In 2009, the Songwriters Hall of Fame announced the creation of The Holly Prize, a new award made possible by Songmasters as a tribute to the legacy of Buddy Holly, a SHOF inductee. The Holly Prize will annually recognize and support a new “all-in songwriter “— an exceptionally talented and inspired young musician/singer/songwriter whose work exhibits the qualities of Holly’s music: true, great and original. The Holly Prize is administered and juried by the SongHall, and coincided with Songmasters’ launch of Listen to Me, a multi-media platform celebrating the work of true, great and original music recording artists. Songmasters and Listen To Me are committed to providing great music and to helping the next generation of recording artists develop their talents and make outstanding music. For more information on Songmasters or the Listen to Me series, visit www.songmasters.org
Born in New York City in 1985, singer/songwriter Emily King grew up surrounded by the music of her parents, jazz vocal duo Kim and Marion. By her late teens, she was playing shows in restaurants and venues around New York City including CBGB’S and The Bitter End. In 2004 King had gained the attention of Hitman producer Chucky Thompson, which led to a meeting with famed music mogul Clive Davis, and a recording contract with J Records/Sony Music. Her debut album East Side Story was released in 2007 and later received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary R&B Album of the year. During that time, King toured with John Legend and Floetry, and opened for Gnarls Barkley, Alicia Keys, Chaka Khan and Erykah Badu among others.
After parting ways with her label in 2008, King continues her work independently. Her follow-up EP “Seven” was recorded in her home and released in July, 2011. She is currently touring in support of it. In October she accepted an invitation from Maroon 5 to be the opening act on their European/Scandinavian tour in late 2011.
King’s carefully crafted compositions are the perfect vehicle for her polished, lush vocals that harbor both an innocence and honesty. A gentle mix of soul, folk and rock influences, King’s music emotes the kind of straight to the point storytelling that’s reminiscent of singer/songwriters of the 1970’s.