Natalie Loftin was crowned the winner of the 14-weeu Radio Star talent search by Clear Channel Radio and Epic Records, along with national sponsor Winterfresh gum. Loftin will receive an Epic Records recording contract, $50,000, and a chance to perform in Z100/New York's Jingle Ball and KIIS-FM/Los Angeles' Jingle Ball concerts. She will also receive management representation from the William Morris Agency.
What began with thousands of auditions from local artists in 85 markets nationwide, Radio Star judges chose seven artists to be featured each week during the nationally broadcast "Radio Star Showcase," with host and Z100 morning show personality, Elvis Duran. Each week, listeners voted for their favorite artist featured on that week's show, using online polling, powered by Ratethemusic.com, via the dedicated Radio Star Web site. Listeners also voted for the three finalists and the winner by phone via a toll-free number from Radio Voodoo. The weekly winner advanced to the final round, which began in mid-May. Surviving each round of the competition, and the winner of "Radio Star Showcase 4," Loftin won over radio listeners across the country. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner