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International Songwriting Competition (ISC) Announces 2007 Country Music Winners

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Nashville, TN. (Top40 Charts/ ISC) - The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is pleased to announce its 2007 winners, including the winners in the Country Music category. The Country Music winners include Blu Sanders (El Paso, TX, USA) for his song "Just Past The Milky Way" (First Place), Cliff Cody (New Albany, OH, USA) and Kaci Bolls (Nashville, TN, USA) for their song "Diamonds" (Second Place), and Natalie Howard (Nerang, QLD, Australia) and James Dean Hicks (Nashville, TN, USA) for their song "Paint Me Blue" (Third Place).

Renowned for its prestigious celebrity judges, ISC received over 15,000 songs from amateur and professional songwriters from 100 countries worldwide, confirming ISC's status as the leading global songwriting event. In fact, for the first time in the competition's history, the majority of winners (59%) come from outside the USA. More than $150,000 in cash and prizes is shared among the 59 winners, including an overall Grand Prize of $25,000 (US) cash, the largest cash Grand Prize of any songwriting competition in the world, and $30,000 in merchandise and services.

Candace Avery, Founder and Director of ISC, says, "Over the years, ISC has received so many great entries from Country Music songwriters. This year the Country Music category was particularly strong and very competitive, with an extremely high level of songwriting, so the winners should take special pride in their accomplishment. This recognition of their songwriting skill is a well-deserved honor, and ISC is thrilled to provide the platform to make this happen for them."

Winning First Place in the Country Music category is Blu Sanders from El Paso, TX, USA, for his song "Just Past The Milky Way". Sanders moved to Austin, Texas, in 1994 to pursue his career in music and has since become an established singer-songwriter. He was named one of the Austin Chronicle's 10 Best Singer/Songwriters at the 1999 Austin Music Awards. When not playing his own shows, Sanders occasionally plays guitar for the Eli Young Band. Blu is a staff writer for Carnival Music in Nashville. His song "Hold On" is on Jack Ingram's second album, This Is It, featuring Sheryl Crow on back-up vocals.

Cliff Cody (New Albany, OH, USA) and Kaci Bolls (Nashville, TN, USA) are awarded Second Place for their song "Diamonds". With songwriting in his blood, Cody persisted for many years in his pursuit of a music career, and it paid off when he was discovered at a songwriter's symposium and signed by EMI in 2005. Cody's first cut soon followed. His song "Chasin Whiskey" was recognized as one of the highlights of Julie Roberts' critically acclaimed album Men and Mascara by Rolling Stone Magazine, The Washington Post, and more. Kaci Bolls performed and toured with a cappella groups in college and also gained experience in studio singing when the internationally acclaimed Christian group Acappella asked her to sing on a project. She then went on to record many projects with The Acappella Company out of Paris, TN. Kaci has since become an in demand demo singer in Nashville, singing the demos for songs that have been cut by artists such as LeAnn Rimes, Carrie Underwood, Julie Roberts, Sara Evans, and more.

Third Place honors are claimed by Natalie Howard (Nerang, QLD, Australia) and James Dean Hicks (Nashville, TN, USA), for their song "Paint Me Blue". A previous winner of the Australian National Musicoz Best Country Artist, Australian born singer/songwriter Natalie Howard has garnered numerous songwriting and artist nominations in Australia and has two No 1 video hits in Australia from her debut album Natalie Howard. James Dean Hicks began his career when only 10 years old, appearing regularly on the "WSM Midnight Jamboree" with the Grand Ole Opry greats, including Ernest Tubb and Hank Snow. By the time he was 13, James had opened concerts for Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, George Jones and Tammy Wynette. James has written songs for many diverse artists, including Jessica Simpson, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney, and has had over 150 songs recorded by artists such as Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Charlie Daniels, Aaron Carter, Reba, Wynonna, Vince Gill, and Aaron Neville. He has written five No 1 songs. He recently had a huge hit as an artist himself with a No 1 video in Australia on a duet with Natalie Howard, with the song "The Long Night".

In addition to these winners, 12 other Country songs garnered an Honorable Mention in the category:

"Angel" - Jaque Faye / Jimmy Russell - Miramonte, CA, USA
"Best Friends" - Jill Spencer / Amanda Brown / Reno Holler - Portland, OR, USA
"Dream On" - Steve Fox - Old Hickory, TN, USA
"If I Die Young" - Kimberly Marie Perry (The Band Perry) - Greeneville, TN, USA
"Like Father Like Son" - Patrick Jason Matthews / Jim McCormick - Nashville, TN, USA
"Little Dream" - Russell Grimmer (Stevens Lane) - Brenham, TX, USA
"Love Pain and the Whole Damn Thing" - Amy Sky - Toronto, ON, Canada
"She Drives Me Country" - Brandon Lepere / Mike Sherlock / Anthony J. Resta - Seabrook, NH, USA
"Somebody Stole My Horse" - Harmony James - Tennant Creek, NT, Australia
"Thank God" - Jay Collie / Jasper Somerville-Collie / Tim Dutton (Jonah's Road) - Sydney, NSW, Australia
"Uphill" - Kim Copeland / Rachel Williams / M. Ramirez - Nashville, TN, USA
"Waiting" - Adrienne Leopold / Graham Verdon - Toronto, ON, Canada

Along with the Country Music category, winners in all 19 categories are represented by songwriters from all over the world. The 2007 Grand Prize is awarded to Eduard Glumov (Aktobe, Kazakhstan) and Z. Mulls (Swarthmore, PA, USA) for their song "I'm Not Your Friend." The song, entered in the Rock category, was written by Glumov with lyrics provided by Z. Mulls of Swarthmore, PA, USA. This collaboration - from Kazakhstan to the USA - from one side of the globe to the other - perfectly reflects ISC's mission of creating a competition that is inclusive of songwriters worldwide. Glumov, a singer/songwriter, and Z. Mulls, a lyricist, met each other on, a songwriting resource website, and their musical collaboration produced the winning song.
For a complete list of 2007 ISC winners and to hear the winning songs, go to

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