In April 2022, Australian country music artist Max Jackson became the 42nd winner of Toyota Star Maker – Australia’s most prestigious country music competition.

Max follows in the footsteps of many including 1990 winner US country superstar Keith Urban, Lee Kernaghan, James Blundell, Beccy Cole, Travis Collins, Brad Cox, New Zealand’s Kaylee Bell, and for over 10 years, Max has been touring with, and mentored by, five-times Golden Guitar winner Gina Jeffreys, the 1991 Star Maker winner.

Max grew up in the small town of Coonamble, located on the central western plains of New South Wales, with a population of 2,750. She has since relocated to the harbour city of Newcastle.

Raised on country music, Max has been forging her way to a successful career, stepping from talent quests, graduating from both the Talent Development Project – one of the most successful development programs in the Australian music and entertainment industry, and the Country Music Association of Australia’s The Academy of Country Music, and for a short time, was part of the successful group, The Apprentices (2012). Max is ready to take centre stage.

Inspired by female writers who really have something to say, like Kacey Musgraves, Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crowe and Dolly Parton, Max has been happy as a behind-the-scenes songwriter, honing her craft, and taking trips to Nashville and Los Angeles, and writing with international and Australian artists. A highlight was a co-write with Nashville-based pop artist Svrcina on the song Astronomical which has had over 3.4 million YouTube views to date (*May 2022) and was included in the smash US, The CW Television Network TV Series, ‘Legacies’.

In February 2020, Max released her debut album Life Of The Party and Australian magazine, Country Music Capital News’ described her songs as “carefully crafted, nuanced and expertly woven together”, whilst legendary Australian songwriter, Colin Buchanan said; “It’s just such an accomplished album. The songs are sharp, the production is vivid and full of life. And Max is the star of the show, singing with assurance, spirit and sublime control.”

In early June 2022, Max received a sponsored trip to Nashville by Chris Watson Travel – Tamworth. As part of her trip, she was invited to perform on the CMA International Songwriters Showcase as well as appear on the CMA Spotlight Stage. Following writing sessions with Aussie ex-pat Phil Barton, he invited Max to perform at the famous Bluebird Café, before writing with another ex-pat Kylie Sackley (2001 Star Maker winner), as well as with songwriter Bruce Wallace (Dierks Bentley, Trace Adkins).

On June 24, Max released her first Star Maker single Runnin’, which catapulted onto playlists including Apple’s Country Risers, Aussie Country, Lil Bit Country, KIX Country Radio Network, Spotify’s Fresh Country plus ABC Country Radio and Saturday Night Country. The accompanying music video was quickly added to CMT Australia with an out-of-the-box addition. Shot at various locations around Newcastle, the video was produced and directed by Jeremy Minett of Eyes + Eyes Creative.

Max is putting the finishing touches to her four-track EP, which she won as part of her Star Maker prize.