Eric Ethridge Wins 2018 Unsigned Only Music Competition

The Unsigned Only Music Competition has announced its 2018 winners, and its 2018 Grand Prize was awarded to country artist Eric Ethridge from Sarnia, ON, Canada for his song “Girl On Fire.” Ethridge’s win marks the third time a country artist has taken home the Grand Prize since the competition’s inception only six years ago.

In addition to winning $20,000 in cash and $20,000 in merchandise and services, Ethridge also receives one-on-one mentoring from a group of music industry executives including: Dan Chertoff (VP of A&R, RCA Records); Riggs Morales (VP of A&R and Artist Development, Atlantic Records); Nick Haussling (Sr, Director of A&R, Concord Music); Kim Stephens (President, Forward Entertainment); Zoe Young (VP of A&R, Epic Records); Doug Johnson (VP of A&R, Black River Entertainment); and Allison Jones (Sr. VP of A&R, Big Machine Label Group).

“Being named the Grand Prize winner of the 2018 Unsigned Only Music Competition has truly been an incredibly humbling and life changing experience.” said Ethridge. “This opportunity has truly given me the chance to take my career to the next level and live my passion, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful.”

Canadian native Eric Ethridge won the CCMA Discovery Program, charted on the Canadian Country charts, and most recently debuted on SiriusXM’s The Highway. His debut EP was released in July, 2018 and peaked at No.1 on the iTunes Country chart and No. 3 on the all-genres chart. A doctor-turned-country-artist, Ethridge has a strong connection with fans, evidenced by his songs being streamed over three million times in the short time since the EP’s release.

Established in 2012, Unsigned Only is open to all artists who are unsigned to a major record label, and over the years has become an important source for discovering new talent. Winners in 13 categories were selected from 6,000 entries submitted by entrants in 95 countries throughout the world.

The complete list of 2018 Country winners includes:
Grand Prize – Eric Ethridge (Sarnia, ON, Canada) – “Girl On Fire”
First Place – Kaylee Bell (Waimate, New Zealand) – “Getting Closer”
Second Place – Virginia Creek (Chincoteague, VA, USA) – “Kiss Me When You’re Sober”
Honorable Mention:
Breaking Southwest (Dallas, TX, USA) – “Put Up A Fight”
Chris Bullard (Ardmore, OK, USA) – “Red Lights”
Eric Ethridge (Sarnia, ON, Canada) – “Liquor’s Callin’ The Shots”
Gabe Marshall (Jacksonville, IL, USA) – “Burning The Sand”
Hasting and Co (New Carlisle, OH, USA) – “Can’t Get Enough”
Jesse Labelle (Nashville, TN, USA) – “Two Hearts And A Diamond”
Kyle Daigle (Belle River, LA, USA) – “Gone”
Sarah Miles (Princeton, NJ, USA) – “Stay”
Sweet Tea Trio (Wilsonville, AL, USA) – “Needle In A Haystack”


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About the Author

Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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