Gay musician MRF (real name Mike Flanagan), has a lot to celebrate, as the talented jazz artist just won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest Grand Prize with his bandmates Lisa Bello, Shawn Stewart, Justin A.L Waithe and Sheree Dunwell for their effort called Mob Music.
For those unfamiliar on who Mike actually is, let's catch you up to speed. Mike is an incredible jazz musician, who has released two albums under his stage name MRF. Those albums have gone on to do amazing things such as debuting at number one on the iTunes Jazz Albums charts and even placed him on Billboard's coveted Heatseekers.
Now, they are one of 24 grand prize winners for the annual John Lennon Songwriters Contest, which began 21 years ago and is open to amateur and professional songwriters who submit entries in any one of 12 categories. These categories include Children's, Country, Electronic, Folk, Gospel, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Latin, Pop, R&B, Rock and World.
Even though MRF is primarily a jazz artist, his Mob Music effort won the grand prize for Hip-Hop. Now, they are up for two more crucial awards: the John Lennon Award in the hip-hop category and overall Song of the Year. 12 artists will win out of the 24 (one will be chosen from each in a fan category), and then one song from all will win the coveted Song of the Year award.
Per the official website: Each of the 12 Lennon Award winners will receive 1,000 CDs in full color jackets from Disc Makers (MSRP $799), $500 gift certificate to Digital Media Academy, D'Addario 10-pack NYXL or Nickel Bronze Strings (MSRP $128.25), D'Addario Beatles Strap (MSRP $40.85) in addition to their Grand Prize Winner packages.
Then all 12 Lennon Awards Winners are eligible to win a Line 6 James Tyler Variax Guitar (MSRP $1,399.99), Focusrite Clarett 8Pre Interface (MSRP $1249.99), 200 12" Vinyl w/ full color Euro jackets from Disc Makers (MSRP $1598), $1,000.00 gift certificate to Digital Media Academy, Mackie Reach professional PA System with custom carrying bag (MSRP $1319.99), D'Addario 10-pack NYXL or Nickel Bronze (MSRP $128.25), D'Addario NS MicroTuner (MSRP $35.40), D'Addario Humidipack & Humiditrack combo package (MSRP: $125.55), D'Addario Beatles Strap (MSRP $40.85) AND the $20,000 Song of the Year in addition to their Grand Prize Winner and Lennon Awards packages!
Let's support our fellow LGBT brethren and give him and his talented bandmates at least one of these awards for their incredible efforts! Voting is open until April 30th, where the 12 John Lennon Winners will be announced on April 30th. For more information on how to vote, click here.