Canadian songwriter Madeline Merlo won the Season 2 premiere of NBC’s “Songland” and will have her song “Champagne Night” recorded by Lady Antebellum.
Kicking off S2 E1 of the songwriting competition, Merlo was one of several writers who presented their songs to the seven-time Grammy award winning artists, along with show judges, and seasoned industry producers, Ester Dean, Shane McAnally, and Ryan Tedder.
In the end, Merlo, who worked with McAnally, had the best song pairing for Lady Antebellum.
“Songland was such a validating experience as a writer, and I learned so much from my coach,” Merlo tells American Songwriter. “I feel like I walked out of that experience a better writer.”
Season 1 of “Songland” paired songwriters with the judges, who work through and produce writers’ songs to better adapt them to the featured artists. Previous winners have had their songs recorded by John Legend, Kelsea Ballerini, Jonas Brothers, Macklemore, Leona Lewis, Old Dominion, Meghan Trainor, and will.i.am.
Prior to competing on “Songland,” the British Columbia native already picked up four Top 15 singles on Canadian country radio, including “Over & Over,” “War Paint,” “Hotel Flamingo” and “Whatcha Wanna Do About It.” In 2016, Merlo also co-starred with country singer Jana Kramer (One Tree Hill) in the musical feature film Country Crush and picked up the Canadian Country Music Association’s 2015 Rising Star Award.
Merlo is currently signed to the Universal label imprint Open Road.
“I made lifelong friendships and feel like all the work I put into my craft over the years had been validated,” says Merlo. “The members of Lady Antebellum were so kind and gracious, and Shane [McAnally] was a dream come true to work with. I loved every minute of being a part of that show.”