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Rising Star Charlotte Sands Wins Grand Prize in 2023 Unsigned Only Music Competition

Judges Include Robert Smith (The Cure), Aimee Mann, Rodney Atkins, Hillsong Worship, Walk The Moon, Morgan Wade, Sanctus Real, and More

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Unsigned Only Music Competition, renowned for celebrating the best of independent and unsigned artists, has announced the 2023 winners.

Established in 2012, this year’s competition garnered almost 6,000 entries from almost 100 countries, reflecting the immense pool of musical talent worldwide. Winners share in $150,000 in prizes split among 38 winners, including $20,000 (US) in cash to the overall Grand Prize winner.

It is with great pleasure that Unsigned Only bestows the overall Grand Prize, to Charlotte Sands for her upbeat, hit-worthy song “Dress.”

The winning song, written in response to the negativity surrounding Harry Styles wearing a dress on the cover of Vogue, went viral when it was released and became an anthem of self-expression for millions of listeners worldwide. The song has racked up more than 45 million plays on Spotify alone and has helped to launch Sands’ career. Since then, the electric blue-haired, tattooed singer/songwriter has put out a lot more singles, charted on Billboard, toured with Yungblud, amassed a legion of fans, and is embarking on a Fall tour in the US and Europe – all while remaining an indie artist.

Charlotte Sands is an unstoppable force of talent,” said Co-Founders Candace Avery and Jim Morgan. “Her music reflects the essence of what it means to be truly exceptional in the world of unsigned, indie artists. We are excited to see how she, as well as our other winners, will shape the future of the music industry.”

In addition to the Grand Prize winner, many other deserving artists garnered First and Second place wins in the competition. To see the winners and to listen to the winning songs, go to:

The complete panel of judges includes:
Aimee Mann; Robert Smith (The Cure); Rodney Atkins; Sanctus Real; I Am They;  Darryl McDaniels (Run DMC); O.A.R.; Nicholas Petricca (Walk The Moon); The Devil Makes Three; Janiva Magness; Morgan Wade; Gonzalo Rubalcaba; Paula Arenas; Ruthie Foster; Dame Evelyn Glennie; Kenny Barron; Derek Brown (The Flaming Lips); Russ Landau; Zbigniew Preisner; Jay Allen; Francisca Valenzuela; David Benoit; Chaerin Kim; Vertical Worship; Tinariwen; Anthony DeCurtis (Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone); Lyndsey Parker (Managing Editor, Yahoo Music); Christopher Scapelliti (Editor-In-Chief, Guitar Player); Kevin McNeese (President, NewReleaseToday); Jeff Zuchowski (VP, Artist Marketing/Industry Relations, Pandora); John Dibiase (President, Jesus Freak Hideout); Angel Romero (Music Consultant); Hilary Saunders (Managing Editor, No Depession); Jason Lipshutz (Music Editor, Billboard); Cyrus Kyle Langhorne (Founder,; Art Tipaldi (Editor, Blues Music Magazine); Brandon Chitwood (Founder/Writer, The EDM Scholar); Michael West (Reviews Editor, DownBeat); David Silbaugh (Talent Buyer, Summerfest); Brinson Strickland (President, Collective Music Nashville); James Kempner (Owner, JMK Connections); Paul Riario (Tech Editor, Guitar World); Jennifer Taunton (Music Supervisor, Level Two Music); James Whitting (Partner, Paradigm Talent Agency); Paul De Barros (Pop Music Editor/Jazz Writer, Seattle Times); Alison Bonaguro (Country Music Journalist); Gaston Leone (Talent Buyer, Goldenvoice); Dylan Berry (Owner, SmashHaus); Mike Locke (VP, Creative Synchronization & Marketing, Atlas Music); Mark Garfield (Co-Director, Pop-Up Music UK Ltd.); Debra Delshad (Sr. Director, Synchronization & Licensing, Angry Mob Music); and Daryl Berg (VP, Music Strategies and Licensing Hallmark (Crown Media).

Unsigned Only is sponsored by: ACE Products (Pig Hog Cables), Adam Audio, Alphabet Arm Design, Audix, Disc Makers, Eventric, Hiscox Cases, Image-Line Software, Joshua Tree Recording Studio, Ovation Guitars, Peavey Electronics, Play MPE, Protege, The Music Business Registry, WMR Music Group; and Süss Cookie Company.

Contact: Candace Avery
[email protected]

SOURCE Unsigned Only Music Competition

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