New accolades, fans and awards just keep finding Kendra Kay and shining an ever-brighter spotlight on her musical journey.
The silver-sequined singer from Elkhorn opened up the awards show put on by the Manitoba Country Music Association (MCMA) in Winnipeg on Nov. 10.
Kay and her four-man band kicked off the two-hour show with a heartfelt adaptation of the John Denver hit, Take Me Home Country Roads, with lyrics reworked into a tribute to Manitoba:
Almost heaven, Manitoba,
Riding Mountain, Assiniboine River,
Life is old there, older than the trees,
Younger than the prairies, going far as you can see.
That performance was just the first of three trips Kay made to the stage that evening. The second came when country artist and emcee Jason McCoy opened the envelope and announced:
“And the winner of the 2019 Female Artist of the Year is… Kendra Kay!”
Kay made her way through the crowd to the podium and gave her thank yous with composure:
"I'm gonna start this off by saying this is a full circle moment for me, because my very first single that I put out back in 2014, Jason McCoy wrote it, so this is pretty cool to be presented by him.
“I need to thank everybody who has supported me along the way. My mom and dad, I say this all the time but they are my biggest supporters and I literally could not do what I do without them. They push me to be better, they encourage me to keep going when things get tough. And I’m grateful for them.
“Of course Jeremy, thank you so much for all the hard work we've done together. You're the best manager I could ever ask for. The team at Johnson Talent Management has been a dream to work with for so many years.
“Of course the guys in the band: Mike, Troy, Paul, Ben, you guys have become brothers to me and I wouldn't have it any other way, thanks for the way you make me look and sound on stage.
“And one last person I gotta thank is my boyfriend who isn't here today. As everybody knows, this fall has been really bad and he's at home in the field. But I want to thank him because he's my big support system at home.
“And to the MCMAs, everybody that voted, thank you guys so much."
Kay was called to the stage again at the end of the program to accept the Fans’ Choice Award, which she also garnered last year at the 2018 MCMAs: "This one makes my heart pound a little bit faster, this is crazy. None of us could do this without the fans.”
When reached after the show, Kay told the Empire-Advance, "The MCMA award show was amazing, best one to date! I am blown away by receiving these two awards. I am super grateful to have had such a great year and for that to be recognized by my peers in the industry and by all the amazing fans, I truly feel blessed!!"