BREAKING records is not going well with Troy Cassar-Daley.

He says that, above all else, it’s the overwhelming sense of pride he has as a country artist and his passion to see the industry grow that drives him.

But like it or not, the industry icon now holds the record for the most gold guitars ever won by an individual artist.

With 40 to his name, that puts him above the iconic Slim Dusty and the legendary Lee Kernaghan who both have 38.

“It means the world to me…I never thought I would make it,” he told the Leader.

“That probably means I’m also becoming an older generation musician in country music, which I’m totally cool with.”

On a historic night, Cassar-Daley was named Male Artist of the Year at the 50and Golden Guitar Award.

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his album The world today won gold in the Best Selling Album of the Year category, while his track South with Ian Moss was named Vocal Collaboration of the Year.

Prior to the evening, he said he discussed the possibility of breaking the record with Joy McKean, wife of the late Slim Dusty.

“I’ve been in contact with Joy about this before, and it’s not working out for me, breaking records,” he said.

“I’m not that kind of person, I don’t want to break anyone’s legacy. But hearing encouraging words from Joy meant the world to me.”

In his talks with Lee Kernaghan, he said the two agreed “they didn’t want to be the only one”.

“I just feel like it’s just wrong,” he laughed.

“But I have this other side of me that says ‘there’s this great pride that you carry with you as a country artist to carry on and grow the industry.’

“It’s a big problem, it’s probably the biggest problem of my whole career, and I have to prepare for it.”

Photo: Peter Hardin

Sound 13and studio album the world today, released in 2021, paints a vivid picture of his world at a time when he was dealing with huge loss.

“Music became my therapist, and I’ve never been to a therapist before,” he said.

“Losing my dad in 2019 and losing a very good musician friend about three months after – both suicides – was really heartbreaking for me and I carried that through COVID.

“It wasn’t the happiest place and I kind of shut down.”

The album’s first single, Back home, is about acceptance, and it’s a song Cassar-Daley said the world needed.

“The underlying feeling is that this is basically a one-shot policy and that’s what my life has been like since I was a kid,” he said.

“Everyone was welcome at my fire – I don’t care what politics you have or what religion or race you are.”

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