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You can find Kirsty Lee Akers some where between Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn. Well that is who she is compared to most when people hear her music. When asked how she feels about that comparison Kirsty says “I find that comparison a massive compliment. When I was growing up my favorite movies were “Coal miners daughter” and “The best little whore house in Texas” although at the time I had no idea what a whore house was, I quickly figured it out!”
Maybe it was their music she identified with or maybe it was their rag to riches story. Having grown up in a small mining town, she knows what it is like to grow up poor and to work hard for what she has. Kirsty’s parents would save every cent so every weekend they could pack all the kids in the car and travel around the country to different talent quests, festivals and even bars for her to sing in. Performing on stage for the very first time at the age of three, Kirsty says” music is all I’ve ever known. My mum sings, my nan and all my aunts’ sing. I thought all families sang country music. I didn’t know any different until I stared school.” It was her nan and pop that installed the love of country music into the family. While her school friends were listening to Brittany Spears, Hanson and The Backstreet boys, Kirsty was listening to Hank Williams, Dolly and Loretta, George Jones, Merle Haggard and their influence can be recognized when hearing her unique sound.
This unique sound could easily be assumed as coming from someone who grew up in the South… In fact Kirsty does come from the south, way down south, down under in Australia. Kirsty says “I would read about this magical place called Nashville on all of my pops records and it is the one place I always dreamed of and still do today”. For her 14th birthday Kirsty’s parents bought her first guitar, it is from then she discovered her love for songwriting. Standing only 4ft10” she is a little girl with a lot to say! Hailed as a remarkable talent by fellow artists, musicians, media and stalwarts of the music industry, Kirsty is fearless and brutally honest with a penchant for taking her songs to places others fear to tread. Following in the musical footsteps of Kacey Musgraves and Ashley Monroe Kirsty is a sublime mix of old meets new, youth meets tradition.
Since the release of her debut single, released independently as a 16 year old, Kirsty has scored nine consecutive radio hits, including five top 10s, in her homeland. At 17 she won the songwriting leg of the Telstra Road To Discovery talent search, the prize was her first trip to Nashville. A year later she added a prestigious Toyota Starmaker win to her resume, which was followed by a 2008 CMAA award for Best New Talent. Her debut album ‘Little Things’ was released in August 2007 and debuted at #7 on the ARIA Country Chart. 2009‘s ‘Better Days’, debuted at #4 on the ARIA Country Albums chart behind platinum selling CDs from Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson, Keith Urban and the popular CMAA Winners compilation. ‘Better Days’ also debuted at #7 on the Australian Independent Albums Chart (all genres). The album was nominated by long running pop radio program Take 40 Australia as one of January 2009’s most anticipated releases and later that same year named by The Australian Independent Record Labels Association as a finalist for Best Independent Country Album at the Jagermeister AIR Awards.
Kirsty returned to the airwaves in mid 2011 with the single ‘In Spite Of Ourselves’, the first track from her third album ‘Naked’ featuring the ARIA award winner Kevin Mitchell otherwise known as Bob Evans (of hit-makers Jebediah and indy fave Basement Birds), on the risqué John Prine penned classic. A popular request on national youth broadcaster Triple J ‘In Spite Of Ourselves’ was the #1 add to indy radio for several weeks in late 2011.
In November 2011 Kirsty was announced as a finalist in 3 categories at the 40th Country Music Awards of Australia: Female Artist of The Year, Video Clip of The Year and Vocal Collaboration of The Year.
Kirsty has toured alongside, and shared the stage with acts such as Hayes Carll, Steve Earle, Jace Everett and most recently Paul Thorn on his first Australian tour. She was one of 2 Australian artists handpicked to appear at the first international taping of Music City Roots alongside Jim Lauderdale, Sirius XM’s Elizabeth Cook and newcomer David Jacobs-Strain. Kirsty has recently made the big move across the world and is ready to take on Nashville.