Young musical talents took the Stars Over Texas Stage at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Tuesday, March 21, for the final round of the 2017 Rodeo Rockstar competition.
The Rodeo Rockstar senior division champion title was awarded to Madison Paige Urbanowski, 17, from Katy, Texas. Urbanowski, who recently auditioned for this season of “The Voice,” performed, “Broken Wing,” by Martina McBride. This budding star, who has performed since she was two, plans to use this win to catapult her music career.
“This is a huge step in my career when it comes to getting my music out there,” Urbanowski said. “I mean, just last week Garth Brooks was on this stage so I am stepping into the shoes of country legends.”
Paper Wolf, a band that formed just six months ago, won first place in the junior division. The Houston-based band features three curly-haired boys, Levonne Cooke, 14, Aidan Bell, 15, and Danny Ochoa, 15, and lead singer Taylor Nutt, 15. These talented young rockstars performed Led Zeppelin’s original song, “Dazed and Confused.” The young bandmates said that winning Rodeo Rockstar is a big step in their career.
“Having a chance to record is really huge for us,” Taylor said. “We really want to release an EP this summer, so winning the studio time will help make that happen.”
The year’s contest was judged by radio host Cowboy Dave from The Morning Bull on 100.3 The Bull; Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle music critic; and RODEOHOUSTON® concert video director Phil Nudelman.
Rodeo Rockstar winners received a $500 check from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, a full day in a recording studio with Stormy Cooper Media, and a performance in the 2018 Downtown Rodeo Parade. The second place winner received a $250 cash prize and the third place winner received a $100 cash prize.
To make it to the final stage, contestants in the junior division, ages 6-15, and the senior division, ages 16-21, submitted audition videos online. More than 47,000 votes were cast in the online public voting which advanced contestants to the semifinals. Just five contestants in each division were advanced to the final round where they performed live on the Stars Over Texas Stage.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a Section 501(c)(3) charity that benefits youth, supports education, and facilitates better agricultural practices through exhibitions and presentation. Since its beginning in 1932, the Show has committed more than $430 million to the youth of Texas. For more information, visit rodeohouston.com and connect with #RODEOHOUSTON online via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for all of the latest news. The 2017 Show runs through March 26.