Vandy Sophomore Christy Zink Named 2016 Vanderbilt Star

Lamon Records Nashville Sponsors Vanderbilt Star Songwriter Competition
Judges Eric Pasley, Phil Barton, Chris DeStefano and Lucie Silvas offer critiques and tips.

The third annual Vanderbilt Star songwriting competition was held Sunday, March 20. The event was held to benefit Next Steps at Vanderbilt, a division of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. The organization is a two year certificate program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, providing independent living skills and career development, and a unique college experience. The Next Steps at Vanderbilt students were a part of the event as well, serving as greeters, ushers, and even co-hosting.   Check out Nashville’s Channel 4 coverage of the event.

Several of Nashville’s most esteemed songwriters served as the celebrity judging panel, offering praise and constructive criticism for the contestants. Phil Barton‘s songs have been recorded by Sara Evans, David Nail, and Dustin Lynch. His song “A Woman Like You” was a hit by Lee Brice. He won “Breakthrough Songwriter” in the Music Row Awards alongside his co-writer Johnny Bulford for the song. Chris DeStefano is a Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, producer, and instrumentalist whose songs have been recorded by Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, and Jason Aldean to name a few. He also co-wrote “Something In The Water” recorded by Carrie Underwood. Eric Pasley has had five #1 hits, including “Friday Night” performed by Lee Brice. He was recently nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “The Driver” with Charles Kelley and Dierks Bentley. Lucie Silvas released her debut album “Breathe In” and has toured extensively in Europe. She has also toured with Kacey Musgraves, Skrillex, Greg Allman, and Little Big Town throughout the US and UK. All of the judges were impressed with the level of talent in the student songwriters.

Eight talented Vanderbilt and Belmont students were selected from all the submissions to perform their original material before the panel. The judge’s chose the three finalists. After an audience poll via text messages, Vanderbilt sophomore Christy Zink came out on top with her song “Do I Make You Sweat.”

Zink was awarded the grand prize of a recording contract by Lamon Records President, Grammy-nominated and Dove Award-winning artist producer Dave Moody, who will produce and release the winning song through the label’s international distribution.

Special thanks to sponsors William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, Nashville Songwriters Association International, the Next Steps Ambassadores Student Organization, and Next Steps at Vanderbilt Advisory Council for helping to make the event possible.

For more information on Next Steps at Vanderbilt, visit

For more information on Lamon Records Nashville, visit