May 02, 2004

Singer Brad Cotter Wins 'Nashville Star'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A 33-year-old man from Alabama who has been trying to land a major label record deal for years was chosen as the winner of the reality talent show, "Nashville Star," which last year launched country singer Buddy Jewell's career.

Brad Cotter edged out two other finalists, George Canyon and Matt Lindahl, to win the title and a recording contract with Sony Music Nashville on Saturday.

As a youth, Cotter recorded five gospel albums and enjoyed regional success in Auburn, Ala. He moved to Nashville in 1993, where he has been singing demo tapes and writing songs for publishing companies.

"It's kind of strange," Cotter said. "You can never tell how it's going to happen. ... I'm living proof that God has a plan for his children, and no man can change his will."

Cotter's debut single, "I Meant To," which he co-wrote and performed during the finale, will ship to country radio Monday.

"Nashville Star" combines country music with reality television by placing contestants in a wired house on Music Row as they compete for a recording contract with Sony Music Nashville. Cameras capture their daily interaction and weekly live performances, which are judged by USA Network viewers and industry professionals.

Last year, the winner was Jewell, a 42-year-old father of three who had been rejected by every major record label in Nashville. His self-titled album for Sony debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard country charts and spawned a No. 3 single, "Help Pour Out the Rain (Lacy's Song)."

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