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Belk rocks Charleston with annual music fest


While the annual South By Southwest festival was underway in Austin, regional department store operator Belk was connecting with its core customers in the southeast by hosting a festival of its own.

The operator of 293 Belk stores, recently acquired by Sycamore Partners, held its2016 Southern Musician Showcase on March 19 in Charleston.Five winners were selected from nearly 3,000 entries. Each will receive a cash prize as well as an opportunity to perform on Belk's Road South Tour with stops at major fashion, sporting and music events. Other prizes include a performance wardrobe provided by Belk, and an opportunity for the artists' songs to be featured in a Belk television commercial.

"Music is such an important part of Southern culture, so that's why Belk started the Southern Musician Showcase three years ago to celebrate the music and musicians that embody the Southern lifestyle," says Jon Pollack, Belk's executive vice president of marketing, sales promotion and eCommerce. "This year's winners are no doubt worthy of this recognition as all of them are amazing musicians who represent Belk and the South well."

  • 2016 Southern Musician Showcase Winners

  • Blue Honey of Nashville, Tennessee

  • Genre: Americana

  • Blue Honey is a husband-and-wife duo that has been performing in country and Americana hot spots for years. Inspired by the sweet mix of soulful blues and stirring harmony, singers/songwriters Troy Brooks and Kassie Jordan chose a name that embodied their sound and spirit.

  • Kelsey Lewis of Fort Worth, Texas

  • Genre: Pop

  • Kelsey Lewis has been performing since she was six years old. Described as "Vintage Futuristic," the young songstress is known for her effortless ability to take the old and infuse it with the new.

  • Scott Ivey of Schertz, Texas

  • Genre: Pop Country

  • From playing youth groups in his high school rock band to worship pastor, Scott Ivey has embraced his passion for music and faith in his sound and spirit.

  • Jennifer B. and the Groove of Salem, South Carolina

  • Genre: Blues

  • Jennifer B. and the Groove exemplifies the soulful, gut-wrenching sound that defines the blues. Frontwoman Jennifer B. adds her rich, powerful voice and high-octane stage presence to the band's talent, which includes Nick Boettcher on guitar, Adrian Myers on drums and Dr. D on bass.

  • Joel Cross of Denton, Texas

  • Genre: Pop Soul

  • Joel Cross is a singer/songwriter best known for his amazing combination of soul, rhythm and blues. His silky smooth voice and phenomenal guitar skills perfectly capture the sound and spirit of the South.

The Southern Musician Showcase was open to solo artists and bands in the Americana, Bluegrass, Blues, Pop, Pop Country and Rhythm & Blues genres. Belk partnered with ReverbNation, and contestants submitted their profiles, including a collection of songs, a brief biography that detailed their affiliation to the South, head shots, a full length photo and a video. Fifty semifinalists competed in regional auditions in Atlanta, Georgia; Nashville, Tennessee; Austin, Texas and Richmond, Virginia.

Belk, Inc. has 293 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states and a growing digital presence.

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