42nd Toyota Star Maker Top Ten Announced




The stage is set for Australia’s preeminent up and coming country artists to go head-to-head in Tamworth next January, with the top ten announced for the 42nd Toyota Star Maker competition. 

Chosen from almost one hundred entries, the top ten sees eight artists from regional NSW, as well as one from regional Queensland and regional Victoria. 

The 2022 Toyota Star Maker top ten, in alphabetical order, are: 

Billie-Jo Porter Coffs Harbour NSW 

Brittany Elise Boyne Island QLD 

Charlie Fittler Armidale NSW 

Clancy Pye Orange NSW 

Heath Lancaster Kempsey NSW 

Jade Gibson Wangaratta VIC 

Jake Davey Taree NSW 

Katie Jayne Scone NSW

Loren Ryan Tamworth NSW 

Max Jackson Carrington NSW 

Toyota Star Maker Coordinator Cheryl Brown said after the competition’s cancellation  in 2021 due to COVID-19, it was a huge thrill for event organisers and sponsors to resume delivering this top-quality competition, particularly in the festival’s 50th anniversary year.

“This year’s top ten are a truly inspiring and talented bunch, who come from a diverse range of backgrounds and talents, who’ve also managed to continue with their craft despite the past 18-months.” 

“I have no doubt that the 2022 Grand Final concert will be one tough, but exciting competition!” 

Launching the careers of some of Australia’s best country stars, like Keith Urban and Lee Kernaghan, the Toyota Star Maker is the nation’s longest running and most respected country music competitions. 

“There’s a large percentage of the Star Maker alumni who are kicking huge goals in  their careers and we are very proud of their success, knowing the role Star Maker played at the very start,” Cheryl said.  

“Having witnessed the rise of artists like Keith Urban, Lee Kernaghan and Beccy Cole and the new crop of artists including Kaylee Bell, Rachael Fahim, Brad Cox, Blake O’Connor and many others, through the years, validates the importance of a platform such as Star Maker.” 

The top ten are now invited to the 2022 Toyota Country Music Festival, where they will perform two of their songs on stage at the Star Maker Grand Final on the opening  weekend of the Festival at Toyota Park. 

The illustrious panel of judges for the 2022 Star Maker Grand Final include CMAA  Chairman Dan Biddle, KIX Country National Content Director, Justin Thomson, the long time manager of Troy Cassar-Daley, Roxanne Brown, Major Events Gold Coast Director, Mark Duckworth and the Pub Group’s Craig Power. 

“We have an amazing high calibre judging panel and this is a real chance for the top 10 to perform, impress and follow in the footsteps of many successful Star Maker winners,” Cheryl said. 

The Grand Final concert will feature a gala performance by 2020 Star Maker winner, Sammy White, whose reign was extended by 12 months due to prevailing conditions. 

Since winning Star Maker, the former Townsville, now Rockhampton local has released  her Star Maker album Undone and three singles Lay It On Me, Home (Feels Like You) and Running Away Tonight. 

Sammy’s extraordinary commitment to her reign has been acknowledged in the 2022 Golden Guitar Awards’ New Talent of the Year category. 

Toyota Australia Chief Marketing Officer John Pappas said Toyota congratulates all the finalists in Toyota Star Maker and is looking forward to seeing which talented artist it  would help to take the next steps in their career.

“Toyota Star Maker is always a highlight of the Toyota Country Music Festival and we are proud to offer a substantial prize package that can give aspiring country music stars a real boost to their career,” Mr Pappas said. 

“We would like to wish all the finalists the best of luck and look forward to celebrating  the extraordinary young talent that we have in Australia, along with all country music fans, at the grand final concert,” he said.  

The Star Maker Grand Final is one of the biggest events of the annual Toyota Country Music Festival and is on Sunday, 16 January 2022, at Toyota Park Tamworth.  

For further information on the Toyota Star Maker competition visit  


Toyota Star Maker is organised and promoted by Tamworth Regional Council, publishers of Country Music Capital News, and the Official Guide to The Tamworth  Country Music Festival. 


1979 Grand Junction * 1980 Tommy Miller * 1981 Leanne Douglas * 1982 Lee Kernaghan * 1983 The Vic  Lanyon Band * 1985 Great Divide * 1986 Jane Maddick * 1987 James Blundell * 1988 Jenine Vaughan *  1989 Craig Robertson * 1990 Keith Urban * 1991 Gina Jeffreys * 1992 Warren Derwent * 1993 Beccy Cole  * 1994 Clint Beattie * 1995 Tanya Self * 1996 Darren Coggan * 1997 Lyn Bowtell * 1998 Kate Ballantyne  * 1999 Brendon Walmsley * 2000 Grant Richardson * 2001 Kylie Sackley * 2002 Kieran Lancini * 2003  Todd Williams * 2004 Travis Collins * 2005 Samantha McClymont * 2006 Cat Southern * 2007 Kirsty Lee  Akers * 2008 Talia Wittmann * 2009 Liam Brew * 2010 Luke Austen * 2011 Luke Dickens * 2012 Bob  Corbett * 2013 Kaylee Bell * 2014 Jared Porter * 2015 Mickey Pye * 2016 Karin Page * 2017 Rachael  Fahim * 2018 Brad Cox * 2019 Blake O’Connor * 2020 Sammy White * 


Star Maker is an annual search for an individual country music artist aged over 18 years who is ready to  take the next step in their career and who has the greatest potential to take advantage of the  opportunities offered in the prize package.