The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) along with presenting sponsors The Bluebird Cafe and CMT are proud to announce details for the 22nd Annual Song Contest! Beginning October 1, 2021, at 12:00pm Central, songwriters around the world are invited to submit their songs and/or lyrics for a chance to win up to $5,000 cash, a one-year single-song contract with Anthem Entertainment, tickets to the 2022 CMT Awards, a 3-day trip to Nashville, and one of two incredible mentor sessions! The winner of the Song Category gets a one-on-one mentor session with mega-hit songwriter RHETT AKINSand the Lyric-Only category winner will get the opportunity to learn from pop songwriting sensation ALI TAMPOSI in a one-on-one mentor session of their own.
Each year the contest provides an opportunity for songwriters of all genres to have their song(s) and lyrics evaluated and judged by industry professionals through several phases of judging, with every entry receiving a scorecard with the song evaluation. Up to 22 entries will place in the contest, and the live final judging phase for the Song Category will feature the Top 10 Finalists’ entries vying for the Grand Prize. Final judging to take place in February 2022.
The Grand Prize Winner will take home $5,000 CASH, earn a mentor session with RHETT AKINS, a mega-hit songwriter with 32 #1 singles and the 2019 Academy of Country Music’s ‘Songwriter of the Decade’, and they will be awarded a ONE-YEAR SINGLE-SONG CONTRACT WITH ANTHEM ENTERTAINMENT. In addition, the Grand Prize Winner will receive a CMT Prize Pack, a three day trip to Nashville, a brand new acoustic guitar, performance opportunities at The Bluebird Cafe and Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival, an NSAI residency package including a one year membership, access to one NSAI premium event, several industry meetings, and more!
The Lyric-Only Winner will receive $2,500 CASH, a mentoring session with ALI TAMPOSI, a pop songwriting sensation that has co-written 5 Seconds of Summer’s “Youngblood”, Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger”, and Camilla Cabello’s “Havana,” a brand new acoustic guitar, a one year membership to NSAI, access to one NSAI premium event, and several additional prizes.
For judging, all eligible submissions received by NSAI will be judged in their respective categories by music industry professionals. In the third round of judging, up to ten (10) finalists and up to ten (10) honorable mentions will be determined for the Song Category, and the Lyric-Only winner and runner-up will be selected. In February of 2022, the top finalists for the Song Category will be scored during a live-streamed event where a panel of elite music industry professionals will score each submission from 1-10, with the highest combined score receiving the Grand Prize!
Beginning October 1, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. Central, entries can be submitted online at nsaisongcontest.com or they can be mailed to the NSAI office (NSAI–ATTN: Song Contest, 1710 Roy Acuff Place, Nashville, TN 37203). All entries mailed in must include the submission form, entry fee, printed lyric sheet, and one audio CD (unless a Lyric-Only entry). Entry fees are $35 per song or lyric entry for current NSAI members and $45 per song or lyric entry for non-NSAI members. There is no limit to the number of songs or lyrics that songwriters can submit, and all submissions must be submitted or post-marked by November 30, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. Central.
For further details, including additional information on submitting songs, an official full list of prizes, the Terms and Conditions and contest updates, visit www.nsaisongcontest.com. Updates will also be posted at www.nashvillesongwriters.com and on NSAI’s official Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages (@NSAIOfficial).
Partners: Anthem Entertainment, ASCAP, The Bluebird Cafe, BMI, CMT, SESAC, Southwest Airlines®, and We Make Tapes & Discs.
About Rhett Akins
Rhett found his way to a professional music career when Decca Records (which had been reactivated then) heard one of his demos. He dropped his first album, A Thousand Memories, in 1995. The record was critically acclaimed and produced four chart singles including his first No. 1 hit, “That Ain’t My Truck,” which he also co-wrote. The song has since become Rhett’s signature song but his success story was just getting started. The following year he released Somebody New which produced another No. 1 hit, “Don’t Get Me Started.”
Overall Rhett has had an extremely impressive career. He’s not just been a successful solo artist, he’s also written chart toppers for some big names. Rhett has had 32 No. 1 singles (and counting), which is remarkable! Some of them include, Luke Bryan’s “I Don’t Want This Night to End and Huntin’ Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day,” Chris Young’s “I Can Take it From There,” Justin Moore’s “Point at You,”, Dustin Lynch’s “Mindreader” and Locash’s “I Know Somebody”. Rhett’s also responsible for Blake Shelton’s “All About Tonight,” “Boys ‘Round Here” and “Honey Bee,” the latter of which spent a total of four weeks at No. 1. His Jason Aldean cuts include “When She Says Baby,” “Just Gettin’ Started” and “Tonight Looks Good on You.” He had another three week No. 1 with Thomas Rhett’s “It Goes Like This.” He also wrote TR’s “Get Me Some of That” and “Star Of The Show” which was co-written with, Thomas Rhett and their first No. 1 together. In 2017, John Pardi’s “Dirt On My Boots” went No.1 and later that year, Dustin Lynch’s “Small Town Boy” spent 4 weeks at #1 on Billboard. Rhett celebrated with Thomas Rhett and fellow co-writers his 29th number one, “Life Changes” in 2018 and his 30th #1 with in the summer of 2019, “Look What God Gave Her”. In November of 2019, Rhett celebrated his 31st #1 with Brantley Gilbert’s “What Happens In A Small Town”. In March 2021, “What’s Your Country Song” became Rhett’s 32nd #1 song recorded and co-written with Thomas Rhett.
This impressive list hasn’t gone unnoticed in the music industry. Rhett has been the recipient of renowned awards and titles. In 2010, Rhett was named the No. 4 Billboard Country Songwriter. The following year, BMI named him Songwriter of the Year. He won it again in 2014. His song “Honey Bee” became the highest selling digital debut by a country male solo artist. His biggest accomplishment, though, may be winning the CMA Triple Play award a total of seven times! The award is presented to a songwriter who penned three No. 1 singles in 12 months and he won it in October 2010, January 2012, February 2014, February 2015, February 2016, February 2017, and again in February 2018! In September 2019 Rhett was named the first Songwriter of the Decade by the Academy of Country Music and in July 2021, Rhett was announced as a inductee into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame class of 2021.
Rhett Akins has already achieved so much as both an artist and a songwriter, but he’s not done yet.
About Ali TamposiAli Tamposi, the 2019 BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year and the 2018 Spotify Secret Genius Songwriter of the Year has co-written for Beyonce, Rita Ora, The Chainsmokers, 5SOS, Cardi B, Demi Lovato, One Direction, DJ Snake, Camila Cabello, Gryffin, Carly Rae Jepsen, Charli XCX, and many others. Notable releases include the multi-format #1 “Let Me Love You (feat. Justin Bieber)” by DJ Snake, the international hit “It Ain’t Me (feat. Selena Gomez)” by Kygo, “Havana (feat. Young Thug)” by Camila Cabello, “Wolves” by Selena Gomez & Marshmello, “Call You Mine” by The Chainsmokers, and the #1, “Señorita” by Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello. Most recently, Ali co-wrote 5 songs on the latest Justin Bieber album, Justice, including “Hold On”, 6 songs on the latest Camila Cabello album, Romance, including the singles “Shameless” and “Liar”, 9 songs on the new Miley Cyrus album, Plastic Hearts,including the singles “Midnight Sky” and “Prisoner”, Dua Lipa’s “Break My Heart”, multiple co-writes on, C A L M by 5SOS, and Ordinary Man by Ozzy Osbourne, and singles, “X” by the Jonas Brothers, “Are You Even Real” by James Blake, “Crowd Goes Crazy” by John Legend, and “Forgot About You” by OneRepublic. Ali is very passionate about making music education accessible to all and has recently co-founded Creative Waves, a non-profit, and a learning platform called Song Start in partnership with Spotify.
About The Bluebird Cafe
The Bluebird Cafe is one of the world’s preeminent listening rooms and has gained worldwide recognition as a songwriter’s performance space where the “heroes behind the hits” perform their own songs; songs that have been recorded by chart-topping artists in all genres of music. Located in a small strip mall outside of downtown Nashville, the 90 seat venue is unassuming in appearance, but some of the most significant songwriters and artists have performed in this room. The Bluebird’s reputation as a listening room originates with the acoustic, singer/songwriter style music that is performed there nightly. Bluebird shows are supported by the venue’s “Shhhh policy” which is designed to create an environment where both the audience and the songwriters can concentrate on the songs. Audience members repeatedly say they are captivated by hearing songs in this environment, performed by the creators themselves and illuminated by the stories of how the songs came to be.
CMT is the leading authority on country music and lifestyle, offering a mix of original series, music events and specials. CMT is everywhere its fans are, including two cable channels (CMT and the 24-hour music channel, CMT Music), radio (CMT Radio), digital (CMT.com) and social (@CMT on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok). CMT is a unit of ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA, VIAC) (“ViacomCBS”). For more information, please visit cmtpress.com.
About Anthem Entertainment
Anthem Entertainment is comprised of a music publishing division, recorded music label, production music division, and a leading film and television audio-visual secondary rights (AVSR) services company. We support artists, create content, and provide entertainment services around the world. For more information, visit www.anthementertainment.com.
Established in 1967, the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) is the world’s largest not-for-profit songwriters trade organization and has a membership of more than 5,000 spanning the United States and several foreign countries. Consisting of a body of creative minds, including songwriters from all genres of music, professional and aspiring, for over 52 years, NSAI has been committed to protecting the rights and future of the profession of songwriting, as well as carrying a commitment to educate, elevate and celebrate the songwriter, acting as a unifying force within the music community and the community at large. For more information, visit www.nashvillesongwriters.com.