February 8th, 2008 11:07 EST
UK Country Awards Double Delights Lucie Diamond
LUCIE DIAMOND'S trophy cabinet is a little fuller this week - after she scooped two awards at the prestigious UK Country Radio Awards at the weekend. (Sunday)
Lucie won the coveted Presenter's Award for her acclaimed CD "I Wanna Be Rich." This award is for the product with the most nominations from the UK radio DJs, and the sheer volume of nominations in one category.
She also picked up the Hotdisc Award for Best Single of 2007, for the title track of her album, "I Wanna Be Rich" which held on to the number one spot in the Hotdisc British country chart for 8 weeks.
At the sold-out Lakeside venue in Surrey, she thanked the British country radio DJs and press for their support and glowing reviews of her CD, which features US legend Delbert McClinton and guitar great Albert Lee, among other notables.
Lucie also paid tribute to the late Sue McCarthy, editor of Southern Country magazine and co-founder of the UK Country Radio Awards, who died a few days before the event after losing her battle with cancer. Sue was a big admirer of Lucie and her music, and supported the young artist with a front cover and several features in the magazine, plus her own personal encouragement.
"I am thrilled to be recognised by the UK's radio DJs who have a choice of thousands of records and major US country artists to play, and they all like my music and have always given me fantastic support, for which I am very grateful, "she said. "I think there should be an award in Sue McCarthy's name, maybe a Horizon Award for new country artists, to keep Sue's memory alive and pay tribute to all she worked for to keep British country in the forefront of people's minds with the magazine, the awards event and the tremendous support and encouragement she gave me and other UK artists over the years."
Immediately after being presented with her two awards, Lucie - who was also nominated for Album of the Year and Single of the Year - took to the stage again with her full 5-piece band (Nobby Cree; Eddie Tatton; Steve Simmonds; Ian Leese and Rob Law) to headline the event with a storming set of rockin' country soul, winning many new fans, a rousing encore and attracting huge praise from many VIPs, including former BBC TV and Radio country stalwart David Allan and PR guru Tony Byworth, both hugely impressed with Lucie's performance, labelling her "sensational" and "a future superstar."
To prove what a trooper she is; the car Lucie was travelling in to the Lakeside venue in Surrey broke down in 5 miles of 2-lane roadworks on the M1 near Luton on her journey from Staffordshire. She was stranded for over an hour until the breakdown people recovered the vehicle, Lucie and her manager to their depot 20 minutes away. Then they had to wait for a second recovery vehicle to get them to the Lakeside venue 90 minutes away. They arrived with 5 minutes to spare before the awards ceremony began, after she had donned her stage gear and makeup in a toilet on a construction site where the first breakdown truck took them!
She still took to the stage with a broad smile to collect her two awards, and then to give the 1,200 strong audience a real treat with her live performance. One of the guests, a top country radio DJ and concert promoter from New Zealand, had flown in to the UK with his wife and gone to the event purely to see Lucie in action. He is now in talks with Lucie's management to arrange a tour in his country later this year.
Last week it was announced that Lucie has also been nominated for SIX awards in the annual European CMA Country Music Awards. The ONLY British artist to be nominated in any categories this year. Lucie's nominations are:
"Female Vocalist of the Year"
"Vocal Collaboration of the Year" (with Arly Karlsen)
"European Artist of the Year"
"European Album of the Year"
"Independent Album of the Year"
"European Song of the Year"
This weekend she flies to Germany with her band, to headline the annual Country Music Messe in Berlin.
[Catch Judyth Piazza's Interview with Lucie Diamond, April 11, 2007, http://www.thesop.org/index.php?id=5019 Ed.]