NRS Series 7 Final Round

We had a fantastic final round for this series 7 tonight at Wild Wing Cafe. Our 4 finalists came back and performed 4 songs each! All 16 songs were very good, but one song stood out among the rest and was crowned the Winning song of Nashville Rising Star! And it was close! The Top 3 songs were only separated by less than 10 total rate points! Our Industry judges rated each song from 1-100 based on commercial potential of the song. The winning song had a total of 432 points from our 5 music industry judges.

Watch the entire final below!

The winner of Nashville Rising Star Songwriter Open-Mic Contest Series 7 Finals. From left to right, David Browning, Bruce Michael Miller, Taylor Dukes, Michael Whittaker, Rick Barker, Ray Hamilton, and NRS creator/director, Keith Mohr.
The winner of Nashville Rising Star Songwriter Open-Mic Contest Series 7 Finals. From left to right, David Browning, Bruce Michael Miller, Taylor Dukes, Michael Whittaker, Rick Barker, Ray Hamilton, and NRS creator/director, Keith Mohr.


1- Tessa Victoria
2- Scott Sanford
3- Taylor Dukes
4- Jeff Randall

Taylor Dukes was crowned as Nashville Rising Star Series 7 winner with her song, “Mistake.”

Here’s a pic of Taylor receiving her $500 check from our main sponsor, Wild Wing Cafe in Cool Springs.

Wild Wing Cafe/Taylor Dukes


David Browning- Producer/Programmer/Songwriter David Browning has been an active force in the professional music scene for two decades. Starting his professional career as a touring keyboardist, David traveled with many of music’s top artists.

Progressing further as a songwriter and producer, David worked with many renowned artists, including Katy Perry, Amy Grant, Ce Ce Winans, Jump 5 as well as broadcast production work for NFLʼs Monday Night Football and Pro Bowl, ESPN and others.

David has also worked remotely with talented greats such as Neal Schon (Journey), Mickey Thomas (Starship), Dez Dickerson (Prince), soul diva Linda Clifford and platinum- selling country great Paul Brandt, and side-by-side with songwriting and production moguls Diane Warren, John Bettis, Dennis Matkosky, Keith Thomas, Peter Zizzo, Ric Wake, Brett James, Martin Briley and James Slater.
Michael Whittaker- Emmy nominated Michael Whittaker is a unique hybrid of his diverse upbringing as session pianist, producer and film composer.

After attending UCLA’s school of music and majoring in film scoring, Michael has gone on to compose music for over 300 television episodes and TV movies including the popular Power Rangers. Currently Michael is scoring and producing for companies like Disney, Sony, NBC and Lions Gate Films. In 2011 his theme was chosen as the main theme of the new Disney Family Movies channel.

Michael’s orchestration and production skills have won many awards such as the Telly award for his score to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, A 2013 Emmy nomination, Bank of America Musical Achievement award, International Association of Jazz Educators player excellence award, and the Clarence Brown Memorial scholarship for jazz.

Michael’s experience in many styles, has allowed him to work with many notable artists including Lionel Richie, Jimmy Kimmel Live house band, Mack Davis, Paulina Rubio, Wayman Tisdale, Lionel Richie, 98 Degrees, Cake, Brenda Russell, and many others…
Most recently, he has produced up and coming EDM artist Svrcina who broke the top 100 on itunes, Michael was just chosen to compose the theme song for the European basketball league. He finished a documentary called “The Great Awakening.” He’s now working on a compilation of top up and coming Nashville talent.
Ray Hamilton- Ray is president and CEO of Merf Music Group. They are a music publishing company based in Nashville, TN. They specialize in song placement to Major and Indie Recording Artists as well as placements for Film, TV and other multi-media formats. They have recently had cuts on Miranda Lambert’s new project, as well as numerous other high profile placements.
Bruce Michael Miller- is one of Nashville’s most requested song evaluators. Bruce has taught songwriting at the college level and is active in the Nashville songwriters’ community. He has evaluated upwards of 12,000 songs and has been a judge for the CMT songwriting contest for several years.

Bruce is not only an award-winning writer, but a producer, performer, and music educator. He has performed with such notable artists as Paul McCartney, Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina, Laura Branigan, The Standells, John Densmore of “The Doors”, Gary Wright, Jeffrey Steele, and others.

Bruce has had cuts by Steve Holy, Legendary Blues artist Miranda Louise, traditional country great Allen Carl, pop artist Lisa Nemzo, Nancy Terzian, Miss Jeannie and others. Bruce’s songs have been featured in motion pictures, performed internationally by other artists, and he has scored and produced movie soundtracks. His song “Voodoo” was chosen as an Oscar contender for Best Song in a Motion Picture for 2013.
Rick Barker- Rick is a Personal Manager, Marketing Consultant and Public Speaker living in Nashville Tennessee. Rick has been involved in some amazing careers including Taylor Swift, whom he personally managed from 2006-2008.

Before that, Rick had a 15 year career in radio, and then accepted a job with “Big Machine Records” in 2004. While at Big Machine, Rick developed a unique touring model for their artists called “Nashville To You.” Some of the first acts Rick took out were Sugarland, Josh Turner and Rodney Atkins.

Recently, Rick been a consultant to Sony Music Nashville and Big Machine Records. He’ s also secured Major Label Recording and Publishing Deals for his clients.

Rick is the mastermind behind the “Music Industry Blueprint”, a development service now teaching artists from around the world everything they need to know about the complicated music business. His marketing strategies have since been featured in a number of publications, including Billboard Magazine.”