Whanganui singer Sophie Toyne, 10, has won 'Junior Entertainer of the Year' at the 41st New Zealand Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year Awards, for the second year in a row.
Guest singers at the event were Gray Bartlett, Jodi Vaughan, and Brendan Dugan.
Sophie said there were a series of "mini competitions" around the country leading up to the event, with the winner from each one competing for the grand prize in at a sold-out Great Lakes Centre in Taupō.
"I could have been a 'guest artist' this year, but I chose to enter the competition again not thinking this would happen, so I'm really happy," Sophie said.
"I sang two gospel songs. The first one was 'Jealous of the Angels' by Donna Taggert, and the second one was 'Temporary Home' by Carrie Underwood."
Sophie said that the New Zealand Country Music Association had organised a series of live-streamed concerts over the Covid-19 lockdown period, which she had taken part in.
"Every night there would be a guest artist, and that really helped because you still got to interact with other country artists in the lockdown.
"It was really fun, and my family that lives in Australia got to watch me as well."
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Sophie, who is a regular busker at the Whanganui River Markets, said she "wouldn't have been in the competition at all" without the help of her vocal coach, Elaine Holden
"Elaine really helps me with everything I do.
"My guitar is the musical instrument I use when I sing in competitions, but I can also play the ukelele. At the moment I'm learning how to play the piano as well. Hopefully, I can learn to play the banjo too, because I ended up buying one with my busking money.
"I love it when I go down there (the River Markets) because I always end up meeting new people, and some of them have invited me to do gigs, which is really helpful.
"At the market, I play quite a lot of pop songs and country music. At the moment I'm really inspired by Maddie and Tae, who do lots of duets together, and another artist who I really like is Guy Sebastian."
Sophie said the next competition on her radar was the 2021 New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards in Gore.