The future is bright for Port Macquarie music maker Blake O’Connor after he was named been named 2019 Star Maker at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
O’Connor along with the other nine 10 finalists – Arna Georgia, Chelsea Berman, Jake Sinclair, Juliet Oliver, Leigha Moore, Linc Phelps, Lizzie Steadman, Matt James and Stephanie Penrose – all performed two songs at Toyota Park.
A big crowd packed the park for the annual concert which included a lightning show as a backdrop as a storm rolled in later.
Blake’s performance received high praise from the judging panel, to win the prestigious title, for his first song If You Wanna Get to Heaven written by Mountain Daredevils and second song, Blake’s own original, Worth a Little More.
Blake grew up in a home surrounded by country music – mostly Johnny Cash. At 14, Blake scored a gig as a wedding singer, so he wrote his first song for the occasion. And he hasn’t stopped writing and performing since.
He was a featured artist in the 2015 NSW Schools Spectacular playing four shows at the Sydney Entertainment Centre with audiences of more than 20,000 people.
Blake has opened the show for a number of big stars including Brooke and Adam Eckersley, Adam Brand, Russell Morris, Drew McAlister and last year’s Toyota Star Maker winner Brad Cox.
He can say he is now walking in the footsteps of of some of Australia’s biggest country music stars – Keith Urban, Lee Kernaghan, James Blundell, Travis Collins, Gina Jeffreys and Beccy Cole.
In addition to the title of Toyota Star Maker winner, Blake receives a prize package which includes the use of a new Toyota vehicle and a fuel card for 12 months, a return trip to Nashville for CMA Fest with Chris Watson travel and performance in the Aussie showcase.
He’ll perform at major festivals and events throughout Australia and this year, will perform in Manchester UK at the Buckle and Boots country music festival and join the artists line-up on Cruisin’ Country in October.