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News March 24, 2017

Keith Urban, Travis Collins dominate CMC Music Awards

Image: The McClymonts

Two Australian country music identities on either end of the scale dominated last night’s CMC Music Awards on the Gold Coast – its new star, Travis Collins, and its superstar, Keith Urban.

Collins won CMC Australian artist of the year, CMC male artist of the year, and Australian video for the year for Call Me Crazy.

Also nominated for artist of the year were Adam Brand, Amber Lawrence, Lee Kernaghan and O’Shea.

Keith Urban took out all the night’s international categories: international artist of the year (his fifth in the category), international video for Wasted Time (his fourth win in this category) and the ARIA Highest Selling International Album Award for his eighth record, Ripcord.

Collins’ triumph comes in the wake of his three wins at the Golden Guitars in Tamworth in January. The success of his days on the road and his Hard Light album saw him take home the male artist, single and song of the year trophies.

Collins went into last night’s awards with his single Hometown Calling at #1 on CMC (Country Music Channel).

He was a popular choice: Adam Brand, whom he trumped for artist of the year, said, “I’m very proud of this feller, he well deserves it.”

Travis Collins and Adam Brand

Collins, who performed Call Me Crazy, which he co-wrote with Damien Leith, said, “I still haven’t found the words and probably won’t find the words to show just how special they are to me.

“These are fan-voted and for my fans to rally the way they did and to vote for me – here’s the thing about country music, I think country music fans are fans of every artist and it’s sometimes tough for them to choose who they’ve got to vote for so every single person who voted for me means something to me and to walk away with this three awards is just mind blowing.”

Urban, after jamming on US TV with Harry Connick Jr and his band, delivered his acceptance speech via video.

He exclaimed, “I feel very proud tonight, thank you. The tour I just had in Australia was the most fun I ever had touring ever, so thank you for everyone that came out and saw us play and for supporting the album.

“I feel extremely grateful. We tour all over the world and there is always something around me that makes me feel Aussie no matter where I go. I am always going to feel that way and I am very grateful, and grateful for these awards.”

Other winners were The McClymonts (group/duo), the WA wheatbelt-hailed Chelsea Balsam (female artist), Fanny Lumsden (new artist) and Adam Brand and The Outlaws for the ARIA highest selling Australian artist.

The night also belonged to Lee Kernaghan, who was inducted into the CMC Hall of Fame – in the same year that he celebrated the 25th anniversary of the release of his debut album The Outback Club.

He said, “I want to thank the fans – I can’t call you fans – I call you family because that’s what you mean to me.”

In a moving tribute, his peers banded together to perform a medley of Kernaghan’s hits.

Adam Brand tackled She’s My Ute, Catherine Britt and Jasmine Rae teamed up for Hat Town, Travis Collins chose Flying With The King, Christie Lamb and Caitlyn Shadbolt were on for Boys From The Bush and The Wolfe Bros’ took on Australian Boy.

Kernaghan ended night with a rendition of Outback Club Reunion.

Today, ABC Music/ Universal Music Australia release Kernaghan’s The 25th Anniversary Album.

Other performances included Grammy-winning US band Little Big Town, on their first visit, doing the Taylor Swift-penned Better Man; Troy Cassar-Daley and Craig Campbell’s unplugged rendition of Johnny Cash’s Long Black Veil, The McClymonts their new single House, and Kip Moore who got the audience nostalgic nostalgic with the retro-themed That Was Us.

The CMC Awards, hosted by Morgan Ewans were broadcast live on Foxtel’s CMC from the Star on the Gold Coast.

They are currently streamed on Foxtel Play and encored on FOX8, this Sunday March 26 at 3.30pm AEDT and on CMC throughout the week from Monday March 27 at 7pm AEDT.

The awards lead in to CMC Rocks Queensland which are expected to draw 45,000 country music fans to Ipswich, and will be broadcast by CMC on Wednesday April 12 at 8pm.

Both events are staged in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland, in a bid by the Queensland Government to take the country music capital tag away from Tamworth.

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