I don't know much about New Zealand," White said.
"I went to the library and checked a couple of DVDs about New Zealand to watch on my way over.
"I do know you have a lot of country music lovers there."
Kiwi country music legends Gray Bartlett, Brendan Dugan and Jodi Vaughn are also expected at the awards.
White said while he was in New Zealand he would be singing at a couple of private functions as well as attending the award ceremony but he hoped he would have time for some sightseeing as well.
"I love anything to do with the ocean," he said.
"And I love fishing. I don't know if I'll have time but I'd love to go fishing."
The National Country Music Awards, staged annually since 2006, was a one-stop opportunity for international agents to find out more about New Zealand's top country singers.
White said Kiwi country singers had every chance of hitting the big time in the United States if they were energetic and tenacious.
"Nashville is always looking for something new and fresh and different."
Tomorrow's show will also feature New Zealand's biggest selling artist across all music genres this year, Dennis Marsh, and Australian Jasmine Rae.The awards begin at 7.30pm, with tickets available from Ticketek.