Lincoln and Common Announce Lyricist Winner

West Hollywood, California resident and aspiring lyricist Jael Gadsen has been chosen the grand champion of the Lincoln Spotlight online music competition by a panel that included Grammy Award-winning hip-hop superstar Common, Grammy-winning music producer Bryan Michael Cox, VIBE magazine editor-in-chief Danyel Smith, music executive Derek Dudley and renowned DJ Tony Touch.

Lincoln, the fastest-growing luxury brand in America last year, and Grammy Award-winner Common began the nationwide search for the best and brightest aspiring lyricists in February. Gadsen will be presented with a prize of $10,000 and an opening spot for hip-hop superstar Common at one of his 2008 performances.

“The Lincoln Spotlight competition appealed to me because it gave me the opportunity to write about a topic that I feel very strongly about: reaching high for your dreams and the chance to encourage someone else not to give up,” said Gadsen. “Making it to the top five was already the icing on the cake! Actually winning – I am still at a lost for words. All I can say is ‘overwhelming excitement!’ ”

The Lincoln Spotlight contest was open to the public and invited aspiring lyricists to create an original song and video articulating one of Lincoln’s brand truths: advancing the American dream, exploring what it means to reach higher, daring to do more and taking pride in one’s history.

Contestants were to use music tracks available on Online viewer voting helped determine the top five finalists and Lincoln’s panel of music industry experts selected the grand champion. Judging was based on originality and creativity, verbal technique and visual sophistication.

Said Cox, “I was happy to be part of Lincoln Spotlight because it is a great way for young aspiring artists to focus their creativity on positive themes. The contestants had uplifting, inspiring lyrics, but I gave Jael the highest score because she had a sincerity in her delivery that is equally as important as the message when artists perform. The passion that the performer has for the message is what really draws the audience in.”

Lincoln Marketing Manager Tom Grill added, “We were really excited by the enthusiasm we received from the public with this contest. Spotlight allowed us the opportunity to give exposure to other talented artists and to celebrate a favorite American pastime – music.”

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