Audible Inc., the leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling, has announced the judges for Breakthrough, the first-ever singing competition series developed and launched exclusively as a podcast. Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, actress and musician Sara Bareilles, and Grammy Award-winning singer and actress Kelly Rowland have signed on to judge the show.
The pair will mentor and guide the performances as well as the artistic development of five artists through a season of musical challenges-- all while each contestant’s physical appearance is concealed, allowing listeners to connect with these undiscovered performers exclusively through their music.
“I am so thrilled to be joining this group of wildly talented people for Breakthrough!” said, Sara Bareilles. “I love that the creative team are on the same journey as our audience - getting to know these artists without seeing them - developing a sense of their artistry through only their music and storytelling. These five incredible souls showed up to each challenge with courage and vulnerability that invited us all into a remarkably intimate space, and I learned so much from them. No matter where you are in your career it is always inspiring to witness someone reach for the deepest parts of themselves and be willing to share that tender space.”
“I am so happy to be a part of this series that highlights and gives a voice to emerging artists,” shared Kelly Rowland. “Audible is an ideal space for this and Breakthrough is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to up-and-coming musicians. I’m rooting for them all!”
Along the way, Grammy and Tony Award-winning host Daveed Diggs will escort listeners on the contestants’ journeys as they learn from industry notables. At the end of the competition, one artist will be crowned the winner of Breakthrough.
Over the course of nine episodes, the artists will be challenged with covering well-known tunes that mean the most to them, stretching to genres outside of their comfort zones, and writing and recording hooks and full original songs. Mid-season prizes, including additional vocal coaching sessions, studio recording time, and recording equipment, will be awarded during each challenge.
Breakthrough premieres on Audible on June 1: audible.com/breakthroughseries