Stars in running for ARIA honours

NEWCASTLE country stars Catherine Britt and Troy Kemp will go head to head for an ARIA award next month.

The artists have been nominated for best country album at the awards, to be staged at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on Thursday, November 29.

Britt got a nod for her album Always Never Enough, which reached No 3 on the ARIA country charts.

Kemp, who is part of the duo McAlister Kemp with music partner Drew McAlister, received his first ARIA nomination for their record Country Proud.

Both artists have Golden Guitars but are yet to claim an ARIA award. Britt, who started her career at age 17 in Nashville, has been nominated for an ARIA six times.

"I always hope to win. But awards are awards and I'm just happy to get the recognition," Britt said after the nomination announcement in Sydney yesterday.

"We're stoked," Kemp said. "The last few years we were happy just to win a Golden Guitar but to be nominated for an ARIA and rub shoulders with the who's who of music in Sydney today was great."

A proud Novocastrian, Britt released a single this week titled Charlestown Road about the street she grew up in at Charlestown.

Britt and Kemp will compete against Beccy Cole (Songs and Pictures), The McClymonts (Two Worlds Collide) and Troy Cassar-Daley (Home).

This year's nominations are a mix of new and established artists.

Quick-witted Melbourne rapper 360 leads the way with six nominations, including album of the year, breakthrough artist and best urban album nods for Falling & Flying.

Following close behind with five nominations are Gotye and Byron Bay quartet The Jezabels.

Gotye's nominations include album of the year, best male artist and best pop release. The Jezabels' prospective haul includes best group, best independent release, best rock album and album of the year.

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