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LOS ANGELES, CA., Jan. 27, 2020 – Each finalist sang with poignancy and passion, but in the end, only one was unique enough to win Lincoln’s “Chart Your Course” competition and earn the chance to take their career to the next level.
Cas Haley, from Paris, Texas, won with his original song, “Every Road I’m On,” an upbeat tune with special meaning for the husband and father of two. He took time off from singing on the road and composed it while his wife, Cassie, battled a rare, aggressive form of breast cancer.
In the process, Haley created a positive, stress-free environment in which his wife could heal. The experience was life-changing for the entire family. “When you’re doing what you love, you don’t get tired,” he says. “Just be yourself. Do your best. Those are the words I live by.”
Chart Your Course
“Music is a central part of the overall Lincoln experience, and this competition allows us to celebrate the craft of songwriting,” says Michael Sprague, North America director, The Lincoln Motor Company. “Our Lincoln clients have such an enthusiasm for music. It brings together communities – yet embraces individuality. We’re so excited to have found these artists who feel as much passion for it as we do.”
More than 1,600 musical artists answered the Chart Your Course call, vying for a prize that includes a talent contract and professional recording session at renowned Capital Studios, access to industry mentors and the opportunity to appear in a national Lincoln marketing campaign and the keys to their own Lincoln Corsair*.
By mid-November, the contestants had been narrowed down to four, with finalists chosen by a panel of judges from the music industry including representatives from Universal Music Group and Revel. Entrants were judged on composition, arrangement, melody of the song and creativity of their lyrics, as well as their personality and presence as demonstrated in their video submissions.
Throughout January, the public was invited to vote online for the finalists at www.chartyourcourse.com. The finalists, including winner Cas Haley, were:
For this singer/songwriter, music is a calling, one she considers a nearly mystical way in which to share her feelings with the world. With her strong, almost ethereal voice, Field offers her thoughts on life. “Integrity is when your thoughts, words and actions all match up to your values,” she says. “That is one of my goals right now. Music has definitely made me more open to experiencing life. It’s made me get out of my comfort zone.”
This harpist not only composes music and sings, she teaches music to children, believing it can broaden their horizons and open them to the world around them. Music has such power, Garro believes, that it can help express thoughts and emotions that get locked inside. She speaks from experience, having worked through the grief of losing her father. “When you lose someone, you’re holding onto these feelings, this identity you knew … and you’re going through withdrawal of a human being,” she says. “Music definitely has the power to heal.”
This passionate musician believes music can be a bonding experience, something that brings people together and lets them know they’re not alone in the world. Sharing when life gets rough – and when it gets better – can be life-changing, he believes. “I create moments for people that let them know their experience isn’t just theirs,” says Gavin. “Everyone has a power about them. Our biggest opportunity in life is uncovering that.”
Jon Batiste, accomplished musician and musical director for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on CBS, lent his expertise as official mentor to the finalists. “I was inspired by the raw talent, hard work and passion I witnessed from each of the finalists,” says Batiste. “This competition focused on the craftmanship of songwriting, and facilitating the winning artist’s career. That to me demonstrates Lincoln’s authenticity and commitment to music.”
Voting for the Chart Your Course competition ended Sunday, culminating the night of the prestigious 62nd annual Recording Academy GRAMMY Awards®, for which Lincoln debuted as the official automotive sponsor.
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*For official rules, visit chartyourcourse.com.
The Lincoln Motor Company is the luxury automotive brand of Ford Motor Company, committed to creating compelling vehicles with an exceptional ownership experience to match. For more information about The Lincoln Motor Company, please visit media.lincoln.com or www.lincoln.com. Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/lincoln.