Mackay, Queensland, country singer Bella Mackenzie auditioned on The Voice Australia yesterday (8 August) and immediately made her mark singing one of the most popular tracks on the radio.
Taking on Taylor Swift’s dominant Anti-Hero, Mackenzie, draped in a tassel-filled jacket and shirt, a skirt, cowboy hat and boot-scooting shoes, had a commanding presence on stage.
From the moment she started singing, her pure, warm tone moved the four coaches in their red chairs – Australia’s Guy Sebastian and Jessica Mauboy, the UK’s Rita Ora and the new judge, USA’s Jason Derulo – earning the young singer a four-chair turn and a bidding war between the coaches. Mackenzie joined Guy Sebastian’s team.
Singing a song as beloved as Anti-Hero must be slightly intimidating for artists, but Mackenzie didn’t show any nerves. She slowed the song down and played it on her acoustic guitar, with The Voice Australia’s band joining in during the chorus without stealing her spotlight. You can watch her blind audition below.
Following the premiere of her audition on Channel 7 and 7plus last night, Mackenzie wrote on Facebook, “What is happening!!! I love you all. Long live country music”.
While The Voice Australia is primarily aimed at amateur singers, Mackenzie is poised to find mainstream appeal after she earned two places on the Top 50 Most Played Songs on Australian country music radio in 2022. You can watch the music video of her song, 1 2 3 You And Me, below.
In 2021, Bella Mackenzie became the inaugural winner of the Groundwater Country Music Festival KIX-Start Competition, earning praise and recognition from one of Australia's most successful country music festivals and Australian country music radio.
“From the moment I did my first ever gig, the support has been amazing,” Mackenzie said in a 2021 My Countrytown feature on her hometown of Mackay. “The arts community in Mackay is outstanding, and I am so blessed to be a part of this growing culture in my hometown.
“This community helped me fundraise to get myself down to Tamworth for the CMAA Junior Academy in 2018, and that was just the beginning of the support I have received for my music over the past five years of living in Mackay.”