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Country Music Legend of 2011

DENNIS MARSH
TONIGHT NAMED COUNTRY MUSIC
LEGEND

2011National Country Music Awards

THE biggest selling New Zealand artist of the year, DENNIS MARSH, has tonight been honoured by his fans by being named Country Music Legend of 2011 at the National Country Music Awards.

Marsh’s album Maori Songbook has spent a fabulous 22 weeks in the New Zealand charts.

A who’s who of New Zealand and Australian country music artists turned out to the Founders Theatre in Hamilton tonight to find out who would be honoured with the prestigious title.

New Zealanders also voted THE TOPP TWINS as their favourite duo, while TAMI NEILSON has won for the second year in a row Female Artist of the Year and JAMES RAY has taken out Male Artist of the Year.

Vickie Evans bought the record crowd to its feet when announced as the winner of the Horizon Award. She will go on to represent New Zealand in the Telstra Road to Tamworth event and at the Global Artists Party which is part of the CMA Music Festival in Nashville -- the largest country music festival in the world. This is a major opportunity at instant stardom.

Performing at the awards was “the hottest new artist to come out of Australia in a long time”, JASMINE RAE who was nominated for an ARIA for her debut album Look It Up that yielded two #1 singles.
New Zealand’s own country music legends GRAY BARTLETT, JODI VAUGHN, BRENDAN DUGAN and EDDIE LOW delivered a night to remember, alongside the new brigade of stars KATIE THOMPSON, DAVID SHANHUN, VICKIE EVANS, HARRY HOOKEY, KAYLEE BELL, NZ Idol runner-up NIK CARLSON, YOGI MARTIN and TONY WILLIAMS.

The awards, staged annually since 2006 by the Kiwi Pro-Am Country Music Organisation, are a place where promoters, international agents can come to for information on the cream of the crop artists in New Zealand. Country music is the world’s most listened to genre and sells the most live concert tickets of any music in the world today. In New Zealand alone, there are legions of fans, with some 250 club each support between 100 and 200 active members.

Country Music Association international director Rob Potts – whose company has recently toured country mega-stars Keith Urban, Taylor Swift and Brooks & Dunn in Australia – says the event is one of the most important events in country music in New Zealand.

Potts says “It’s very encouraging for country music in this part of the world, to see NZ establishing international pathways for their young artists to gain exposure and experience and Kiwi Pro-Am has been a major force in connecting with the CMA to drive this outcome.


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