Jackson Owens, 16, off to join US boy band

By Dee Wilson -
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Jackson Owens
Jackson Owens

Move over Lorde. A 16-year-old Turangi boy could be the next New Zealand musician to find international stardom.

Jackson Owens flew to the United States yesterday to start a music career as the fourth member of a newly formed American boy band. The teenager was discovered online by an American agent responsible for promoting some of America's best-known boy bands.

Jackson was signed last November but was unable to reveal the news until now. He flew out for Orlando, Florida, last night to join the band, whose name is still under wraps.

Jackson's story was to feature on Te Karere and TV One news yesterday.

It is not the first time the teenager has travelled overseas to perform. In 2010, at the age of 12, he was a competitor in the World Championships of Performing Arts, taking home a gold medal, two silvers and a plaque for winning his division in the vocal open category up to age 15.

The former Tauhara College student's year group dean, Rebecca Harvey, said the teenager studied music but mainly performed out of school.

"He was really talented and comes from a very supportive musical family."

She said the teenager was extremely polite and quite reserved in the classroom, and although he did perform at school now and then he followed his passion for pop music - promoting himself on Facebook and YouTube - with most of his performing opportunities coming out of the school arena.

That included opening for Stan Walker a couple of years ago.

She said his mother let the school know when school finished last year he would be heading to the United States but they were asked to keep it quiet.

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