craRising country music star, Sinead Burgess has been awarded the 2009 Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) Scholarship for Breakthrough Country Artist. The scholarship is awarded in conjunction with the CMA (Country Music Association of America) Australian Advisory Group.

Chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia, Joan Warner said the scholarship was an important way for the commercial radio industry to support country music.

“Congratulations to Sinead who has a great opportunity to further her career in the USA and also to promote the talents of Australian country music,” Ms Warner said.

Previous winners include Travis Collins, Shea Fisher Jake Nickolai and in 2008, the McClymonts.

The award includes an invitation to perform as a special guest artist at the NA2R (New Artist 2 Radio) showcase during the annual Commercial Radio Conference and awards. The event gives unsigned artists a special opportunity to showcase their talents in front of the top industry players in Australian commercial radio and the opportunity to win massive airplay support across the country.

The CRA scholarship also includes return airfares to Nashville, USA with seven days accommodation, with an opportunity to perform at the CMA Global Artist Showcase at the CMA Music Festival, the world’s biggest country music festival.

This is yet another major opportunity for Sinead, in a year that’s seen the release of her debut EP ‘You Get Me’ and a raft of national tour dates and festival appearances alongside artists such as Taylor Swift, Pete Murray, Adam Harvey and Powderfinger. Sinead is currently working on her debut album, to be released in 2010 through ABC / Universal Music Australia and has been writing album material with this likes of Guy Sebastian and Damien Leith.

Sinead said: “I’m excited and honored to have been given the opportunity to perform at the NA2R showcase and the CMA Music Festival. I can’t wait!”