NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Capitol Records Nashville has just launched "The Road to Nashville," an innovative online country music talent search contest that gives aspiring country singers the chance to become Nashville's next big country star by auditioning at http://bix.yahoo.com/TheRoadToNashville.
With the help of Bix, Yahoo!'s online contest site, the online audio and video karaoke contest provides a unique opportunity for an aspiring country singer to ultimately win $50,000 and a trip to Nashville to record three demos and experience in-studio time with top Capitol Records executives.
Contestants will be judged by the public voting online during the first two rounds of the contest. In addition, Grammy-nominated Capitol Records recording artist, Jamie O'Neal, will be amongst an special panel of judges to select from 10 finalists and name the grand prize winner.
"There's an incredible amount of unheard talent out there waiting to be discovered and I'm thrilled to be part of a project that opens up the discovery process to the estimated one billion members of the online community," said O'Neal, whose pair of number one hits — "There Is No Arizona" and "When I Think About Angels" — both earned her songwriter Grammy nominations for Country Song of the Year. "I can't wait to see the performances and help discover Nashville's newest voice of country."
Round One runs April 3 – June 26; 50 semifinalists will be voted on to move to the second round. Semi-finals are July 10 – August 7. During this second round, 50 semifinalists will be given free webcams and asked to submit one video karaoke performance, from which 10 finalists will be chosen by the Internet community. The Final Round is August 21-28. Ten finalists will be flown to Nashville for their final audition, which will be taped live in front of an expert panel of judges on August 21-22. A grand prize winner will be selected to receive $50,000 and a demo deal.
"With the growth of the Internet and the amazing undiscovered talent that we know exists across the country — as evidenced by the success of American Idol – we now have the opportunity to let the public vote on our next big country star," said Larry Willoughby, Capitol Records vice president, A&R. "The future of talent discovery will include participation from the very audience that is the true test of ultimate success because they are the purchasers of records or albums online." — Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner