Past Winners

Session I - CLOSED
Open -
January 11, 2021
Deadline - June 15, 2021 - 11:59PM PST
Winner Announcement -
September 1, 2021
12 Grand Prize Winners (one in each category) and 36 Finalists (three in each category)

Session II - OPEN
Open -
June 16, 2021
Deadline - December 31, 2021 - 11:59PM PST
Winner Announcement -
March 1, 2022
12 Grand Prize Winners (one in each category) and 36 Finalists (three in each category)

2020 Lennon Awards
Winner Announcement -

May 1, 2021

Grand Prize Winners of Session I and Session II will compete head-to-head in an online voting battle to become the Lennon Award Winner in their respective category.

2020 Song of the Year
Winner Announcement -

July, 2021
The 12 Lennon Award Winners will compete for the Song of the Year and $20,000.

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Song of the Year

Upright Listen to "Upright" by Khemist.


New York, NY (July 30, 2020) - The John Lennon Songwriting Contest has announced Khemist as the winner of the coveted $20,000 'Song of the Year' for his original song "Upright."

As 'Song of the Year' winner, Khemist won $20,000 in cash in addition to prizes from Yamaha, OWC (Other World Computing), Audio-Technica, Neutrik, Genelec, Disc Makers, Focusrite and more. He has also received other prizing throughout the year after winning both the Lennon Awards and the Grand Prize packages in the Hip-Hop category. The song was selected to win the top prize by the John Lennon Songwriting Contest's Executive Committee of Judges, consisting of legendary and contemporary superstars such as Gaby Moreno, George Clinton, Prince Royce, Matthew Koma, American Authors, Switchfoot, Bootsy Collins, Kevin Bacon & more.

Philadelphia-bred songwriter, MC, poet and prolific musician, Khemist is an award winning, critically acclaimed artist and bonafide lyrical force. Khemist's eclectic body of work reflects his bittersweet upbringing amidst the blighted streets of the hardscrabble city, yet defies falling into stereotypical music categorization.

A total of over $300,000 in cash awards and prizes will be distributed this year by the year-round John Lennon Songwriting Contest, which is open to both amateur and professional songwriters in 12 musical genres. Special weekly opportunities offer additional prizing. Visit JLSC.COM for more information about the contest and to enter for your chance to become the next $20,000 'Song of the Year' winner. Entry fees from the contest help support the non-profit John Lennon Educational Tour Bus.




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