SiriusXM Canada, the country’s leading audio entertainment company, is pleased to announce Andrew Hyatt from Sudbury, Ontario as the winner of the inaugural SiriusXM Top of the Country competition, in partnership with the Canadian Country Music Association® (CCMA). Hyatt took home the grand prize of $25,000, a SOCAN songwriting camp in Pender Island, BC and more.
Following an epic music battle between the top three finalists, a judging panel of music industry professionals including country music star Madeline Merlo, award-winning broadcaster Paul McGuire, Director, A&R for SOCAN, Rodney Murphy, along with audience votes determined the grand prize winner live on Friday, September 7 at the SiriusXM CCMA Top of the Country Finale. Taking place in the CCMA Fan Village as part of Country Music Week, the Finale aired live on SiriusXM’s CBC Country (ch. 171). Chart-topping, award-winning country music star Tim Hicks closed out the high-energy show.
“Winning SiriusXM Top of the Country is a huge honour. The competition from the other two finalists was fierce and being selected by some of the industry’s most notable players, and a crowd of diehard country music fans, makes it that much more meaningful,” said Hyatt. “Performing during Country Music Week, surrounded by incredible Canadian artists who have influenced my music from the beginning, and sharing the stage with Tim Hicks is a dream come true. I’m eager to share this win with all of the people who have helped get me to this point.”
“Fostering and promoting emerging Canadian talent is a major priority for SiriusXM and we are proud to have helped mentor and provide exposure to top calibre artists from across the country,” said Jeff Leake, Director, Music Programming, SiriusXM Canada. “The talent, drive and passion of all three finalists made this a stiff competition, and I congratulate Andrew Hyatt on a well-deserved win. We look forward to following his future success.”
The Finale capped off a seven-month journey that began with hundreds of submissions from artists across Canada. Whittled down to nine semi-finalists, SiriusXM hosted studio sessions with each, which were then voted for by country music fans from coast-to-coast.
As chosen by the people, three finalists emerged, who all receive a week-long SOCAN songwriting trip to Nashville, TN. Plus the finalists participated in an industry mentorship session in Toronto with major industry professionals, including with 2017 CCMA Female Artist of the Year Meghan Patrick and Nashville-based hit songwriter J.T. Harding.
In addition to the mentorship sessions, each finalist performed at one of Canada’s three biggest country music festivals; Big Valley Jamboree (Camrose, AB), Cavendish Beach Music Festival(Cavendish, PE) and Boots and Hearts Music Festival (Oro-Medonte, ON), exposing them to huge crowds of country music fans.