Coasters can vote for Tasmanian country music icon Jean Stafford to win four international awards | The Advocate


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Tasmania’s legendary “Queen of Country Music” Jean Stafford has received four nominations in the finals of the International Singer and Songwriters Association awards for 2021. The Burnie-based star is nominated for Female Songwriter of the Year, International Album of the Year for Let the Dance Begin, Female Single of the Year for God’s Creation, a song to help bring people comfort during COVID-19, and Female Vocalist of the Year. “To be given a place in the final of all four categories in an international award is something I am very grateful for,” Ms Stafford said. “It’s a wonderful feeling. “My life has been dedicated to country music, and I feel humbled but extremely proud of my life journey. “In difficult times, God’s Creation is truly an international song about the world today and tomorrow.” Coasters can get behind the home-grown music icon and have until the end of April to vote for her to win. The 71-year-old said she did not expect awards. “There can only be one winner in each category, and I’m happy for whoever wins,” she said. She continued to be inspired by her lifelong passion for music. “Once you get it in your blood, it’s part of you,” she said. “My children tell me I can retire and do what I want to do but I am doing what I want to do, which is making my music. “I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love singing and didn’t love country music.” Stafford started her career at 12 before she gained national recognition with the hit single What Kind of Girl Do You Think I Am? She won her first Golden Guitar for best female at 25. She was inducted into the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame Roll of Renown at Tamworth. After living away for 20 years, including a stint in Tamworth, she moved back to Burnie in 2009 to be close to her children and grandchildren. Pre-COVID-19 she travelled the world and worked with the cream of musicians in Nashville, where she was given the key to the city by the governor. She was made an honorary citizen in Tennessee. However, like other musicians she was grounded by the pandemic for a year. “I’ve had 12 months of not being able to do much except the Devil Country Muster at Smithton.” She considered herself one of the lucky ones but said COVID-19 caused hardship for a lot of performers. “People are struggling,” she said. “It’s devastating, and they’re only starting to be able to do a little work now. “It was hard enough for entertainers before the pandemic came along, and it’s not going to change in a short amount of time. “It’s looking bleak for some time to come.” To vote: Why not pick up a subscription to The Advocate? Sign up here.



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