THE GRAND lady of country music will be given a well-deserved nod at Tamworth Country Music Festival 2020 with the help of Paul Kelly.
Joy McKean's family and festival organisers have put together a stellar line-up of artists to celebrate her 90th birthday.
McKean took out the first Golden Guitar award in 1973 and wrote several of Slim Dusty's most revered songs.
Country music heavyweights Paul Kelly and Don Walker will perform their versions of McKean's compositions.
Joy has been an inspiration to our industry and in a workplace mostly dominated by males, she stood her ground and earned the respect she so rightly deserves.Troy Cassar-Daley
McKean has long been a mentor and credit to the industry, artist Troy Cassar-Daley said.
"Joy has been an inspiration to our industry and in a workplace mostly dominated by males, she stood her ground and earned the respect she so rightly deserves," he said.
"She is a national treasure."
Born January 14, 1930, McKean is recognised as one of Australia's leading songwriters and bush balladeers.
Growing up, she lived on the dairy farm that belonged to her mother's family in Singleton and moved around a lot in her youth.
Encouraged by her parents to get into music, she learned the piano, steel guitar, accordion and eventually yodelling.
She survived a bout of polio as a child, treated by Sydney's famous Sister Kenny.
At about 10 years old, McKean performed for the first time on Sydney's 2GB radio station, eight years later she and her sister Heather had their own half-hour slot on 2KY.
And then she met Slim Dusty, who she married in 1951 and went on to write Lights on the Hill, Walk A Country Mile, Indian Pacific and plenty of others for him.
The historic event Concert for Joy features Paul Kelly, Troy Cassar-Daley, Beccy Cole, Don Walker, Graeme Connors, Sara Storer, Adam Harvey, Bill Chambers, Dean Perrett and so many more.
Those artists will be joined on stage by family of McKean and Slim Dusty, Anne Kirkpatrick, David Kirkpatrick, Hannah Kirkpatrick, Daniel Kirkpatrick, Kate Arneman, James Arneman and Flora Smith.
The concert is on January 22 at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment Conference Centre.
To buy tickets head to tcmf.com.au.