GALLERY: Stars shine in Tamworth

COUNTRY music golden girl Catherine Britt was the final Newcastle star to step onto the red carpet at the  2013 Country Music Awards of Australia tonight.

For rolling coverage of the 2013 Country Music Awards of Australia, click here.

The songstress beamed in a tropically inspired pink dress as she faced her biggest night to date at the Golden Guitars.

Britt, 28, leads the Golden Guitar award nominations with seven nods, including best female artist and best album for her record Always Never Enough.

‘‘This  last album was more personal than my other records,’’ Britt said.

‘‘The first golden guitar I won was best female artist then best single last year. It would be great to win best album tonight. That would be the ultimate .’’

GALLERY: Hunter musicians at Tamworth Country Music Awards

Britt was among a number of top female country stars who wore red dresses on the red carpet. Kasey Chambers also wore a flowing red frock as did the Sunny Cowgirls and Tamara Stewart.

The Hunter nominees arrived thick and fast. Lyn Bowtell, who is nominated for best female artist of the year along with Britt, arrived at the awards for the first time in years without Bella, former Golden Guitar winners.

‘‘It’s different not having the girls to back me up but I’m enjoying the ride,’’ she said.

Fellow Hunter nominees Bob Corbett and Troy Kemp from McAlister Kemp waved and greeted the hordes of country music fans who stood for an hour waiting for their arrival.

‘‘We got here last Thursday and haven’t stopped. We’ve really given it a good nudge,’’ Corbett said.

Kemp has been giving fans joyrides around Tamworth in the McAlister Kemp monster truck.

Corbett, the 2012 Toyota Star Maker, has been nominated for three awards including best new talent category, while Kemp, of McAlister Kemp, is up for album of the year and duo of the year.

More than 55,000 people visit Tamworth over the 10-day festival, which culminates in the 2013 Country Music Awards of Australia.

This year’s festival has featured more than 400 artists performing at 80 venues across Tamworth.

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