BCC Class of 1998 alum Matt Cusson (with cap) receives a $20,000 check from Grammy-nominated entertainer Brian McKnight (right) and Maxell Corporation executives Masaru Kamemoto, president, and Kurt Yanagawa, vice president of sales support.
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Brian McKnight presented Matt Cusson, who is currently touring with him, with the coveted Maxell Song of the Year prize from the 12th annual John Lennon Songwriting Contest. McKnight's keyboard player, whom he has mentored, was surprised when the headliner announced Cusson's win on stage at Morton Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas, and gave him the Lennon Contest's top prize, a $20,000 check courtesy of Maxell Corporation. McKnight said of the songwriter/performer, "Matt has an incredible gift." Mr Kamemoto, President of Maxell, and Kurt Yanagawa, Vice President of Sales Support, were on hand for the presentation.
Cusson's success in the Lennon Contest started when his original composition, "One Of Those Nights," was selected as a Grand Prize winner in the Jazz category. The song then went on to receive the "Lennon Award" making him eligible to win this year's top prize, the $20,000 Maxell Song of the Year which also comes with an Apple Computer, Cinema Display and Logic software. All tolled, his prizes include $5,000 in studio quipment from Godin Guitars, Roland/Edirol, Audio-Technica, Propellerhead, Ableton, and Sibelius, $1,000 in Mackie, Crate and Ampeg products, a $500 Gift Certificate from MusiciansFriend.com, and 1000 Custom CDs from Discmakers.
A graduate of Berklee School of Music, Matt has toured with Christina Aguilera and has shared stages and studios with James and Livingston Taylor, Stanley Clarke, Babyface, Bebe Winans, Jon B. and Jessica Simpson, to name a few. He's performed live on "The View" and "Live with Regis and Kelly" and won "Amateur Night" at the Apollo on three separate occasions.
Counted among Cusson's other celebrity fans are James Taylor, "Today" host Meredith Vierra and "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson -- all of whom say the same thing -- Matt Cusson is an extraordinary musician, a remarkable singer, a gifted piano player and a star on the rise.
A total of over $275,000 in cash and prizes will be distributed this year by the year-round Lennon Contest open to both amateur and professional songwriters. The current contest, open to both amateur and professional songwriters, can be entered by visiting www.jlsc.com. The prestigious contest is made possible by an agreement with Yoko Ono Lennon.