Dianna Corcoran, CMAAs female artist of the year, stopped in Gladstone during her
Dianna Corcoran, CMAAs female artist of the year, stopped in Gladstone during her "Thank-You Australia" Tour.

Thanking the nation

AT a young age, Dianna Corcoran knew that country music was in her soul and she started to pursue it when she was 12.

Her childhood consisted of all the things that would shape a country music star including motor biking, horseback riding and singing, lots of singing.

For five years, Dianna toured the country with her parents while performing at country talent quests and dreaming of the day she'd make it big.

The start to her stardom came in 2003 when she released her self financed album, Little Bit Crazy.

"I had to work three jobs to pay for that album and when it was finished I begged ABC to play one song on the radio," she said.

"It just so happened that Graham Thompson (the Manager of Compass Music Bro's), was listening to the radio that night and I got a call on Monday, which was pretty awesome; I was signed shortly after that."

Then at the 2004 Country Music Awards of Australia (CMAA) Dianna was awarded the Golden Guitar for Best New Talent.

"It was really cool to get it (best new talent) because you only ever get one chance for that award," she said. Adding to the year's outstanding start, she was also one of seven new acts awarded the APRA Professional Development Award.

One of her dreams was to go to Nashville, and the $10,000 that she received from APRA enabled her dream to come true, allowing her to write and record part of her second album while growing exponentially as an artist.

"Working in Nashville showed me a different side to music and writing, it's where you learn how to do your job because everyone there is doing their's so well."

In 2007, Dianna released Then There's Me.

After watching her second album climb the charts with singles like Stepping Stones, Then There's Me and If You Hear Angels, Dianna was awarded the 2008 CMAA's Golden Guitar for Female Artist of the Year.

"It's the biggest and best award they hand out, the one you dream of when you're a little girl," she said.

To show her appreciation for such an amazing award, Dianna decided to go on her Thank-You Australia tour which is currently under way.

Thank You Australia is essentially a road trip where Dianna will drive around and visit various cities around the country to thank the regional communities, who have helped to build her career,

"It's a little crazy because I am still doing my regular tour at the same time, for example, if I am driving along the Gold Coast and have a show in Sydney, I'll leave my car at the airport, fly to Sydney do the show then fly back to my car and continue on the road."

"But I love road trips so I can't think of a better way to do this, I could have sent e-mails out or phoned people but I think the good old fashioned way is still the best."

On Tuesday, Dianna stopped by Gladstone.

"Gladstone is bigger then I remember. Last time I was here it seemed a lot smaller," she said.

She also said that her inspiration to write can come from anywhere; she finds that the best opportunities come from her life experiences and the little random things that happen along the road with the people she meet along the way, so a third album might be on the way.

"All my stories are from real life, they are all honest and real, they have either happened to me or someone I know."

Aside from her two Golden Guitars, her most rewarding accomplishment to date is when she performed for the troops overseas.

In March 2007 she travelled to the Solomon Islands and in June the same year she went to the Middle East.

To make the her amazing trip to the Solomon Islands better that is where she met her "better half" as she said, and they have been together ever since.

Dianna knows how it feels to be an aspiring child and she offers the kids some advice:

"Keep going at it, ignore everyone and listen to your heart," she said, "Don't do it for the money, do it because you want to and know that you have to work hard, really, really hard."

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