WITH the press of her hand, Glenwood singer Zeta Burns sealed her legacy as one of the nation's most influential country music artists, at the Tamworth Country Music Festival late last month.
Ms Burns celebrated her 87th birthday on January 23 and the following day received the birthday present of a lifetime when she was inducted into the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame.
To make the induction official, the country music artist pressed her handprint into a dedicated footpath in Tamworth Hands of Fame Park.
"I was really on a high," the country singer said.
Ms Burns put on a show following her induction, overcoming a croaky voice.
"I had been croaky for a while but when we got to Tamworth and when it came time to sing, my voice came good," she said. "My voice was really good and I couldn't get over it."
Nor could the crowd. One adoring fan approached Ms Burns' guitar case following her performance and showed his appreciation with a $50 note.
Ms Burns' hall of fame induction sees her join fellow artists Alwyn Aurisch and Dean Perrett. It was an honour the singer was still coming to terms with yesterday.
"It definitely is a career highlight," she said. "There are so many memories and highlights but this is among the most special.
"Not bad for an old hillbilly like me."
Ms Burns is supported by her partner Ian Hand, who keeps a close eye on the song-writing process from their Glenwood home.
The singer is a traditionalist, maintaining runs in her musical arrangements which she says give her "a break" in between verses.
"A lot of artists don't do this these days but I have always done it that way," she said.
Ms Burns' singing career started at the age of 10 when she enjoyed singing and yodelling with childhood friend Dorothy Juniper in Cairns.
Ms Burns was proud of Gympie's success at Tamworth this year, including standout acts Stephanie Wrigley and young band Two'n'Fro, through to the continued buzz about Caitlyn Shadbolt.
"My advice for anyone just starting out is your dress," she said.
"Always dress for the part and make a good impression with your audience because they will remember."
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