BUNDABERG man Justin Standley is retiring from the music industry, and has taken to Facebook to thank and farewell his fans.
The post attracted more than 100 messages of support and thanks from Mr Standley's fan base.
This is what he said:
I guess this is my resignation letter.
I love Australian country music. I love writing songs and performing. Being a finalist in the Toyota Star Maker has been a dream (or day dream) of mine for many years. I'm happy I've done it, but I feel that I have gone as far as I can possibly go.
I've recorded an album, I've toured Australia as part of the LBS showband and as a soloist (in concert events and smaller events).
But it is a tough industry to survive in and I have to submit, that it is too tough for me.
There are some dreams I never got to realise regarding my music: I always wanted to record with Matt Fell, I wanted to be nominated for a Gold Guitar, I wanted to be able to make enough money from country music to survive financially and provide for myself and my family, I wanted to meet Sara Storer (I'm so madly in love with her but I'd probably fall to pieces if I did!)…
…it is so healthy to have dreams, and I accomplished more of my country music dreams than probably what I deserved, or what many others would wish to achieve for themselves…
It has been a remarkable year since X Factor 2012. I promised myself, my children, my family, friends and supporters that I would do all I possibly could to make it as a country artist, but I would only give it a year, and then evaluate whether or not I should keep trying…. there have been times over this last year that I have been so broke that I couldn't pay rent, or didn't have enough money or petrol to make it to the next town, or couldn't provide for my children when they needed me to, when people I loved missed me too much… I owe many thousands of dollars and I have to face the fact that I'm not going to make that sort of money from music, I have to stop now and get a "real" job (whatever that is).
The thing I've loved the most, are the audiences. You have always been so wonderful to me.
I know I have many supporters and I am very grateful to you all, and I hope you can understand my reasons for bowing out of the game.
I still have performance commitments throughout 2014, and I will still be honouring these.
Although I am sad I couldn't have done better, I am also relieved that I can try and go back to a more normal life.
Big hugs and God bless,
What the fans said:
- Don't quit, won't be easy but follow your dream. Don't give a time limit on life. Try and work part time etc. Whatever you decide to do I wish you well. xxx - Sandra O'Donnell
- Never give up mate. Never. - Pete O'Brien
- Much respect to you and your music. Wishing you all the happiness in the world. - Donna Corr
- This saddens me but good luck for whatever comes your way I hope you don't stop singing. - Coral Blazely
- Good Luck, Justin with whatever venture you take on... you have a lovely, talented voice xx - Beryl Searle