(NBC) America’s biggest live entertainment event has arrived!
From the producers of “Eurovision Song Contest” and “The Voice,” the all-live music competition series kicks off with hosts Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson.
“American Song Contest” pulls all 50 states and six U.S. territories into that search.
The first 11 artists from across the country take the stage, performing original songs, to represent their state or territory and compete to win America’s vote for best hit song.
At the end of the night, one artist is selected by a national jury of music industry experts to automatically advance to the Semi-Finals. Then, America’s votes help to decide which three additional artists will advance. Click here for more publicity contact and interview information.
Who: The first eleven acts set to perform their original songs LIVE on stage during the series premiere on Monday, March 21 include:
• Michael Bolton (Connecticut)
• Kelsey Lamb (Arkansas)
• UG skywalkin (Indiana)
• Alisabeth Von Presley (Iowa)
• Yam Haus (Minnesota)
• Keyone Starr (Mississippi)
• AleXa (Oklahoma)
• Christian Pagán (Puerto Rico)
• Hueston (Rhode Island)
• Jake’O (Wisconsin)
• Ryan Charles (Wyoming)
Hometown: New Haven, CT
Resident: Westport, CT
Michael Bolton is a multiple Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter who has sold more than 65 million records globally and continues to tour the world. Bolton is strongly committed to humanitarian causes, especially through the Michael Bolton Charities. In recognition of his artistic achievements, Michael won two Grammys for Best Pop Male Vocal Performance (nominated four times), six American Music Awards, three Emmy Award nominations and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As a songwriter, he has earned more than 24 BMI & ASCAP Awards, including Songwriter of the Year and the Hitmakers Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. His coming-of-age story starts in Connecticut, where he was born and raised and most importantly where he discovered his love of singing and songwriting. He’s proud to represent the state as an artist and as someone who still loves going home to Connecticut.
Hometown: Little Rock, AR
Resident: Nashville, TN
Kelsey Lamb is a country music singer/songwriter born known for her strong but pure vocals. She grew up listening to a broad mix of artists – from Avril Lavigne to Blake Shelton to the Fray to Jo Dee Messina – that have heavily influenced her songwriting. Lamb has accumulated over 2 million streams since releasing her first song, “Little By Little” in 2018 and since then has been continuing to write, record and perform her original music across the Southeast. Even though Lamb is currently living in Nashville, she’s still very connected to Arkansas.
Resident: Greenwood, IN
Josh Kimbowa, known as UG skywalkin, is a hip-hop pop artist and songwriter. He’s known for his charismatic stage performance and ability to capture the energy and engagement of the crowd. UG skywalkin has toured the world doing shows and musical festivals. Although he is from Uganda, UG skywalkin and his family now call Indiana home.
ALISABETH VON PRESLEY
Hometown: Marion, IA
Resident: Cedar Rapids, IA
Alisabeth Von Presley is a pink-haired pop rock artist raised on a well-balanced diet of Pat Benatar, a plateful of glitter and a touch of Midwestern sass. She has left memorable impacts on stages from Los Angeles to New York with her full-blown and fully choreographed pop-rock production. She’s as edgy as she is authentic and is an advocate for female empowerment through her music, lyrics, public platforms and work in area schools. Alisabeth toured on the heels of her “Diamonds in the Blackout” album and recently played a show for over 16,000 in her home town of Cedar Rapids. With her live shows drawing rave reviews, this girl is a performer to watch.
Hometown: Jacob Felstow (Macomb, MI), Lars Pruitt, Seth William Blum and Zach Beinlich (Hudson, WI)
Resident: Jacob Felstow and Zach Beinlich (St. Paul, MN), Lars Pruitt (Stillwater, MN) and Seth William Blum (Hudson, WI)
Yam Haus invites everyone into the embrace of their neon-hued, dance floor-tailored alternative pop. The Minneapolis quartet and childhood friends fuse together intimate songcraft with stadium-size ambition. Right out of the gate, their 2018 single “West Coast” caught traction and eventually notched north of 1 million streams. In the wake of their full-length debut album “Stargazer,” they shared bills with the likes of Kacey Musgraves, Tori Kelly, Adam Lambert, Bishop Briggs, Andy Grammar, AWOLNATION, lovelytheband, JOHNNYSWIM and more. Their single “The Thrill” gathered 948,000 Spotify streams and paved the way for “The Band Is Gonna Make It” EP in 2020. After independently amassing nearly 15 million total views and streams, playing to sold out crowds and building a fervent fanbase, they continue to release new music in 2022 with producer Mark Needham.
Hometown: Jackson, MS
Resident: Duluth, GA
Keyoné Starr is a Mississippi preacher’s daughter and a Grammy Award-nominated singer, songwriter, and producer. A powerhouse rock ‘n’ roll soulful-singing flower child, Keyoné humorously refers to herself as the love child of Aretha Franklin and Lenny Kratviz. Keyoné sings in the language of the heart with her clear powerful vocals and captivates her audiences. Her declaration performance of the hit single “I Can’t Lose,” featured on Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Special” album, landed in the Billboard Top 20 chart and has well over 7 million streaming views, affording her opportunities to sing, write and produce music across Australia, Germany, London, Malaysia and Spain.
Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Resident: Seoul, South Korea
Proud to represent the state where she was born and raised until the age of 21, Alex Christine, known professionally as AleXa (알렉사), is a K-pop singer, dancer and songwriter who grew up in Tulsa. A lifelong dancer, AleXa was first drawn to K-pop because of its strong performance identity. After nearly a million fan votes determined her the winner of online talent competition Rising Legends, she was one of the 96 chosen to participate in “Produce 48,” the most competitive audition show in Korea. In 2019, AleXa made her multilingual K-pop debut with “Bomb,” which has received nearly 22 million views to date and hit #7 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart. A year later AleXa released extended plays “Do Or Die” and “Decoherence,” garnering wins for two of Korea’s most prestigious awards. In 2021, AleXa released Y2K-inspired “ReviveR” with dance track “Xtra,” performed the national anthem for the Los Angeles Dodgers and became the first K-pop artist to host a fan meeting in the metaverse within the action shooter game Scavengers.
Territory: Puerto Rico
Hometown: Yabucoa, PR
Resident: Humacao, PR
Christian Pagán is a singer, songwriter, musician and actor known for winning the first edition of “Idol Puerto Rico,” a feat that showcased his versatility and depth as a vocal performer. His first studio album, “Más de lo Que Soy,” debuted at #6 on Billboard’s Latin Pop Albums chart and his single, “Desde que se fue,” also hit the charts. Christian was also cast in the Telemundo telenovela “Guerra de Ídolos” where he had the opportunity to write songs for the soundtrack. Recently, he was featured in the Amazon TV series “The Bay.”
State: Rhode Island
Hometown: North Kingstown, RI
Resident: Lake Worth, FL
Originally from Rhode Island, artist, songwriter and producer Cory Hueston was previously the frontman of the indie/alternative-duo the Blancos, but has since shifted his sights to his very first solo project. Drawing from past and present experiences, his dark and soulful sonics highlight his innate abilities as both a writer and producer. With a voice and energy of a mystic viking, the only thing overshadowing his vocals is his wild fingerings on the six string. Mysterious and gritty, his new sound represents the hard-working people of his hometown.
Hometown: Loreto Ridge, WI
Resident: Plain, WI
Jake’O is an American vocalist, guitarist, performer, and entertainer from Plain, Wisconsin. He combines vintage vibes, modern motifs, futuristic flair in every original song by fusing Rock ’n’ Roll, Blues, Pop, and R&B. Jake’O, the originator of the Nuvo-Retro sound —a term he coined to describe his genre and style— combines vintage vibes, modern motifs, and futuristic flair in every original song. He has built a reputation in Wisconsin by using his soulful vibrato voice, reverberating mile-wide guitar tone, electric showmanship, and signature baby blue brand. He is excited to make his family, friends and fans from his home of Wisconsin proud as he takes the national stage.
Hometown: Buffalo, WY
Resident: Nashville, TN
Western rapper Ryan Charles from Wyoming brings a style all his own — meshing the cowboy lifestyle with flow of 2000’s rap. A natural-born entertainer, Charles quickly became one of the most skilled freestyle rappers on the school bus. As an artist, Charles has released a few singles, including the jiggy buckaroo bop “Gettin’ Western” in 2020 and most recently “Old Dirt Fancy” in 2021. Known for his signature fashion sense, light-hearted twang and high-energy live shows, Charles now continues to work on new music in Nashville.
Hosted by Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, the eight-week live competition consists of three rounds as the artists compete in a series of Qualifying Rounds, followed by the Semi-Finals and the ultimate Grand Final where one state or territory will emerge victorious.
Snoop Dogg said, “I am honored to host ‘American Song Contest’ alongside my lil sis Kelly Clarkson, aka Miss Texas.”
Clarkson added, “I have been a fan and love the concept of Eurovision and am thrilled to bring the musical phenomenon to America. I’m so excited to work with Snoop and can’t wait to see every state and territory represented by artists singing their own songs.”
The Show kicks off on Monday, March 21, at 7PM on KFOR.