Home » News » David Wilcox Wins 23rd Annual USA Songwriting Competition


Singer Songwriter David Wilcox won the top award (Overall Grand Prize) as well as Best Folk Song award at the 23rd Annual USA Songwriting Competition. David is now 20 Albums into a career marked by personal revelation and wildly loyal fans. Considered a ‘songwriter’s songwriter’, his lyrical insight is matched by a smooth baritone voice, virtuosic guitar chops, and creative open tunings. Wilcox was a winner of the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk award in 1988, and by 1990 his A&M Records debut had sold over 100,000 copies. Another A&M Records release “Big Horizon” charted on the Billboard 200 Album Charts. His latest album, “The View From the Edge” was released earlier this year, and many people consider it among his finest work to date.

“I’m grateful my song was selected winner of the top prize in the USA Songwriting competition. This recognition inspires me to continue the work. I love the process of writing, and this will help me follow through when the next song idea pops into my head. Thanks to the judges, and thank you to everyone at the competition for supporting the art of songwriting”, said a very jubilant David Wilcox, who is currently on tour promoting his current album. A dedicated and consummate songwriter, whose work has been covered by KD Lang and others, David often teaches the art songwriting at workshops.

The Overall Second Prize of the USA Songwriting Competition went to William Carpenter, Robert Gillies and Art Andranikyan, from the rock group “Ships Have Sailed.” The Los Angeles based group won with their song “Let’s Just Dance”.

The Overall Third Prize went to Michael McDaniel, Mike DeCole, J Isaac and Robbie Rob of Minneapolis, MN, who wrote the song “Man 4 Me”.




Other notable wins include Nashville based songwriters Hailey Steele and Jay Clementi with their song “Where I Thought I’d Be” won an Honorable Mention Award. Hailey Steele was on “Team Christina” on The Voice USA, season 2, and has since had two publishing deals and songs cut by Raelynn (song “Boyfriend”) and Kalie Shorr (song “Fight Like A Girl”). Jay Clementi is currently signed with Sony/ATV Music Publishing and had his first #1 on the Billboard Charts hit last year with Luke Bryan, with his song “Move.”

Samantha Nelson, also an Honorable Mention Winner this year with her song “Seatbelt”, has signed a publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group. She is a professional songwriter with cuts with Deborah Cox “More Than I Knew”, which hit #16 on the Billboard Charts.

Ten of fifteen category First Prize category winners this year were multi-way collaborations, including all the finalists in the Pop and Country categories. More details on the winners can be seen at https://www.songwriting.net/winners


USA Songwriting Competition has a long history of having winners getting recording and publishing contracts, have their songs placed on the charts as well as having their songs placed on film and television. 2013 winner American Authors were signed to Island Records, and hit #1 on the Billboard Charts and went Double Platinum.

The 2017 top winner Pricilla Renea had her song “Love So Soft” recorded by Kelly Clarkson, it hit #47 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts. Her songs have recorded by other big name artists such as Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Fifth Harmony, Demi Lovato, Rihanna, Madonna, Selena Gomez and Chris Brown. Several of her songs have hit the Billboard Hot 100 Charts.

2015’s winning song “Are You Ready” by Distant Cousins was featured on the final season of American Idol as well as the Box office hit motion picture ‘This Is Where I Leave You‘, starring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey.

The top two winners of 2011: Nenna Yvonne and Alexander Cardinale were signed to Interscope Records after their win. The 2007 winner Ari Gold hit Top 10 on the Billboard charts with his winning song. The 2005 Winner of the Country category had his winning song cut by Country Superstar Faith Hill. The 2005 winner of the Pop category was signed by Interscope Records; she went on to hit Top 10 on the Billboard 200 Album charts. Our 2008 winner appeared on David Letterman TV show and was signed to a record label.

USA Songwriting Competition is sponsored by: D’Addario Strings, Godin Guitars, Acoustic Guitar Magazine, New Music Weekly, Loggins Promotion, Airplay Access, Audio-Technica, FL Software, Sonoma Wireworks, Berklee College of Music, DiscMakers, CDBaby, StoryBlocks, School of Rock, Final Mix Software and more.

In its landmark year, the 24th Annual USA Songwriting Competition is currently accepting entries. For more information, visit: https://www.songwriting.net/


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