Real Life

Country star Kylie Price stands strong

After turning down reality TV, this Dunedin teen won big in Australia.

By Vicky Tyler
Kylie Price

New Zealand country singer Kylie Price, who has had a surprise win at Australia’s biggest country music contest, thanks her gut instinct for her decision to pull out of a reality TV show.

Labelled New Zealand’s Taylor Swift, Kylie (19) made headlines when she declared she was quitting New Zealand’s Got Talent last October because she didn’t want to sign away her music rights.

Now she’s celebrating two big wins at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, the same contest that helped propel Nicole Kidman’s husband, Keith Urban, to international fame.

Kylie picked up the Aristocrat Entertainer of the Year prize and was the overall winner of the Capital Country Music Association National Talent Quest. But if she had signed the NZGT contract, after making the top 30, she’s not sure she would have had the chance to compete in Australia.

Kylie was overwhelmed by her success on the TV show when judge Rachel Hunter described her as “incredibly talented”. But she had second thoughts about the contract, which gave NZGT bosses control over what she sang and what she did.

“I took about a month to think about it. I didn’t want to sign something that was that restrictive. It was a personal decision. And it felt right.

The singer, who’s been compared to Taylor Swift, is proud she stuck to her guns.
The singer, who’s been compared to Taylor Swift, is proud she stuck to her guns.

“My lawyer said if I didn’t jump at the chance, I had to question why. I found it such a hard decision and it shouldn’t have been hard if it was meant to be,” says Kylie, who’s relieved she listened to her intuition.

“I was proud of myself that I stuck to my guns. But when it broke in the media, I got a mixed reaction. I got a lot of ‘good on you’, but also a lot of ‘she’s just wasted a great opportunity’.”

After winning at Tamworth, Kylie is happy to see her career going down the country-music path. The single star loved performing at the festival, where she enjoyed a bit of talent spotting of her own.

“There were definitely a lot of good-looking boys there,” she smiles, “but I’m too busy for them right now.”

Since winning at Tamworth, Kylie has supported The Hollies during their New Zealand tour, but there will be no more reality TV stints for this country girl.

“I’ll still watch the shows and I’ll still vote for the people I like,” she says, “but I think I’ll leave it to them.”

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