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Aussie duo takes top songwriting prize

Canadian songwriters place well at International Songwriting Competition

Last Updated: Thursday, April 30, 2009 | 1:12 PM ET

Australian singer-songwriters Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttal took the grand prize in the annual International Songwriting Competition on Thursday for their song Caught in the Crowd from their latest CD, Curiouser.

Entered in the Pop/Top 40 Category, it tells the story of a young girl who befriends an unpopular kid at school, then succumbs to peer presssure and turns her back on him when he is hassled by bullies.

The judges, who included Black Francis, frontman for the U.S. rock band the Pixies, and Jerry Lee Lewis, praised it for its powerful lyrics and strong pop sensibility.

The Brisbane-based husband-wife team are the first Australians to win the competition's top prize.

Miller-Heidke, who initially trained as an operatic singer, said they will use the $25,000 US prize, the largest of any songwriting competition, to take her band overseas.

Canadian songwriters scored highly in the awards competition, which provides an opportunity for both aspiring and established songwriters to have their work heard in an international arena.

Bill Halliday and Gereth Jones (the Cansecos) of Toronto took top place in the Dance/Electronica category for Raised by Wolves.

Tea Petrovic of Vancouver scored top place in the R&B/Hip-Hop category for Fire & Flame.

And Cape Breton singer-songwritier and hit producer Gordie Sampson and Michael Logen of Nashville took the first place award in the Folk/Singer-Songwriter category for Davey Jones.

First-place winners received cash prizes of $3,000 US.

Remi Chasse and Tailor Made Fable of Terrebonne, Que., took second prize, with a value of $2,000 US, in the Rock category for A Case of Mistaken Identity.

Third-place prizes of $1,000 US were won by:

Canadians who received honourable mentions included:

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