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Robbie Mortimer digs deep at Toyota Star Maker in Tamworth

January 15, 2023

By Peter Holmes

Lauren Ryan has won the 2023 Toyota Star Maker in Tamworth, beating out a field including Orange’s Robbie Mortimer.

In front of a crowd of a few thousand at Toyota Park, the 10 finalists each sang two songs.

In the first round Mortimer sang Dashboard Drummer and in the second Life’s Easy When We're Young. He told the crowd he was "a very proud Orange boy".

Previous winners of the Star Maker competition include Lee Kernaghan (1982), James Blundell (1987), Keith Urban (1990), Gina Jeffreys (1991), Beccy Cole (1993) and Samantha McClymont (2005).

The judging is based on criteria including the performances at the Star Maker concert and interviews conducted with each singer.

Among the prizes are flights to Nashville, musical instruments and recording gear. Plus, the winner gets the use of a Toyota vehicle for a year.

The singers performed with a stellar house band including Sam Hawksley and Ian Lees.

The highlights included Finnian Johnson's I'm Doing Well, Kora Naughton's I See Red and Jacob Vincent's Outback Folks.

Mortimer's performance of Life’s Easy When We're Young, with its anthemic qualities, was well received by the audience.

"I feel great!" Mortimer told The Orange News Examiner after the concert.

"I am thrilled that I got to play my songs to thousands of people. Songs I wrote in my bedroom. Was very special to me. I’m ready for the next chapter."

Guest performers were previous Star Maker winners Kaylee Bell (2013) and Max Jackson (2022).


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