Wade Forster

In January 2024, Australian rodeo cowboy and country music artist Wade Forster became the 44th winner of Toyota Star Maker – Australia’s most prestigious country music competition.


Born in outback Queensland, Wade was raised on both a cowboy lifestyle and country music.

He would often sing along to songs while travelling around the professional rodeo circuit and was praised for having a good voice but didn’t pursue music until later in his life.

In 2017, he left his hometown of Winton to pursue a career opportunity in refrigeration in Mount Isa then bought his first guitar from Facebook for $50 and spent his free time learning how to play. By the end of his time in Mount Isa, he was playing for people at rodeos and Facebook viewers.

In August 2023, US artist Cody Johnson, was set to tour with US superstar Luke Combs, when Johnson told the media he
wanted to win a buckle at an Australian rodeo. Wade reached out on social media and invited Cody to the Queensland rodeo circuit and a few days later they were riding alongside each other in the team roping and steer wrestling at a Townsville rodeo.

Cody returned the invitation for Wade to perform with him at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne and played in front of 25,000 Luke Combs’ fans. Wade said; “I’m not afraid of the bright lights, but I didn’t think anyone would know me.
“People think I’m from America and when they said my name I had shivers down my body.”

He’s been influenced by American artists like Dwight Yoakam, George Jones, Tom T Hall and Tyler Childers.

In 2021, he released a cover of a Tyler Childers’ song Oneida online and he realised music might be more than a hobby, after gaining a lot of attention, and listeners asking for original songs.

He invested his pay and recorded a country album, The Beginning, at Simon Johnson’s Hillbilly Hut Studio and began building a fanbase of national and international cowboys and cowgirls, using streaming services.

In January 2023, Wade attended the Tamworth Country Music Festival for the first time where he participated in and graduated from The Senior Academy of Country Music.

He had a goal to return and make the top 10 of Toyota Star Maker – he made it happen.

Whilst fairly new to the country music scene, Wade is playing at gigs and rodeos in and around Western Queensland and has played at Winton’s Way-Out West festival, and at the 2023 Savannah In The Round in Mareeba, in Far North Queensland.

With the demand online and listeners eagerly wanting more, Wade has a lot more music yet to be released. His passion for music and rodeo inspires his writing process and will continue to influence his desire to succeed in both rodeo and the music industry.

Following his performance in Star Maker, his song Rodeo Romeo, which he performed at the grand final, has been released to radio.