BIO & MEDIA

Kirsty Lee Akers’ journey as both a recording artist and a person is unique within Australia and around the world. Proud of her indigenous heritage as a woman of the Wonnarua people (Hunter Valley – Australia), she has embraced a global musical culture and now spends her time between Australia and the USA. Whilst she lives in Nashville for a large portion of the year, Australia will always be her spiritual home.

“Music and family have always been the most important parts of my life. My Nan, Mum and Aunt were singers, and I grew up with my pop playing Country Music all the time. I still remember my first performance at age three. I was hooked! ” – Kirsty Lee Akers

As a child, Kirsty’s life was far from easy. Her family could be described as the stereotypical “Aussie Battlers”. She was not born into money and was one of four children growing up in a small house while her father worked two jobs so the family could get by. Her entire family were not strangers to hard work. Born when her mother was only 17 years old, Kirsty quickly learned the importance of teamwork, love and family connection to get where she needed to go. These are traits that to this day are extremely important to her and help her connect with her fans on an honest and personal level.

Her vocal delivery is often described by those who hear her sing as sitting somewhere between Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn. This foundation when combined with distinctive modern Country production and sound offers a hard-to-match performance. Kirsty describes people’s reference to Dolly and Loretta as “A massive compliment.” Growing up as a fan of these iconic acts, she has long dreamt of being mentioned in the same breath but knows that they are “huge shoes to fill!”.

As a musician, her pedigree is impeccable. Music is most certainly in her blood, having performed in public for the first time at the tender age of three years and recording her first EP at the age of 16. She funded that recording with the money she made busking tirelessly on the streets of Tamworth. This connection with Australia’s Country Music Capital lead Kirsty to study at and graduate from the CMAA Academy of Country Music (2004 and 2005) and then further afield through the Talent Development Project (2006).

“That first trip to Nashville in 2006 was just like my first trip to Tamworth, and from the time I stepped off the plane I was in love! There is just something magical about that city. But as much as I love Nashville, Australia always calls me home, I can never stay gone for too long.” – Kirsty Lee Akers

From this solid grounding Kirsty blossomed into an elite performer proving her credibility by being the only artist to ever take out the “Holy Trinity” of Australian Country Music – Telstra Road To Discovery (2006), Toyota Star Maker (2007) and a Golden Guitar (2008) – All in the space of 2 years. Winning these awards opened up new horizons, the big one being Music City (Nashville) and the USA.

The year 2010 saw Akers commence writing and pre-production on her most dynamic record to date. Having been signed to record labels since the age of 18 and seeing this release as an opportunity to explore her creative boundaries, Akers made the decision to cut ties with her label and release the music independently. This resulted in an unfiltered and raw album that resonated globally. The album ‘Naked’ was released in 2011 and received 3 Golden Guitar Finalist spots (Best Female Artist, Best Music Video and Best Vocal Collaboration).

“One of the rising stars of the Americana scene!” – Chuck Taylor, KHYI Dallas, Texas – The Range (America’s highest rating Americana radio station)

In 2012, with her Australian career on track, the USA came calling louder than ever before. When Kirsty connected up with Emmy-winning producer and multi Billboard number one hit-single writer Trey Bruce, it became apparent that her musical journey would now stretch beyond Australian shores on a more permanent basis. With her album “Naked” receiving acclaim in Australia, Akers made the move to Nashville. This breakout move resulted in the start of touring activities and the creation of relationships that have ultimately helped her on her path, but as her hard-working nature dictates, there is always more to do. To keep the balance and family connections that she holds dear she now splits her time between these two great countries.

“Kirsty is a unique Australian artist who bridges the gap between Australia and the USA. Even as an elite performer she maintains a warmth, relatability and authenticity that are the three most endearing qualities of Country Music.” – Ben Sorensen, REAL Country (Leading Australian Radio Host and Presenter)

In early 2015, Kirsty signed a brand new recording contract with Maven Records and Sony Music Australia. After spending the best part of 3 years writing songs with some of the world’s best writers including Byron Hill (George Strait, Gary Allen), Jerry Salley (Chris Stapleton, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Loretta Lynn), Trey Bruce (Randy Travis, Faith Hill, Trisha Yearwood, Trace Adkins), Jeremy Spillman (Leeann Womack), Tia Sellers (Leeann Womack, Dixie Chicks, Alan Jackson) and Angaleena Presley from the Pistol Annies (Miranda Lambert) she had amassed over 100 songs that she would now whittle down to 11 for the new album entitled “Burn Baby Burn”. The new album will be released on April 1st, 2016. There are many pages to this journey that remain unwritten, but the future looks brighter than ever for Kirsty lee Akers.

“Pure and real. Those are the first two words that come to mind when I hear Kirsty Lee Akers sing. With the ‘pure’ voice of an angel (reminiscent of Dolly Parton), and songs with attitude about ‘real’ life, love, relationships, brokenness, bad times as well as good. Kirsty has gained a huge fan in me. The coolest part is, she’s as great of a person as she is an artist!” – Jerry Salley (Legendary Award-winning Nashville Singer-Songwriter)

  • Little Things (2007) – Compass Brothers Records/Universal – Independent in USA/Canada
    • ARIA top 5 chart position
    • Three top 10 charting singles
    • Nominated for 2 Golden Guitars
  • Better Days (2009) – Compass Brothers Records/Universal – Independent in USA/Canada
    • ARIA top 5 chart position
    • Two top 10 charting singles
    • Nominated for an AIR Award for Best Country Album
  • Naked (2011) – Independent/Other Tongues/MGM – Independent in USA/Canada
    • ARIA top 10 chart position
    • Four top 10 charting singles
    • Nominated for 3 Golden Guitars
    • Cross-over hit “In Spite of Ourslves” was played on Triple J
  • Burn Baby Burn (2016) – Maven Records/Sony Music – Independent in USA/Canada
    • Release date – April 1, 2016
  • 2017
    • APRA Awards Finalist – Burn Baby Burn
    • Finalist for Golden Guitar Awards – Best Female Artist
    • Nominated for Three CMC (Country Music Channel) Awards – Australian Artist, Female Artist and Oz Artist
    • CMC Country Pick – Ain’t That Kinda Girl
    • CMC #1 Video – Wake Me Up When You’re Sober
  • 2016
    • ARIA #1 Australian Artist Country Music Album – Burn Baby Burn (Album)
    • ARIA #2 Country Music Album – Burn Baby Burn (Album)
    • iTunes Country #2 – Burn Baby Burn (Album)
    • CMC Country Pick – When I Miss You Most
    • CMC #1 Video – When I Miss You Most
    • CMC Country Pick – Burn Baby Burn
    • CMC #1 Video – Burn Baby Burn
    • Finalist in the Vanda & Young Sondwriting Competition
    • Music video added to CMT (Country Music Television) – I Will
    • Music video added to GAC (Great American Country) – I Will
    • CMC Country Pick – I Will
    • CMC #1 Video – I Will

    2015

    • Signed record deal with Maven Records/Sony Music
    • Nominated for Two CMC (Country Music Channel) Awards – Female Artist and Oz Artist
  • 2014
    • Relocated to Nashville
  • 2012
    • Started consistent co-writing and development in USA
    • Finalist in Three Golden Guitar Categories – Female Artist, Video Clip and Vocal Collaboration
  • 2011
    • Released third studio album – Naked
    • Recorded duet with ARIA Award Winning Bob Evans
  • 2010
    • Completed Better Days Album Tour – Australia/USA
  • 2009
    • Released second studio album – Better Days
    • Nominated for AIR Award
    • Performed at CMC Rocks for the first time
  • 2008
    • Won Golden Guitar – New Talent
    • Finalist in Two Golden Guitar Categories – New Talent and Female Artist
  • 2007
    • Won Toyota Star Maker
    • Performed main stage at the Gympie Muster for the first time
    • Released first full album – Little Things
    • Completed first major national tour with James Blundell
  • 2006
    • Graduate of Talent Development Project (TDP)
    • Graduate of CMAA Academy of Country Music (Senior) – Then called Camerata
    • Won Telstra Road to Discover – Songwriters Category
    • Finalist in the ISC International Songwriting Competition – Nashville
    • Released very first recording – Single “Bashed Up, Beaten, Battered, Broken Heart”
    • Attended Universal Music Publishers Songwriting program – Nashville
    • Performed at the Bluebird Café for the first time – Nashville
    • Performed at the CMA Fan Fest for the first time – Nashville
    • Nominated for the Southern Stars Independent Music Awards – Rising Star Female
    • Awarded Maton Endorsement
  • 2005
    • Won Frank Ifield Award
    • Top Ten APRA Teen Songwriter of the Year Awards
    • Graduate of CMAA Academy of Country Music (Junior) – Then called Camerata
    • Featured Soloist in Star Struck Schools Spectacular – Original song