STAN WALKER was named the 2009 Australian Idol last night in front of a record Idol-crowd at the Sydney Opera House.
The former Byron Bay High School student topped the viewers poll and now looks likely to follow in the footsteps of previous winners including Wes Carr and Guy Sebastian.
He is the seventh winner of the top-rating competition.
Holding back tears, Stan last night thanked God and his family as a group of fans performed the Maori Haka in his honour.
“I just want to thank God, man, hey I want to thank my family for coming and supporting me, my family they came from New Zealand,” the soul singer told the crowd
Stan saw off 17-year-old rock chick Hayley Warner, of Sydney, to win the coveted title, and pick up a record contract with Stadium Records.
The Walker family moved to Byron Bay from New Zealand in 2005.
Although they moved again to Coolangatta in 2007, Stan previously told The Northern Star his time with Byron High music teacher Darko Milic helped make him the singer he is today.
Other former Northern Rivers Idol contestants include Tabulam pig farmer Peter Ryan and Ngaiire Joseph, from Lismore.
Stan’s brother Russ, who is also a talented singer, told The Northern Star last week of their close relationship.
“I get emotional even just thinking about my little brother making it to the final of Australian Idol, and even if he doesn’t win he’s got his foot in the door,” he said.
“I used to just get annoyed by him, but to see him changing and becoming a man in front of our eyes, it’s just amazing.”
The competition favourite wrote on his preparations for last night on his blog this week.
“It’s been a really, really, really, really busy, hectic, overwhelming week. I have no emotions anymore!
“I don’t even know what’s happening. Far out! It’s a mix between over excitement, it’s just so big that I’ve come to this stillness, this silence. But it’s awesome. I’m more than blessed.”
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