An official investigation has been launched into the recent Country Music Association of Australia awards (CMAA) to find out how one of the coveted Golden Guitar trophies was handed to the wrong artist.
Organisers of last month's (Jan11) ceremony were left red-faced when host Ray Hadley incorrectly announced Lee Kernaghan as the winner of the Best Album prize.
Graeme Connors was later revealed as the victor and CMAA bosses were forced to apologise for the mistake.
A retired police prosecutor has now been hired to independently investigate how the mix-up happened and why it was not immediately corrected. Ian Burkinshaw will launch his inquiry on Thursday (03Feb11).
CMAA chairman Rod Laing tells the AAP, "If there is something that is certainly not right, if there is an alleged cover-up, if that's proven to be true, well, there's got to be action, especially if the board want to retain their credibility and the credibility of the awards as well. Of course, this is not a court of the law. If someone chooses not to be part of it, I guess, that's a reality... I'm not going to tolerate a cover-up that's intentional. I don't think the fans would want that and I certainly know the artists don't want that."
Connors' publicist, Phil Manning, has shrugged off the investigation, insisting the mix-up doesn't "stack up to one of the major problems of the world at the moment".