June 30, 2009 // Franchising.com // Louisville, KY – Legendary lyricist MC Lyte and chart topper David Banner will add sizzle to KFC's search for the next hot musician in this year's "Hitmaker" song contest, now in its third year. All aspiring musicians are invited to submit their hottest beats to win national exposure and great prizes as part of KFC's Pride 360° program. The grand prize winner will receive a "Hitmaker" recording studio and a chance to be one of 12 artists featured on the Pride 360° CD.
Last year's contest drew 300 percent more entries than it did in the first year. This year, to demonstrate its commitment to uncovering the freshest musical talent and spice things up a bit, KFC enlisted Lyte and Banner. The two artists will help contestants and winners raise their game, said Jermaine Higgins, KFC's manager of multicultural marketing.
"MC Lyte and David Banner are two of the most respected artists in urban music, and they also stand out for their commitment to the community," Higgins said. "I'm very happy that they've added their muscle to KFC's search for up-and-coming music stars."
Musicians' songs will be heard on the Hitmaker Web site, www.KFChitmaker.com, and they will be available for download as mobile phone ring tones. KFC will donate all profits from ringtone downloads to the 'Heal the Hood Foundation', a national non-profit organization founded by Banner to support the victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
"One thing I love to do is help young musicians find their way to shine in the music business," said Banner. "That's why I'm proud to be a part of the KFC 'Hitmaker' contest."
Now through July 31, musicians coast-to-coast can enter an original song about having pride in their community. The winning songs, judged by Lyte and Banner, must express the signature themes of KFC's Pride 360° initiatives as expressed in the Pride 360° key words Individual, Family, Community and Heritage. Artists can upload their audio submissions (and artist/musician photos) at www.KFChitmaker.com or mail them by July 31 to: KFC at 1900 Colonel Sanders Lane, Louisville, KY, 40213, Attn: KFC Hitmaker. All visitors to KFC.com can vote for their favorite versions of the Pride 360° songs from August 4-18.
"There are so many talented individuals out there, and this is a great way to find them," said philanthropist and Grammy nominee MC Lyte. "I look forward to showcasing artists who can use their skill on the microphone to talk about things that are really important—family and community."
KFC Corporation, based in Louisville, Ky., is the world's most popular chicken restaurant chain specializing in Original Recipe®, Extra Crispy®, Kentucky Grilled Chicken™ and Original Recipe Strips with home-style sides, Honey BBQ Wings, and freshly made chicken sandwiches. There are more than 15,000 KFC outlets in 109 countries and territories around the world serving some 12 million customers each day. KFC Corporation is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., Louisville, Ky. (NYSE: YUM.)
Pride 360° is KFC's reminder that the reasons we succeed are all around us - Individuals, Families, Communities. KFC wants to encourage others to succeed and achieve by honoring their heritage and fostering a belief in people. KFC believes, "What we honor today comes full circle tomorrow."