Guitar Center, in partnership with producer RedOne, named John Russell from Savannah, GA, winner of Guitar Center's Sixth Annual Singer-Songwriter competition at the Grand Finale on Friday, March 24, 2017, at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, Calif.
Nearly 10,000 undiscovered songwriters from across the country sent in their submissions to Guitar Center's Singer-Songwriter for a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to produce their own EP with RedOne and Australian singer-songwriter Cody Simpson, who will serve as mentor to help kick start their career. The top five aspiring artists were hand-selected by RedOne to compete onstage at the Grand Finale, where John Russell was ultimately crowned.
Hosted by YouTube musical sensation Clara C, the night featured an opening collaborative performance with Kate Brady (last year's winner of Singer-Songwriter) and Streetlight Cadence, followed by a special performance by Australian singer-songwriter Cody Simpson. RedOne watched as each of the five finalists took the stage to perform their final showcase of songs before announcing John as the grand prize-winner.
Before winning Singer-Songwriter, Russell composed songs for commercials and TV, while maintaining his passion for creating original material for his own pursuits, which ultimately led to him earning the winning title of the 6th annual talent search. Driven by hooks, John marries a strategic songwriting process with his unique artistic flow to craft each song. Through his vocal talent and extensive proficiency in nine different instruments, John’s sound straddles pop, rock, funk, and jazz to create a genre all his own. He looks forward to growing as an artist through the guidance of RedOne, Cody Simpson and support of Guitar Center.
"I am overwhelmed with emotion to have won Guitar Center's Singer-Songwriter program. After my wife losing her job and friends and family encouraging me to do it, I took a leap of faith. It felt like the right time. I entered the competition because I wanted to share my story with people. Music was always a hobby of mine, but they pushed to me to pursue it. Now, the only way to go is up – to make music with RedOne that brings hope to people. Not everyone gets this chance, and I'm eternally grateful to Guitar Center for this opportunity,” said Russell.
Watch John’s winning performance HERE.