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Keith Urban Selects Winner of Guitar Center's Your Next Record Unsigned Artist Competition

Keith Urban Selects Winner of Guitar Center's Your Next Record Unsigned Artist Competition Brought to you by: guitar.com

Brandon Green Lands Unprecedented Opportunity to Record With Grammy Award Winner and producer Dann Huff Plus $20,000 in Prizes and New Gear

Gc Jpg 30726Westlake Village, CA - February 2011 - Guitar Center, continuing its support of aspiring artists and the world's largest musical instrument retailer, today announced Brandon Green as the winner of Guitar Center's Your Next Record with Keith Urban. After an intense 8-week period of peer judging through OurStage.com, the top 100 unsigned artists from a group of over 6,000 submissions were chosen in a process designed to send one talented unsigned artist into the studio with Grammy Award-winner Keith Urban and producer Dann Huff. Urban hand-selected the winner with his creative team.

As winner, Green's career will be flushed with incredible opportunities, including an opening slot on one of Urban's soon to be launched "Get Closer 2011 World Tour" shows. In addition, Green will make a 3-song EP with top producer, Dann Huff, and receive $20,000 in music gear and endorsements from Gibson, D'Addario, Evans and Planet Waves.

"It was extraordinary to hear so many gifted artists submit their creations to this project," said Urban. "It was no easy task trying to narrow it down and quite frankly I could've chosen a dozen easily. From solo singers and players to duos, trios, bands, it was amazing to hear so much great talent. But I heard something in Brandon's voice that resonated with me. An authentic blend of confidence and vulnerability that made me want to hear more. So I look forward to doing just that."

With a list of reality TV engagements under his belt, including a stint on season 7 of American Idol, Mississippi native Brandon Green is an ambitious performer and songwriter based in Nashville, TN. Born in a small town near Mobile, his diverse influences help him craft high-energy songs that are in-tune with today's popular country styles, and his humility helps him remain true to his roots. He co-wrote the winning track, Love Lovin' You, with his idol Keith Urban in mind. Guitar Center's Your Next Record with Keith Urban gave him the once-in-a-lifetime chance to share it with him.

"Keith Urban is my icon," said Green. "It's cool that Guitar Center actually put this out there for small artists - to little people like us to actually have a chance to do big things. I don't really know of anyone else that does that, or of any other companies that partner with people and do that."

In October 2010, Guitar Center teamed up with Urban and commissioned OurStage.com, the leading online music company for unsigned bands, adopting its proprietary competition management technology to collect and present each music artist's submissions, allowing music fans to rank them using the OurStage.com fan judging software. Each competing artist was equipped with digital tools to help encourage their fans to judge their submissions as well as other talented unsigned artists. After the 8-week submission and judging period, Keith Urban personally evaluated the top 20 artists to select Brandon Green as the winner of Guitar Center's Your Next Record with Keith Urban. The prize package includes:

         • A 3-song EP with a top producer
         • Keith Urban to appear on a recording with the winning band
         • $10,000 Guitar Center shopping spree
         • $10,000 in new gear and endorsement deals from Gibson, D'Addario, Planet Waves, and Evans
         • An Opening slot on a Keith Urban show
         • A feature of the band's single on iTunes

Guitar Center Presents Your Next Record is just one of many Guitar Center initiatives created to foster growth and success within the music community. In addition to the first edition of this competition, Your Next Record with Slash, Guitar Center also provides its annual King of the Blues, Drum-Off and On-Stage competitions to emerging musicians, among others.

Guitar Center's King of the Blues is a nationwide amateur guitar skills competition with the goal of finding the next great undiscovered blues guitar player.

Drum-Off, now in its 22nd year, is an annual drumming competition that has served as a launching pad for many drummers, including Cora Coleman-Dunham and Tony Royster, Jr., two Drum-Off winners who have gone on to become highly acclaimed professional drummers with Prince and Jay Z, respectively.

Guitar Center On-Stage is an annual competition judged by a legendary rock band. Each year, the winning band wins an opening slot for the judges, which have included Mötley Crüe and KISS.

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About Guitar Center
Guitar Center is the world's largest retailer of guitars, amplifiers, drums, keyboards, recording, live sound, DJ and lighting equipment. Our retail store subsidiary presently operates 215 Guitar Center stores across the U.S. We are also the largest direct response retailer of musical instruments in the United States through our wholly owned subsidiary, Musician's Friend, Inc., and its catalog and Web site, www.musiciansfriend.com. In addition, our Music & Arts division operates more than 100 stores specializing in band instruments for sale and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors and students. More information on Guitar Center can be found by visiting the company's Website at www.guitarcenter.com.

The Guitar Center logo is a registered trademark of Guitar Center, Inc. Other brand or product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

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About Keith Urban
In 2001, the Country Music Association honored Keith Urban with its Horizon Award, designating him a talented artist with a bright future and to this day Urban remains the first Horizon Award winner in history to go on to win the CMA's Top Male Vocalist of the Year, a title he's captured three times, and the coveted Entertainer of the Year.  Nearly 15 millions albums later, Keith is a three-time Grammy Award winner, who has an American Music Award and People's Choice Award.  He's won five Academy of Country Music Awards, had 11 #1s, including 24 Top 5 hits and two consecutive #1 CDs.

In December 2009, Urban was named the year's Top Overall Performer for Country Aircheck/Mediabase based on his country radio airplay, thanks to his hits including "Sweet Thing," "Kiss A Girl," and "Only You Can Love Me This Way."  In addition, his 2002 smash "Somebody Like You" was named the #1 Country Song of the Decade by Nielsen BDS (based on radio airplay and audience impressions).

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