american song contest

‘American Song Contest' Illinois Contestant: Chicago Singer Among 56 Performers

"American Song Contest," premieres 7 p.m. Monday on NBC 5

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Musical performers from all 50 states, five major U.S. territories and Washington D.C. will seek to captivate the nation as they showcase their talents on NBC's new live reality competition series, "American Song Contest."

Premiering Monday night, "American Song Contest" will feature groups and soloists who will battle it out to win the country's vote for best original song.

The competition, hosted by Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg, will include a jury comprised of 56 people, one from each state/territory, who will evaluate each artist's performance based on artistic expression, hit potential, originality and visual impression.

Some well-known celebrities including Macy Gray, Michael Bolton and Jewel will represent their home states, but the majority are up-and-coming artists and singers on the rise.

So, who will be repping Illinois in the competition?

Justin Jesso, a Glencoe native who discovered his passion of music at just 5 years old, has worked with artists such as Ricky Martin and the Backstreet Boys as well as Norwegian dance producer Kygo.

As a teenager, he performed in several Chicago theater plays, and a few years later went on to become a supporting act for young Disney artists including Jesse McCartney, Jordin Sparks and Raven Symoné, according to his online biography.

Jesso is best known for his work on Kygo's “Stargazing," which has accumulated over 134 million YouTube views, and was awarded worldwide for more than 400 million streams.

The singer, who studied at the Clive Davis Institute of Record Music, released an EP "Let It Be" in 2019 and recently dropped a new single "Clarity."

Over the years as a musician, Jesso said he has learned one thing: you shouldn't try to reach your goals too stubbornly.

"Everything happens at the right time, and the universe plays by its own rules. The more desperately you wish for something, the longer it might take," he said in his biography. "You have to be patient. Music has always helped me to understand my feelings better – today, it makes me happy to just be able to connect with my fans and hopefully touch them with my songs.”

"American Song Contest," premieres Monday at 7 p.m. CT on NBC 5.

NBC/NBC Chicago
Contact Us