Saturday, 23 June 2018

2018 UK Country Music Awards: Nominees & First Performers Revealed

In January presenters announced the launch of their 2018 UK Country Music Awards described as "celebrating the best in UK Country Music".

A Launch Night took place on Sunday 18th March 2018 a special "songwriters-in-the-round" concert, featured three previous UK Country Music Award winners: Gary Perkins (multiple winner of UK Country Group Of The Year and UK Male Country Singer Of The Year), Zenne (winner of UK Female Country Singer Of The Year 2016 and 2017) and Wayne Jacobs (winner of the Listeners' Club Song Award for each of the last six years).
The event took place at Sea Fish, Conisbrough, Doncaster, South Yorkshire - the home of's regular Doncaster Live Music Nights.

The UK Country Music Awards are presented by to celebrate the best in UK country music.
There are seven Awards:
UK Country Artist Of The Year: For a UK artist who has demonstrated outstanding achievement over the last year
UK Country Album Of The Year: For an album released since January 2017; The album must contain at least 8 tracks
UK Female Country Singer Of The Year: Sponsored by Number 24 - Upton Upon Severn's premier gift shop
UK Male Country Singer Of The Year: Sponsored by The Big Wide Wonderful World of Daffy Don Allen - introducing the UK to country music through Radio Caroline in the 1960
UK Country Duo Of The Year
UK Country Group Of The Year
The Listeners' Club Song Award

ONLINE VOTING: Was open to everyone, to determine the finalists in each category. It took place during the Spring and voting ended on Thursday May 31st 2018. You could only submit the voting form once.
The finalists were announced on on Sunday June 17, 2018
During the summer, presenters and staff and Gold, Silver and Bronze Subscribers vote for the overall winner in each category.

Click here to become a GoldSilver or Bronze Subscriber (You can choose to subscribe £2, £5 or £10 per month)

(Note: You must be a Subscriber at the start of the year of the Awards to be eligible to vote. Subscribing now will not entitle you to vote for this year's Awards. You will be eligible to vote from next year)

Two of of the six we voted for, using the form below, received nominations, Congrats Phillippa  Hanna & The Wandering Hearts  

The Award winners will be announced at The UK Country Music Awards Ceremony held at the Radisson Blu Hotel, East Midlands Airport (Herald Way, Pegasus Business Park, DE74 2TZ, Derby WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER) on Saturday 1st September 2018

Radison Blu Hotel

ALL the votes were counted and verified by
On Sunday 17th June 2018 CEO Allan Watkiss presented a special programme in which he announced the Finalists for each of the Awards.
Then, from 2pm,'s very own weekend presenter Simon Large throughout the afternoon announced the first performing artists for the Awards ceremony to be held on Saturday 1st September at Radisson Blu East Midlands Airport.

Listen here to audio highlights here:

The event includes:
* The announcements of the winners of the Awards
* A three-course celebratory Awards dinner
* Live performances from Hannah Johnson & The Broken Hearts, Ags Connolly, Zenne and more to be announced.

Book your tickets to The UK Country Music Awards HERE
Standard tickets: £45 (include 3-course meal)
No-meal tickets: £25 (3-course meal not included)

The UK Country Music Awards 2018 Award Sponsors

 were looking for sponsorship to help them put together their annual Birthday Party And Awards, which performs the dual role of celebrating’s birthday through a four-hour concert, and announcing the winners of the UK Country Music Awards. Appeals for crowd funding had previously gone out on air (Simon Large's Weekend Shows) on the station and via their newsletter. tried raising money to help fund the 2018 UK Country Music Awards. The stated they needed £3,000 to enable them to stage an Awards ceremony similar to last year's. 
There was a donate button on their Awards website to donate securely online, this has since been removed!)
The cost of Overall Event Sponsorship is £5,000.
The cost of sponsoring's UK Country Artist Of The Year Award is £1,000. It costs £250 to sponsor one of the Award categories (The sponsor does not have to be present at the ceremony - although a pair of tickets would be made available).

Sponsor of UK Female Country Singer Of The Year:
Number 24 (Website; Upton upon Severn's premier gift shop; described as "A Haven Of Gorgeousness" | 24 Old Street, Upton upon Severn, Worcestershire WR8 OHR)

Sponsor of UK Male Country Singer Of The Year:
The Big Wide Wonderful World Of Daffy Don Allen
Don Allen was a radio presenter in North America until crossing the Atlantic to join Radio Caroline South during the summer of 1965. He moved to Radio Caroline North later in the year and became a big hit, renowned for his use of jingles and wacky drop-ins.

Sponsor of UK Country Group Of The Year
Graham L.Hall's Country Spirit (Website; Broadcaster, DJ, compere and musician Graham L.Hall is a proud supporter of real music, playing real music with real feeling. His radio programme Country Spirit has been broadcast on since the station's launch in 2007).  
Sponsor of The Listeners' Club Song Award
Country Music Social Media (Country Music Social Media works with Award-winning acts to build their fan base through social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Reverbnation and YouTube). Mission: To help Country singers with their social needs for Branding.and promoting
Social media for country Singers. Run by Ken Meakin, described by Russell Hill on Express FM as “one of the finest promoters in the country” creates social media sites Facebook, Google +, Twitter, YouTube, Myspace, Reverbnation, Wordpress plus many more.
His” My Country acts: Danny McMahon, Grand Prairie Band, Hannah Johnson, Helena Mace, Lee Paul, Merv and Maria, Penny Jayne Black (Django Promotions Management), The Pink Cowgirl (Dina Andrews), Ray Peters, Rett Russell, Wayne Jacobs. 
CONNECT with Country Music Social
FACEBOOK:  (12,280 Likes)

Ken Meakin’s Country Music Social Roster Artists Dominate The UK Country Music Awards 2018 Nominations
Thanks to the initial online voting Country Music Social Media acts dominated the nominees listing with 16 nods for both current and former roster acts.
Lee Paul & The Wild Ones snagged 3 nods (Artist Of The Year, Album Of The Year & Country Group Of The Year).
Helena Mace and Hannah Johnson received 3 nominations (Artist Of The Year, UK Country Album of The Year, UK Female Country Singer Of The Year)
Penny Jayne Black (Django Promotions Management) received 2 nods for Artist Of The Year & Female Country Singer Of The Year

The UK Country Music Awards 2018 Nominees

UK Country Artist Of The Year 
(For a UK artist who has demonstrated outstanding achievement over the last year)
Danny McMahon, Hannah Johnson, Hannah Paris, Helena Mace, Jade Helliwell, Jenny June, Lee Paul & The Wild Ones, Louise Parker, Penny Jayne Black, Philippa Hanna

UK Country Album Of The Year
(For an album released since January 2017; The album must contain at least 8 tracks)
COME BACK FIGHTING - Philippa Hanna | 10 Tracks released 24 Nov. 2017
COMING HOME - Lee Paul & The Wild Ones | Details unknown
SHAKEN - Hannah Johnson | 11 Tracks released 10 July 2017
WASH AWAY THE YEARS - Helena Mace | 10 Tracks released 21 Jan. 2018
WILD SILENCE - The Wandering Hearts | 12 Tracks released 9 Feb 2018

UK Female Country Singer Of The Year
Philippa Hanna, Hannah Johnson, Penny Jayne Black, Jenny June, Helena Mace

UK Male Country Singer Of The Year
Callum Mountford, Danny McMahon, Scott Welsby, Tom Delaware, Wayne Jacobs

UK Country Duo Of The Year
Cinder Hill, Gasoline & Matches, Memphis Belle, The Shires, Ward Thomas

UK Country Group Of The Year
Blue Genes, Gary Perkins & The Breeze, Lee Paul & The Wild Ones, The Adelaides, The Wandering Hearts

The Listeners' Club Song Award
I'm Coming For You - Lily Garland
In The Arms Of Love - Robyn Taylor
Let 'Em All Go - The Mighty Stampede
Nashville - Johnny Chirnside
Signs Of Love - Wayne Jacobs

Quite a few of the 2018 Nominees were new to Country Routes News

Lee Paul & The Wild Ones
Nominated for 2018 UK Country Artist Of The Year 2018, UK Country Album Of The Year & UK Country Group Of The Year

Genre: Country Rock/Pop; Acoustic
Home Town: Gateshead
Record Label: Country Music Social Media

Lee Paul is a singer/songwriter from Gateshead. His Music influences range from Keith Urban, Kip Moore and Matchbox 20.
Music is his passion. As a successful singer/songwriter he’s played music both as part of a band and as a solo artist.

He has been lucky enough to play with some of the great musicians from around the world, as well as play not only across the UK but also in the USA.
Music influences range from Keith Urban, Kip Moore and Matchbox 20. He's played at some great venues including the Sage, Gateshead and the O2 London and Newcastle. He is joined by "amazing band" the Wild Ones.
Lee started singing when he was 16 and went on to study music at College. Since then he has sung in many national singing competitions all over the UK.
For 5 years he ran his own record label and events company called MBM records and led two bands with very different music styles.
He founded Dynamic Music Management to help young people perform and song-write and hoped to be able to share some of the 16 years’ experience and pass this on to other up and coming talent - offering the opportunity to mentor and coach, developing voices and stage presence to perfection.
On his own words: I've got a varied background of genres, country being my favourite and I have been lucky enough to play a few festivals and loved every minute of it.
Paul's new album COMING HOME is written about his experiences over the past 5 years including family life, travelling around America and struggles with depression with highs and lows.
He is set to play the Buckle & Boots Festival this June (22-24, 2018).

Watch Lee Paul's Promo video at the Cluny2 in Newcastle (Published on May 7, 2017; 197 views)

Regarding his album COMING HOME, Forever British Country's Keren Morrall wrote: Lee Paul's album 'Coming Home' has a really good mixture of song styles. Although all are influenced by country music, some have a pop vibe and others are a bit rockier. From songs stripped back to expose the husky vocals that Lee Paul possesses to rocky guitar solos and catchy choruses, this album has something for everyone.

FACEBOOK:  (1,650 Likes)

Jenny June (Jennifer Sammut)
Nominated for UK Country Artist Of The Year & UK Female Country Singer Of The Year
Works at professional Singer/Performer
Studied BTEC National Diploma at South Downs College
Lives in Havant, Portsmouth

She shared: Ahhhh!! Looks who’s only gone and got themselves in the final !!  x thank you so much to everyone who voted for me you have no idea how much I appreciate your support  x #ukcountrymusicawards #countrysingersongwriter #lovecountrymusic #countrygirl

Forthcoming Live Events:
Thurs 19 July 2018 - The Festival Sessions at Jags at 119 (119 Elm Grove, PO5 1LH Portsmouth) Hosted by Southsea Bandstand 9.00pm - 9.45pm
Sunday 12 August 2018 - Tattoo Extravaganza, Portsmouth (South Parade Pier 10 Clarendon Rd, PO5 2EE Portsmouth)
Past Events
Sat 16 June 2018 - The Red Lion, Stubbington Red Lion, Fareham Watch her Facebook video singing to backing tracks .
Tues 29 May 2018 - The Festival Sessions at Jags at 119, Portsmouth
APR 5 5/4 - The Festival Sessions at Jags at 119, Portsmouth

Watch her cover of "Dancing" (Originally by Kylie Minogue) Published on May 4, 2018

Louise Parker

Nominated for UK Country Artist Of The Year 2018
Singer/Songwriter. 23teen. Freelance model (Gallery) / Robin Hood EP (2014) / The Lemon Tree EP (2016) / UK & USA Touring Artist: Chelmsford, UK
Louise Parker is a country/pop singer-songwriter from Essex.
Likes: Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Ellie Goulding, Kacey Musgraves, Shania Twain, Miranda Lambert
Louise Parker is a singer-songwriter and freelance model from Essex, UK. According to the blurb:  Her emotive lyrics and sheer passion captivate the listener and hold their souls to ransom. Taking influence from artists such as Taylor Swift and Kacey Musgraves, Louise aspires to being a signed recording artist one day.

With a Commerical Music degree (Bath Spa University), a couple of North America and UK tours and a debut performance in Italy, Louise has ample experience in the music industry. Writing from the heart about her travels, love and loss, expectations and realities of being an independent artist in the 21st century there is definitely a song for everyone in Louise's ever-growing repertoire.

Whilst touring in the US she also appeared in two episodes of ABC’s hit TV show ‘Nashville’.
On May 20, 2013 she self-released a 5 track POP EP titled ROBIN HOOD (UK iTunes) Watch a live performance of  >> "Swim Baby Swim"

Upon her return Louise jumped in the studio and on March 1, 2016 released her second EP THE LEMON TREE which is available on iTunes, Spotify, HMV online, etc.
In October 2017 Louise moved to Nashville, for 5 months, and Austin, for 1 month, with her cajonist, Lawrence, to play gigs and focus on honing their sound.  They co-wrote with singer/songwriter Ray Stephenson (Nashville), who has written songs for Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, among others and recorded a new EP (Austin) at AMP Studios, release date TBC.

Every year Louise returns to America to visit new states and play gigs for her fans. Constantly writing new material Louise hopes to release another EP in 2018.

Forthcoming Live Events:
Sat 30 June 2018 - LIVE At The Fling Festival 30 June–1 July Hylands Park, Chelmsford Event
Thurs 5 July 2018 - The Purple Dog, Colchester
Friday 6 July 2018 - The Eagle, Galleywood (Stock Road, CM2 8PS Galleywood)
Sat 7 July 2018 - The Sunny Sailer, (1 Fullbridge CM9 4LE Maldon, Essex)
Fri 20 July 2018 - The Pub, Braintree (East Street, CM7 3JW Braintree, Essex)
FACEBOOK:  (1,100 Likes)

Callum Mountford
Nominated for UK Male Country Singer Of The Year 2018

Home Town: Stone Stafford
About:  Country style guitar and vocalist, available for bookings.
Acoustic Country Artist who performs a range of original material along with a great mix of old and new covers.

The teenage country singer raised more than £4,000 for charity with a song he penned for his dying grandmother.
In October last year it was reported that the 15-year-old wrote Memories Of My Mind to remind his nan, Catharine Paxton, of the happy times they had spent together after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Memories Of My Mind, which was entered into a radio competition and resulted in Callum winning Signal’s Star Search was then put on to CD and sold to raise £3,000 for Cancer Research UK.
Mum Rachel, who lives with Callum and husband Darren, said she too found the song very moving.
The 43-year-old added: “After my mum’s funeral, Callum put the song aside and said he wouldn’t sing it again. But I had entered it into a Signal Radio competition and when they got in touch, I had to say, ‘you know you said you will never play that song again, well you are going to have to sing it once more. It won Star Search’ (published on April 23, 2017 >> see video when Callum was aged 14)
The musician, who name checks James Taylor as his main influence, along with Sam Palladio – was recording an album at the college.
Callum Mountford's song Memories Of My Mind

Live Event: Sat 23 June 2018 - Totally Delicious Trentham Shopping Village, Stone Road, Trentham, ST4 8JG

Scott Welsby
Nominated for UK Male Country Singer Of The Year 2018
Owner-operator at Blame It All On My Roots (The Ultimate Garth Brooks Experience).
Lives in Manchester
A UK based Professional Garth Brooks tribute act, slated to be the UK's Best and most authentic Garth Brooks tribute act.
Additionally, he hosts a two hour country music show on KFM Radio details here

Tom Delaware
Nominated for UK Male Country Singer Of The Year 2018
Genre: Country/Pop/Acoustic
Home Town: London
Record Label: Unsigned | About: Country Singer/Songwriter
Tom Delaware is an British country/acoustic singer/songwriter based in Bedfordshire, England.
Tom has supported and sang with big name artists such as Rascal Flatts and Barenaked Ladies, Declan Mckenna, Tom Grennan, Holloway Road and Leo Stannard.

Tom was in a 3-piece British country/pop group called Delaware from London, England.
The group formed in 2017 and comprised of brothers Thomas and Ollie Jones and their long-time friend James Cobb on bass.
An EP titled STILL ABOUT YOU (E​P) was released November 16, 2017

Get free download here:

Note, Tom is now a solo artist and James and Ollie are no longer part of the line-up.

Tom recently self-released a new contemporary single Famous (released 6 June 2018; Amazon UKUK iTunesSpotify). 

It lovingly pays tribute to a mystery “VIP country queen” whose rocking spray on jeans, dressed in army green with a flip back ball cap: Girl you know you’re killing me   

Connect with Tom: 
FACEBOOK:  (2,200 likes)

Cinder Hill
Nominated for UK Country Duo Of The Year
They posted on Facebook: Absolutely over the moon! Thank you so much to everyone who nominated us! K & H x

The next Ward Thomas?
(16 Feb 2018) Cinder Hill - Fairytales (EP; 2018 Cinder Hill) 
Debut: Feb 16: #3 UK Country (#285 all-genre) | Sat Feb 17: #3 (#322 overall), then #10, then #21 (#1175)
 4 Tracks/ Time: 14:52 Amazon UK - UK iTunes

Cinder Hill are a British Country Music duo from the North West. Identical twins, Katie and Hayley, have a lifelong love of country music which inspires their Country/Americana sound. Intensely interwoven harmonies are at the heart of their beautifully crafted songs, which have all the storytelling and relatability you would expect from this heartfelt genre.
A remarkable debut! With just 300 social media followers Cinder Hill’s 4-track debut EP FAIRYTALES (Amazon UK | UK iTunes) reached No.3 in the iTunes Country Chart (#255 UK iTunes all-genres) on its release in February 2018 and is available to download now on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play. The following day it held on UK Country iTunes at #3 (#322 overall), slipped to #10 and then #21 (#1175)

Their EP Launch took place at a packed out The Salty Dog pub (Website, Facebook; 21-23 High Street, CW9 5BY) in Northwich. See photos from the evening on Facebook .
Promoting their EP their music has been played on UK inde shows and stations CMR Nashville, now defunct HEM Country, Ridge Radio (Simply Country with Bob Wilson aka Angel), Spire Radio, Radio Zetland FM, Phoenix Country Radio, Craig Parry's Moonshine Experience on 

TWITTER:  (135 followers)


"Some of the people who've won our awards in the past sadly aren't mentioned this year, but we'll give them a nod anyway as you're all winners in our eyes" - CEO Allan Watkiss

Thorne Hill, last year’s British Country Music Association (BCMA) Entertainer of the Year and the reigning 2017 UK Country Artist Of The Year, a 3-time finalist and Male Country Singer Of The Year in 2016 received no nominations this time around. Although seen in attendance (non-performer) the Country to Country 2018 Festival he has been strangely absent, deleted his Twitter account and not published any live gigs since the beginning of November 2017 but just performed at the Towerfest Festival (as a recent replacement for an female Irish act)

Allan Watkiss (L) with last years Artist of the Year winner Thorne Hill (R)

The winner of the UK Female Country Singer Of The Year for the last 2 years Zenne Kober described as “one of the best female performers in the UK”, received no nods for 2018.
Gary Quinn, last years holder of UK Male Country Singer Of The Year did not receive enough votes to be nominated in any of the categories.

Glasgow based duo Raintown, an act who have won just about every UK Country award possible last years UK Country Duo Of The Year (second win) and former Album and Artist of the year in 2016 were not of the radar for voters in 2018!
A few years back, the height of their awards popularity they expressed a wish to reach the very top on the world stage. Their big goal and dream is to win a CMA Award in America!
On April 6, 2018 they released a new single “Run With the Night” (Amazon UK - UK iTunes) which debuted at #37 UK Country iTunes (#687 UK iTunes overall). It climbed to a peak at No.10 (#522/ #527 overall) before falling back to #15 (#698). The following day (Sat Apr 7) it fell to #32 (#1173 overall), then #28 (#1194), then #38 (off top 1500). By Mon Apr 9 it fell off the iTunes Top 200 UK Country Singles chart.

About - playing the Hottest Country Music for the UK, 24 hours a day
Contact: PO Box 318 Leeds LS26 1DD | Email: is a radio station that plays independent UK country music artists alongside the big names from America, providing a much-needed outlet for their creative work.
The station is put together by a team of volunteers and radio professionals – all of whom share a common love of country music. are proud to work with all UK country artists, regardless of their age or previous achievements, as long as their musical work meets minimum quality standards.
The station want to play a part in ensuring and encouraging a thriving, diverse country music scene in the UK.’s MISSION: 
WE LOVE COUNTRY MUSIC AND PLAY..... The best in UK Country from the likes of Jackie Storrar, McKenzie, Dave Sheriff, Lynne Butler, Carolann B, Jonny Williams, Fred Kinsey III, Arizona Wes, The Cutlers Of Cornwall, Richard Plank & Guy Charles, Peter Williams......alongside the big names from America such as Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, George Strait, Sugarland, Keith Urban, Alison Krauss, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Alan Jackson, Jason Aldean, Rodney Atkins, Lady Antebellum, James Otto, Kellie Pickler, The Eagles, Emerson Drive, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts, Big & Rich, Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry - playing the Hottest Country Music for the UK, 24 hours a day, at

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