Caitlyn Shadbolt has been honing her craft as a singer and songwriter for almost 8 years and now at just 19 years of age, is truly a star on the rise. Caitlyn’s talent, charm and infectious, easy-going personality came to prominence in 2014 when she spent 12 weeks performing to millions of viewers on the high rating, national music show, X Factor, where she achieved an amazing Top 5 position. Not bad for a country girl from Gympie, SE Queensland!
When her hometown staged a concert in her honor in November last year to celebrate her TV success, more than 3,000 people turned out to embrace the girl who, during the series, had proudly talked about growing up in the former gold mining town that interestingly was originally named ‘Nashville’. So highly regarded is Caitlyn by her local community she was chosen to be the Youth Ambassador for Tourism for the region for 2015.
Not one to just bask in the limelight of a television show, by late 2014 Caitlyn had recorded her debut single, ‘Maps Out The Window’ which was released at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January 2015 and went straight to number 1 on the iTunes country singles chart. By July Caitlyn had signed her first recording deal with ABC Music, a label that has enjoyed major success with its stellar roster of country artists that includes Lee Kernaghan, Beccy Cole, Sara Storer, Travis Collins and Jasmine Rae.
By late the same month, Caitlyn had released a second single, ‘Shoot Out The Lights’ from her self-titled debut EP along with an accompanying video clip.
With demand building for live appearances, Caitlyn was approached to perform and act as ambassador for the iconic Gympie Music Muster where she shared the bill with Australian hit makers Sheppard, Adam Brand and Troy Cassar-Daley. Apart from a triumphant main stage performance at the ‘Muster’, Caitlyn left her mark on the massive event when her EP was the biggest seller across the entire festival! On the touring front, Caitlyn and ABC Music stable mate, Travis Collins, were joined by 2015 Toyota Starmaker Winner, Mickey Pye under the banner of ‘Un-Wired’, a run of acoustic shows talking in venues across Queensland and NSW from September to December.
With her fan base and social media followers growing at an extraordinary rate, Caitlyn’s second single, ‘Shoot Out The Lights’, hit number 1 the Music Network Country Airplay Chart after just 4 weeks while the accompanying music video went on to achieve the top spot on the CMC National charts. In November Caitlyn was nominated for a Golden Guitar Award for Best New Talent, and released ‘Pushing Through’, the third single from her self-titled, debut EP.
And just when she thought she had enjoyed all the career highlights she could achieve in one year, in December Caitlyn was announced as the winner of the Commercial Radio Australia New Artist to Nashville Scholarship.
The award provides Caitlyn with the opportunity to perform at the American Country Music Association’s global artist showcase GlobaLive! at the world’s largest country music festival, the CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Tennessee, June 2016.
Joan Warner, chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia, said Caitlyn was a deserving winner of the scholarship, which is provided annually to a country artist by the Australian commercial radio industry in conjunction with the CMA.
“The showcase will provide Caitlyn with a platform to reach and cultivate US music fans, as well as gain attention from the music industry and press,” Ms. Warner said.
“We’re delighted to support new music talent and we believe Caitlyn will be a fantastic representative of Australian country music at the event.”
Caitlyn kicked off 2016 with a number of dynamic performances at the Tamworth Country Music Festival including an unforgettable collaboration with Lee Kernaghan at the Australian Country Music Awards. On 10th March Caitlyn took out the highly converted ‘CMC New Artist’ Award at a star-studded event held at QPAC in Brisbane before performing a perfect set to a sold out crowd at CMC Rocks the following day.
In June Caitlyn will travelled to Nashville where she performed at the CMA Music Festival and wrote songs for her debut album due for release in the first half of 2017. In November, Caitlyn was again nominated for Best New Talent in the Country Music Awards of Australia (Golden Guitars, Tamworth) ahead of her performances during the iconic festival in January 2017.
There is no stopping this hugely talented ‘pocket rocket’ whose star will no doubt continue to soar and shine brightly!