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Kiwi singer wins Australian awards

Tuesday 29 Jan 2013 6:35p.m.

Kiwi singer wins Australian awards

A Dunedin singer who walked away from a TV talent show after refusing to sign an exclusive contract has struck gold in Australia.

Kylie Price, 19, was named entertainer of the year at the Tamworth Country Music Festival and also picked up other top awards.

The Otago music student has sung in musical shows and folk groups, but her success at the prestigious Tamworth Country Music Festival has cemented her future direction.

“[A] Filipino girl from Dunedin sings country," she says. "It's a bit of a mix, it's a bit of a wild mix, but I'm happy with it anyway.”

Price was named Entertainer of the Year, the first Kiwi to win the title since Patsy Riggir in the 1980s. She also won the Capital Country Music Associatio (CCMA) Talent Quest, putting her in good company.

“I was looking through who's won CCMA and saw Keith Urban's name on it so that was pretty exciting just to see his name, because he's pretty cool,” Price says.

Price has been a regular at Gore's Golden Guitars, winning the competition last year.

She also qualified for the semi-finals of TVNZ show, New Zealand's Got Talent, after wowing the judges with a performance of Beyonce’s hit song 'If I Were a Boy'.

But she quit the show after refusing to sign an exclusive contract limiting where she could sing.

“But I just didn't want to obviously restrict myself at that time of my career.”

Country singer and promoter Gray Bartlett says Price was up against some experienced talent in Australia.

“And this Kiwi came away and beat them with pure talent,” he says.

And agents in the US are already excited about the versatile Kiwi.

“And that her talent right across the spectrum, emotionally and performance-wise, will hold her in good stead,” Bartlett says. “We'll get her on many, many shows, no question.

Her next one is this Friday in Dunedin. Price is preparing to open for classic British group The Hollies on their New Zealand tour.

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