Teen Musicians Win GRAMMY Foundation® and MusiCares® Teens Make Music Contest and a 56th Annual GRAMMY® Experience

~the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, GRAMMY Foundation® and MusiCares® Recognize Winners~

New York, NY (January 22, 2014) – Teen musician Brittaney Brannock has been selected as the winner of the fourth annual GRAMMY Foundation® and MusiCares® Teens Make Music Contest for her creative interpretation of the consequences and impact of drug and alcohol use. Second and third place winners have also been chosen. The GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares, the two nonprofit organizations of The Recording Academy®, in collaboration with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, will honor all the winners this month with exclusive Grammy experiences and prizes.

The contest asked young musicians, ages 14 – 18, to compose or create an original song and/or music video that explored, encouraged and celebrated a healthy lifestyle or accurately depicted a story about drug abuse. All winners will attend the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards® Backstage Experience, a special backstage tour that takes place while artists rehearse for the live GRAMMY Awards.

First place winner Brannock, a recent graduate of Melrose High School in Massachusetts, submitted her song “What I’ll Never Get .” The song explains the pain and loss she feels having her loved one unavailable to her emotionally and physically due to his addiction, as illustrated in lyrics, “But what I didn’t get, no what I’ll never get, is your hand down the aisle, or a promise that’s kept. You left your whole family, without one regret. How many sorrys before you believe it’s true. Another I love you.”

“It is an honor to once again partner with two exceptional organizations, the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares, to showcase inspiring teen musicians” said Steve Pasierb, President of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “As we continue this successful program, The Partnership is excited to recognize individuals who creatively illuminate the devastating effects substance use and addiction can have on teens while also showing that individuals can and do regain their power over the grip of drugs and alcohol.”

California teens of the band “Slater,” Paige Augusta, a freshman at Agoura High School, and Alex Arnaout, a sophomore at Westlake High School, are the second place winners for their song titled, “Believe in Me.” The lyrics, “Can’t help but pray for change. Wishing I was someone else. Can hardly say my name. And I wish I could see myself like they see me. And I wish I…I wish I…believed in me,” describe how teens can have trouble coping with their insecurities, sometimes succumb to peer pressure and turn to drugs, alcohol or self-harm, and need to believe in themselves in order to rise above the influence.

Third place winners Isaac Horn and Evan Pierce, seniors at Valley View High School in Arkansas wrote, performed and produced “Master.” Their song shines light on how powerless you can become to drug abuse and how important it is to learn that you really are the master of your own life, “I know it’s hard admitting we’re disasters. When our addictions pound us down, when they are master. It seems their hold on us is stronger than our will to move. Ain’t that a shame. It’s a shame we don’t know our own strength.”

The first-place winner receives a $500 cash award and two tickets to the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards® at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif. on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. The second-place winners receives $250; and the third-place winners receive $100 courtesy of the Visions Adolescent Treatment Center in Malibu, Calif. All winners are invited to attend the GRAMMY Awards Backstage Experience, a special backstage tour that takes place while artists rehearse for the live GRAMMY Awards. They will also join a guided tour of The Village Recording Studio, and have their musical entries posted on www.grammyfoundation.org, www.musicares.org and the Vans Warped Tour website. In addition, prizes include iPads with the GarageBand app and an opportunity to release a record with Clarity Way, a drug and alcohol rehab facility in Hanover, Pa. A certificate from the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares will be given to all winners acknowledging their role in the dissemination of health information about substance abuse.

Honorable mentions go to Sarabeth Weszely of Oak Park, Illinois for her song, “Then I Found Drugs;” Kennedi Lykken of Spicer, Minnesota for her song, “Baby Girl;” and sisters Alison and Josephine Jones of Kenai, Alaska for their song, “Bright Then Blue.”

MusiCares and the GRAMMY Foundation provided a panel of judges that included musical artists, while the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids provided technical expertise in the judging process. Points were given for accurate depictions of subject matter. The winning entries can be heard at www.drugfree.org/teensmakemusiccontest.

*All proceeds from Iron Ridge Road Recordings will be donated to MusiCares.

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About the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids 

Ninety percent of addictions start in the teenage years. The Partnership at Drugfree.org is dedicated to solving the problem of teen substance abuse. Together with experts in science, parenting and communications, the nonprofit translates research on teen behavior, addiction and treatment into useful and effective resources for both individuals and communities. Working toward a vision where all young people will be able to live their lives free of drug and alcohol abuse, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids works with parents and other influencers to help them prevent and get help for drug and alcohol abuse by teens and young adults. The organization depends on donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and the public sector and is thankful to SAG-AFTRA and the advertising and media industries for their ongoing generosity. If you or someone you know is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, please call The Parents Toll-Free Helpline at 1-855-DRUGFREE.

About The GRAMMY Foundation

The GRAMMY Foundation® was established in 1989 to cultivate the understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture. The Foundation accomplishes this mission through programs and activities that engage the music industry and cultural community as well as the general public. The Foundation works in partnership year-round with its founder, The Recording Academy®, to bring national attention to important issues such as the value and impact of music and arts education and the urgency of preserving our rich cultural heritage. In recognition of the significant role of teachers in shaping their students’ musical experiences, the GRAMMY Foundation and The Recording Academy are partnering to present our first Music Educator Award. Open to current U.S. music teachers in K through college, the Music Educator Award will be given out during GRAMMY Week 2014. The nomination process is online at grammymusicteacher.com and the deadline for submissions is April 15.  For more information about the Foundation, please visit www.grammyfoundation.com. For breaking news and exclusive content, please like “GRAMMY in the Schools®” on Facebook at www.facebook.com/grammyintheschools, follow the GRAMMY Foundation on Twitter @GRAMMYFdn at www.twitter.com/GRAMMYFdn and join us on Instagram @GRAMMYFdn. 

About MusiCares

Established in 1989 by The Recording Academy®, MusiCares® provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares’ services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. MusiCares also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community. For more information, please visit www.musicares.org. For breaking news and exclusive content, please like “MusiCares” on Facebook at www.facebook.com/musicares and follow MusiCares on Twitter @MusiCares at www.twitter.com/musicares.

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