LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The International Top Singer Search today announced the results of its first global search to locate exceptional under-appreciated singers. “We all know some of the stars discovered on the big shows like America’s Got Talent, American Idol, and the Voice,” says Norm Zada, a songwriter and the president of Zada Records, who sponsored the program. “There are plenty of extraordinary singers looking for a break that don’t quite make the big shows. This competition is for them.”
The winners split $50,000. Tying for first place were Marcello Vieira, from Portugal, for his cover of “Never Enough” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr2jcqKtRWg; Andrijana Janevska, from Macedonia, for her cover of “Broken Hearted Me” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soKaae35_9o; and Jessie Wagner-Cowan, from New York, for her cover of “True Colors” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqc38QSRV7I.
Tying for second place were John Riesen, from New York, for his cover of “Smile” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBse2Y5ucCc; Natalis Rubero, from New Mexico, for her cover of “I Could Fall in Love” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7jUJX4FY6Y; Jessie Wagner-Cowan, for her cover of “The Sound of Silence” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqm3oDb_WGU; and Marcello Vieira, for his cover of “Uptown Girl” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2Vxcx35nC4.
Judging the competition were Little Anthony (“Hurt So Bad”), Larry Chance (“I Believe”), and Keith Roth (SiriusXM). Participants were asked to submit vocals for one of a list of preselected cover songs. The background instrumentals of the finalist songs were rerecorded or otherwise modified to avoid copyright issues. A new competition is scheduled to begin September 1. That competition will be open to previously released songs as well as covers of the artist’s choice. For more information, visit zadarecords.com.
Andrijana Janevska has released 11 albums and more than 50 singles. She is a professor of music at the University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Skopje. She was first violinist in the Macedonian Opera and Ballet from 2003 to 2023. Jessie Wagner-Cowan is a singer/songwriter signed to Stevie Van Zandt’s record label, Wicked Cool. She released her debut album, Shoes Droppin, to critical acclaim. Marcello Vieira is a singer/songwriter who has recorded more than 40 albums with different artists. He began his music career as a drummer, but then discovered he could sing when the lead singer didn’t know the lyrics for a song at a band rehearsal. John Riesen is a pitcher turned singer who performed at the Lincoln Center as the voice of Tony in West Side Story. He finished fourth in “America’s Got Talent” as part of a team that had him singing “Nessun Dorma” as the voice of Howie Mandel. Natalis Rubero has written R&B songs for A&E/Lifetime. Her songs have been played on multiple shows, including TLC’s 90 Day Fiance.
The president of Zada Records, Norm Zada (aka Zadeh), runs the United States Investing Championship as well as the International Top Singer Search. He is a former hedge fund manager who taught Operations Research in a visiting capacity at Stanford, UCLA, UC Irvine, and Columbia Universities. From 1996 to 2007, he published Perfect 10 Magazine, a tasteful, all-natural version of Playboy. Dr. Zada is the son of Lotfi Zadeh, the creator of fuzzy logic. Norm is the author of four books, The Rise and Fall of Perfect 10 (released in 2021), Hold’em Poker Super Strategy (released in 2020), Winning Poker Systems (Prentice Hall, 1974), and Fox News: The Enemy Within (released in 2021).