2024 Session I - OPEN
Open -
February 15, 2024
Deadline - June 30, 2024 - 11:59pm PST
Winner Announcement -
September 1, 2024
12 Grand Prize Winners (one in each category) and 36 Finalists (three in each category)

2024 Session II - CLOSED
Open -
July 1, 2024
Deadline - December 31, 2024 - 11:59pm PST
Winner Announcement -
March 1, 2025
12 Grand Prize Winners (one in each category) and 36 Finalists (three in each category)

2023 Lennon Awards
Winner Announcement -

May 1, 2024

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.

2023 Song of the Year
Winner Announcement -

July, 2024
One of the 12 Lennon Award Winners will win Song of the Year and $20,000.

facebook twitter
instagram Lennonbus
Imagine Peace

Contact Us

Meet the Judges

The noted singers/songwriters, performers and industry veterans listed below help to judge the John Lennon Songwriting Contest

Prince Royce
Prince Royce is the biggest breakthrough artist the Latin music industry has seen in many years. His self-titled debut album has been certified 3x Platinum in the US and Puerto Rico, and 4x Platinum in Chile. The twenty-four year old has recorded hit songs with superstars Maná, Daddy Yankee, Selena Gomez and Thalia, toured the US with Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull and was the winning coach in the debut season of the top-rated US Latin TV show La Voz Kids. Royce is a three time Latin Grammy nominee and has won 16 Latin Billboard Awards, 13 Premio Lo Nuestro and 17 Premios Juventud (currently nominated for 16 Latin Billboards and 5 Premio Lo Nuestro awards).

George Clinton
George Clinton is one of the foremost innovators of funk music, and was the mastermind behind the bands Parliament and Funkadelic. Clinton was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 with 15 other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.

Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers
Flea is a co-founding member and bassist of the Grammy Award-winning and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Red Hot Chili Peppers. He is also the co-founder of the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, a non-profit organization whose mission is to facilitate basic music education through private music lessons at a reasonable cost and scholarships for children in need.

Mike Sapone
Mike Sapone is an American record producer, composer, audio engineer, and mixer. 2017 brought Sapone his first No. 1 Album and third top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart with Brand New’s “Science Fiction”.
Sapone also produced Brand New’s critically acclaimed “The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me,” which was included in NME’s Top 100 Greatest Albums Of The Decade and received a 5 out of 5-star review entitled “America finally gets their own Radiohead” from Alternative Press magazine.
Sapone’s combined discography has logged over 400 million streams on Spotify alone.

American Authors
A four-piece alt-rock outfit based in Brooklyn, American Authors use their razor-sharp musicianship and natural mastery of songcraft as a jumping-off point for sonic exploration. Featuring their breakout hit song “Best Day of My Life” and follow-up single “Believer”, the sunny yet soulful debut album Oh, What a Life is also built on a magnetic sense of optimism that’s carried American Authors from their formation at Boston’s Berklee College of Music to their down-and-out early years in Brooklyn to their current status as an internationally touring band on an ever-growing rise. Their single “Best Day of My Life” was named the #1 most played song in 2014 on Adult Pop Radio. American Authors also won the Grand Prize in the Rock category for the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in 2012.

Jimmy Cliff
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jimmy Cliff is best known among mainstream audiences for songs such as "Wonderful World, Beautiful People", "The Harder They Come," "Sitting in Limbo", "You Can Get It If You Really Want" and "Many Rivers to Cross" which helped popularize reggae across the world.

Matthew Koma
Singer/songwriter, producer & Cherrytree Records/Interscope recording artist Matthew Koma is a rock-and-roll fan making a major splash in the EDM world. He co-wrote the 2012 smash single "Calling (Lose My Mind)" by Swedish DJ/producers Sebastian Ingrosso and Alesso featuring Ryan Tedder, and collaborated with EDM phenom Zedd to co-write the number-one dance single of 2012 "Spectrum" (on which Koma was featured) as well as Zedd's double-platinum GRAMMY award-winning hit "Clarity."

Nick Hexum of 311
Nick Hexum is the singer/guitarist for 311. The band has sold nine million albums & DVDs, scored 7 top 10 albums, and had 9 singles rocket into the Top 10 of the Alternative radio chart (including three #1's). Hexum recently launched a solo/side-project: The Nick Hexum Quintet.

Ben Jaffe of Preservation Hall Jazz Band
As son of co-founders Allan and Sandra Jaffe, Ben has lived his whole life with the rhythm of the French Quarter pulsing through his veins. Raised in the company of New Orleans’ greatest musicians, Ben returned from his collegiate education at Oberlin College in Ohio to play with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and assume his father’s duties as Director of Preservation Hall.

Clint Maedgen of Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Clint Maedgen has been the saxophone player and vocalist in the venerable New Orleans institution Preservation Hall Jazz Band since 2003. He is also the audacious showman who fronts the punk cabaret act New Orleans Bingo Show, a troupe that has performed worldwide including stops at the Kennedy Center and hosting its own stage at the Voodoo Festival for eight years. His latest project is his one man electro-acoustic audio/visual experience CM RADIO.

Gaby Moreno
Guatemala City’s Gaby Moreno is the first Latin American to win ‘Song of the Year’ in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. After receiving a Latin GRAMMY for Best New Artist in 2013 Gaby was asked to be a judge in the very contest she had entered years before to kick off her career. She has also been nominated for an Emmy for writing NBC's Parks and Recreation's theme song and has toured with Tracy Chapman, Ani DiFranco and Hugh Laurie.

Lita Ford
Lita Ford is the iconic forerunner of female rock guitarists, first with The Runaways and continuing to her ongoing solo career. The multi-honoree musician/singer/songwriter is also the author of "Living Like A Runaway."

Bob Weir
A founding member of the Grateful Dead, Bob Weir's musical legacy (separate from its cultural implications) will be of an utterly strange rhythm guitar player and songwriter who grew up in one of the most lasting outside bands of the 1960s. Playing with the Dead until their dissolution following the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995, Weir has since made his musical homes in Ratdog and the Other Ones.

Zach Martin
Zach Martin is a national radio veteran and publish author. Currently, he is heard nationwide on his nationally syndicated “Ultimate Classic Rock” radio program and serves as Creative Services Director for WFAN FM-AM New York. Zach’s radio travels include stops at WCBS, WXRK, WAXQ, WNNJ and WAWZ in the New York-New Jersey metro, and on air positions at WMMR and WPLY Philadelphia, WIYY and WGRX Baltimore, plus stations in Denver, Long Island, Atlantic City and other markets.
Zach currently serves as the voice of Amtrak, Security Dodge, Buick GMC, Suzuki and other companies.
Zach also is a published author, sharing the tragic tale of the death of his mother Eleanor Stoecker, a victim to serial killer Charles Cullen, in “Death Angel” published by Kensington Books.
Martin obtained his Bachelors of Science in Criminal Science from Saint John University in 2000, and also holds an MBA in Business and MPS in Theology. Zach serves in the clergy and is dedicated to various charity organizations including the Harrison House and Buddies of NJ, a ministry that serves people living with HIV and AIDS.

Jack Joseph Puig
Multi-GRAMMY Award winner Jack Joseph Puig (JJP) has helped redefine the role of the producer and mixing engineer in modern music. JJP has worked with countless hitmakers, including Sheryl Crow, Fergie, Weezer, Florence + the Machine, Lady Gaga, U2, John Mayer, No Doubt, Sugarland and The Rolling Stones.

As they enter their 17th year as a band, Switchfoot has sold 5.5 million copies worldwide of their eight studio albums (including their double-platinum breakthrough The Beautiful Letdown & Grammy Award-winning Hello Hurricane), racked up a string of Alternative radio hit singles, performed sold-out world tours and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to aid homeless kids in their community through their own Bro-Am Foundation.

The Lone Bellow
Born in Brooklyn, New York, with deep family and musical roots in Georgia, the fast-rising acoustic trio The Lone Bellow is proving, show by show, that the sounds and stories of Main Street resonate on Main Streets everywhere, winning fans across America and around the world. The band released their self-titled album internationally via a world-wide deal with Descendant Records/Sony Music.

Taylor Momsen of The Pretty Reckless
Rising through rock 'n' roll's ranks to become a profound, and often polarizing presence, The Pretty Reckless, featuring lead singer Taylor Momsen, has sold over 350,000 albums and over 1 million digital tracks performing as headliners all around the globe and supporting acts such as Guns N' Roses and Marilyn Manson.

Sheila E.
Sheila E. is a Grammy nominated American singer, drummer and percussionist whose notable collaborators include Prince, Ringo Starr, Gloria Estefan, Pharell Williams, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Hans Zimmer and Kanye West.

Art Alexakis of Everclear
Art Alexakis is the lead singer/ songwriter/ guitarist/ producer for the platinum-selling band Everclear and has just been named the Songwriting Program Chair of the Los Angeles College of Music. Art has penned best-selling hits such as “Santa Monica,” “Father of Mine,” “Everything to Everyone,” “I Will Buy You A New Life” and “Wonderful.”

Sean Paul
GRAMMY Award winning Jamaican pop/dancehall superstar Sean Paul has sold over 10 Million albums worldwide since bursting onto the scene in 2000 with Stage One. With an undeniable track record for crafting hit singles, including “Get Busy,” “Gimme The Light,” Beyonce's “Baby Boy,” “Like Glue,” “We Be Burnin’” and “Temperature,” Sean Paul has established himself as one of the seminal pop voices of his generation.

The Veronicas
The dynamic duo Lisa and Jess of The Veronicas from Brisbane, Australia. 'Untouched,' the first single from the electro-rock sizzler Hook Me Up, which was released by Sire Records in August 2008, is currently No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and shows no signs of slowing down. With its expert songcraft, killer harmonies, and sassy confidence, Hook Me Up is a powerful step up from The Veronicas' debut album, The Secret Life Of … which sold more than 300,000 copies in Australia, spawned three of their five Top 10 singles, and won a slew of awards (including a coveted ARIA), making the girls international stars.

Natasha Bedingfield
The United Kingdom's biggest female pop star, Natasha Bedingfield has taken the United States by storm with the first British chart-topping hit by a female in almost 20 years. Vanity Fair singled her out as the spearhead of a new "Britpop"; invasion, and she now has a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Natasha has sold more than 10 million singles and albums worldwide and has five top 10 U.K. singles. Her 2006 U.S. debut came with the No. 1 single, "These Words". Later that year, "Unwritten" became the most played song on mainstream American radio. Natasha's success continues with "Pocketful of Sunshine" which also has become a favorite on radio stations across the country.

We Came As Romans
We Came As Romans will release their highly anticipated, fourth full-length album on July 24, 2015 via Equal Vision Records. The self-titled release was recorded with multi-platinum award winning producer David Bendeth (Bring Me The Horizon, Paramore, Of Mice and Men). Internationally, We Came As Romans will be released in partnership with Spinefarm Records and Equal Vision Records.

Bootsy Collins
Rising to prominence with James Brown in the early 1970s, and later with Parliament-Funkadelic, Bootsy Collins' driving bass guitar and humorous vocals established him as one of the leading names in funk. Collins was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

Jessica Jarrell
From a starring role in a school Christmas play to performing with Justin Bieber in front of thousands of fans on stage - Jessica Jarrell is definitely living the dream! The talented pop and R’n’B singer/Pastry Shoes Brand Ambassador was born January 1, 1995 in Diamond Bar, California. Not only was she featured with a duet on Justin Bieber’s song “Overboard” from his “My World 2.0” album, but she also toured all over the U.S. and Canada on his “My World 2.0” tour. She’s also had some hit singles of her own. From the catchy dance tune “Armageddon” to “Almost Love” and “Up and Running”, 17-year-old “JJ” is a star on the rise.

Nathan East
Chances are, you've spent your whole life listening to Nathan East. You just never knew it - until now. After four decades performing with some of music’s biggest stars, East releases his first-ever solo album on Yamaha Entertainment Group, filled with genre-crossing grooves and energized with his relentless generosity as he leads the way for his friends and fellow musicians to shine. East’s self-titled album features collaborations with Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Michael McDonald, Sara Bareilles, Bob James, Chuck Loeb and others. A founding member of the chart-topping jazz group Fourplay, East is the bassist behind 1,500+ records for artists including Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Beyoncé and Daft Punk.

Bryan-Michael Cox
With twenty-three #1 hits under his belt, Grammy Award winner and SESAC affiliate Bryan-Michael Cox is best known for his spectacular musical feats in blockbuster songs for artists such as Usher (“You Got It Bad,” “Confessions”), Mariah Carey (“Shake It Off,” “Don’t Forget About Us”) and Mary J. Blige (“Be Without You”). Cox has been named Billboard’s Songwriter of the Year, number eight in Billboard’s Producers of the Decade, SESAC’s Songwriter of the Year for six consecutive years, and in 2010, was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

Jesse Harris
Jesse Harris is a singer/songwriter from New York City. In 2003 he won the Grammy Award for Song Of the Year for Norah Jones’s rendition of “Don’t Know Why”. He wrote four other songs for that album and also appeared as guitarist. His songs have been recorded by many artists, including Madeleine Peyroux, Lizz Wright and Pat Metheny. As a guitarist he has played on a wide range of albums, including the new Bright Eyes “I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning” and the forthcoming debut by Tristan Prettyman “Twentythree”.

The Bacon Brothers
(Forosoco Music) These guys have seen it all! With Kevin's diverse acting repertoire and Michael's classical music background, the Bacon Brothers have all the ingredients needed to wow audiences.

Trevor Gale
Trevor Gale is responsible for signing and developing songwriters & publishers as the Sr. Vice President of Writer/Publisher Relations at SESAC. He has advocated for expansion in the fields of R&B and hip-hop, affiliating some of the genres’ key figures including Swizz Beatz, Jack Knight, Nate “Danja” Hills & Jason Perry as well as overseeing the largest-ever increase in SESAC’s urban repertory. Trevor has also worked with Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Vanessa Williams & Run DMC as an independent record producer, songwriter & drummer.

Ray Dalton
Seattle-based singer and songwriter Ray Dalton emerged onto the scene quickly in 2011 with his upbeat and soulful feature on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ party anthem, “Can’t Hold Us.” While 2011 turned out to be a big year for Ray, he remains focused on carving his own path in the industry and creating something special for everyone who believes in him.

Tuomo & Markus
Tuomo & Markus is a new musical project from acclaimed Finnish soul artist Tuomo Prättälä and singer/songwriter Markus Nordenstreng of The Latebirds. The two songwriters gathered spontaneously at Wavelab Studio in Tucson AZ to record new music with their friends who included members of Calexico, Wilco and Jayhawks. While their craftsmanship and timeless songs are rooted in the great American songbook and their harmonies may be reminiscent of Simon & Garfunkel or Crosby, Stills & Nash, Tuomo & Markus are no retro act. Unusual arrangements and fearless use of unexpected sounds and beats brings their sound to the 21st Century.

Angela Hunte
GRAMMY Award-winning songwriter and SESAC affiliate Angela Hunte Wisner has written & collaborated with some of the most influential players in the music business. Her credits include collaborations with producer Diplo on the Snoop Lion album, Miley Cyrus, Jerry “Wonda” Duplesis, Akon, Raekwon and Jennifer Hudson. Angela also won a GRAMMY for writing 2009‚s “Empire State of Mind“ by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.

Reeve Carney
Reeve Carney originated the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the smash Broadway production Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark. He was handpicked by director Julie Taymor, with the chance to perform music by U2’s Bono and The Edge. “Reeve was everything we could have hoped for: an amazing voice and a truly charismatic presence,” says Bono. Perhaps this is why he was chosen to portray Jeff Buckley in Mystery White Boy, the upcoming biopic about the late singer. Reeve also fronts the rock band Carney, whose debut album Mr. Green Vol. 1 is out on DAS Label/Interscope.

Kenny Aronoff
Kenny Aronoff, high on the list of Rolling Stone’s list of “The Best 100 Drummers of All Time” and named #1 Pop/Rock Drummer and #1 Studio Drummer by Modern Drummer, has played with everyone from John Mellencamp and Melissa Etheridge to Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Rolling Stones, Smashing Pumpkins, Garth Brooks, Lady Gaga, Beyonce and hosts of others. He has written a best-selling book, Sex, Drums, Rock ’n’ Roll! The Hardest Hitting Man in Show Business and is a sought after motivational speaker.



Taylor Genelec Apogee Notetracks Avid Artiphon Neutrik Solid State Logic K&M Reason Audio Technica Music Connection