35th Anniversary Song Contest: Top 35 Songs Announced

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Without further ado, here are the Top 35 song finalists for American Songwriter’s 35th Anniversary Song Contest, in no particular order. Raw talent, breadth and diversity characterize the findings as the American Songwriter staff, screeners and judges panel delved into the song entries from the best and brightest songwriters and artists around. Stay tuned for the Top 3 winners and 10 Honorable Mentions, rolling out on December 1.

“Black” (feat. Yaw) written by Akua Agyeman; performed by Sista ELLA

Sista ELLA · Black Ft. Yaw

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“Righteous” written by Aaron Kellim, Jeff Laliberte, Paul Laliberte, Shelby Archer & Titus Makin; performed by Butterfly Ali

Butterfly Ali · Righteous

“California” written by Dylan Altman, Marshall Altman & Anna Vaus; performed by Fairground Saints

“Gold” written and performed by Emily Danielle Anderson

“Superman” written by Aaron Patrick, Davey Arnold, Reece Phillips; performed by Davey Arnold

Davey Arnold · SUPERMAN

“Jet Black Hearts” written and performed by Abigail Barlow

“Honest With God” written and performed by Kerrigan Barry

“White Horses” written and performed by Molly Brown

MollyBrownMusic · White Horses (Demo)

“For the Rest of Mine” written and performed by Charles Bryant

“Make Me Hurt” written and performed by Alex Cady

“Covergirl” written by Blake Davis & Mia Mantia; performed by Blake Davis

Blake Davis · Covergirl

“Eating A Hotdog At Your Funeral” written by Casey Dayan; performed by Under the Rug

“Morse Code” written by Reina del Cid; performed by Reina del Cid and Josh Turner

“Still Life” written and performed by Ryan Dilmore

RyanDilmore · Still Life

“Only Every Time” written by Patrick Dodge, Jessica Mack, Jeffrey East; performed by Clayton Jones

Patrick Dodge · “Only Every Time” Patrick Dodge, Jessica Mack, Jeffrey East (Ft Clayton Jones)

“Black and White” written by Jeremy Bussey, Kyle Rife & Shae Dupuy; performed by Shae Dupuy

“Sinner’s Creek” written and performed by Boone

“We Need More” written and performed by Taylor Fagins

“Wait” written and performed by Cheyenne Goss

“Party” written and performed by Lauryn Marie

“Let You Leave” written and performed by Sean Holcomb

Sean Holcomb · Let You Leave

“Shoes To Fill” written by Gary Garris, Halle Kearns, Kaylin Roberson & Morgan Johnston; performed by Halle Kearns

“Mountains Alone” written by Carlyle Scott King; performed by Carly King

“Same” written and performed by Josh Knowles

“Two Hearts and a Diamond” written by Ava Suppelsa & Jesse Labelle; performed by Jesse Labelle

“HER” written by Jenna Facey & Michael Blum; performed by Jenna Lotti

JennaLotti · HER

“Change the World” written and performed by Hannah Miller

“Whiskey & Wine” written by Anthony Mossburg; performed by Anthony Mossburg feat. Megan Francis

“Turn” written by James Howard Ragsdale III; performed by Berlue

Berlue · “Turn”

“Lighthouse” written by Jason Ryterband; performed by RYTERBAND

“If You Drink” written by Sarah Spencer & John Cirillo; performed by John Cirillo

Sarah Spencer · If You Drink

Good Man” written and performed by Willow Stephens

Willow Stephens

“That’s So American” written by Andrew Wallace Lothian; performed by Harold Green & Wallace Tallman

“Find the One” written by Raquel Cole, Tenille Townes & Brittney Kennell; performed by Raquel Cole

RaquelCole · Find The One

“Captain” written and performed by Ian Alexy

CIC Records · Captain (song demo)


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  1. Congratulations to all the finalists. I submitted a few this year that were passed on so it motivated me to submit 6 new songs with the early bird:)
    Songwriting is everything, music is everything. I love American songwriter magazine and im super happy to have the opportunity to submit to contests like this. If at first you don’t succeed…;)

    Heres a message of hope filmed across 5 continents for all you songwriters to enjoy.
    Titled Extraordinary World – https://youtu.be/FZmmD8I6n9M

    • Well, I only sent 6 this time but none were as slick as these 35 and my voice is not too good but I will keep trying, I have written 22 songs so far. Mabey the law of averages will kick in.

  2. Wow. Some great songs here. ‘We need more’ is heartfelt and beautifully performed, and ‘Two hearts and a diamond’ is slick and cleverly written. Brilliant harmonies on ‘Whiskey and wine.’ No telling who wins or which one yanks the judges chains.All the best of luck.

  3. The 35 semifinalists have such potential and can soon begreat artists. Thank you American Songwriter for replying to my queries. The staff are so professional . This organization really helps out aspiring artists/ singers/songwriters.

  4. Wow, congrats to the 35 selected. Such great songs. This was my first year entering the contest.
    Stand outs for me were, Righteous, Good Man, Superman and Party
    I can’t wait to enter again next year. Now I know the level of creativity, talent and production value I need to shoot for 🙂
    Here was my entry:
    My UFO

    Also, is there a link with all the entries? Or maybe that would be a bit too long 🙂

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