The Inspirational Country Music Awards Talent Competition kicked off Thursday evening with a red-carpet introduction of the 20 contestants and judges. The Voice Season 18 winner Todd Tilghman is one of the judges and will headline a concert following the competition, which will take place during Friday After 5. Owensboro native and Christian country music artist Steve Bridgmon will host the competition.
Friday After 5 Executive Director Fran Marseille said this opportunity is unique both for the contestants and the community.
“I’m so proud that our city has come together to welcome this group and this talent show. So it’s been great so far,” Marseille said.
Owensboro is one of four cities hosting a preliminary competition for a national talent contest called the Nashville Talent Showcase and held by the Inspirational Country Music Association. The winner earns a package that includes performing at the Grand Ole Opry, a professional songwriting session, and the recording of a six-song EP plus two radio releases from the project.
Marseille said contestants will perform from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the McConnell Plaza in front of a panel of judges that includes a mixture of music professionals, ICMA representatives and local celebrities such as Barb Birgy from WBKR,
Following the competition, Tilghman will headline a concert featuring guest artists that include Bridgmon, Andrew Marshall, and Cody McCarver. Bridgmon was the 2017 ICMA New Artist of the Year and is a two-time Independent music Josie Award winner.
Marseille also announced that this isn’t the last time Tilghman will be performing in Owensboro, as he will close the Friday After 5 season with a concert on September 1.
“Todd is one of the most wonderful artists I’ve met in a very long time,” she said. “so “I’m really proud to have him here, and he’s coming back on our final night.”