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Unsigned Band Wins Recording Contract With Mars Music Records/Palm; Atlanta's The Jennifer Nettles Band Wins Grand Prize In Nationwide Music Search Competition.

Entertainment Editors


The Jennifer Nettles Band was selected the grand prize winner over 2,000 other unsigned bands in "The Big Deal $100,000 Music Search." Presented by Mars Music, the nation's hottest seller of musical instruments, recording equipment and pro audio gear, and The Box Music Network, the only interactive, 24-hour all music network, the music search competition offered unsigned bands a shot at more than $112,000 in prizes, including a $50,000 recording contract with Mars Music Records/Palm.

"Jennifer Nettles combines her engaging songs with dynamic vocals to deliver a powerful performance that not only engages and enchants her listeners, but also involves them," said Mark Begelman, Mars Music CEO & Founder. "We look forward to working with The Jennifer Nettles Band and congratulate them on winning the grand prize in The Big Deal $100,000 Music Search."

Besides the recording contract, The Jennifer Nettles Band ( also won $10,000 in Fender products, $5,000 in Yamaha products, $5,000 Pearl products and $1,000 in Zildjian products.

Atlanta's Jennifer Nettles - backed by Brad Sikes on drums, Scott Nicholson on piano, Wesley Lupold on bass and Mike Cebulski on percussions - combines honest song writing and soul-turning lyrics with a voice whose emotions range from the power of a freight train to the subtlety of a southern lift. Reared on a diet or rock, blues, folk and soul, Nettles has become known for her high-energy live performances that have garnered both regional and national success. She was awarded a slot on the 1999 Lilith Fair Tour, has a growing national fan base and has performed in some of the Southeast's signature venues, colleges and festivals.

The second-place prize winner, Halfmanwonder, from Levittown, N.Y., received a complete live PA stage performance system valued at over $30,000. Third-place went to JFJ, from San Antonio, who won a home recording studio package from Roland valued at over $6,000.

The Big Deal $100,000 Music Search was open to all bands and musicians not currently under contract with a major or independent record label. Out of the 1,500 bands who entered, 300 were selected as semifinalists. Competing in showcases at over 40 Mars Music stores around the country, 16 finalists were then selected. From that, final winners were selected by Mars Music Records, Palm and The Box Music Network.

All 16 semifinalists will be featured on a compilation CD coming out within the next month on Mars Music Records. The CD, which will be available for sale on and at all Mars Music stores, will also include a bonus track from Seven Channels, an alternative rock group that signed with the hot, new independent label.

About The Box Music Network

The Box Music Network is television's only interactive 24-hour all-music channel that caters to the musical tastes of any audience, market by market. The hub where music meets cable, digital and Internet technology, The Box presents the newest and most diverse selection of music on television through the use of 190 digital file servers across the country. The network, currently available in 20 million U.S. households, originates programming uniquely tailored to each market it serves. It provides viewers the option to watch videos on The Box free of charge, or to choose a video from a current menu of up to 125 selections, updated weekly. Web savvy viewers can preview and order videos from The Box Online ( or visit Box Fusion, the world's only convergent technology which synchronizes music videos with the Internet in real time, 24/7. This service allows viewers to watch their favorite videos as they read artist bios, concert schedules, make purchases and interact with a virtual community.

About Palm

Palm is the new record label and picture company owned by the legendary Chris Blackwell. He is the former president and founder of Island Records, which is responsible for launching the careers of Bob Marley, U2, Melissa Etheridge, The Cranberries, Eric B and Rakim, Anthrax, Jethro Tull and Traffic.

About Mars Music

Based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Mars Music, Inc. was founded in 1997 by Mark Begelman and currently operates 46 stores in 24 states, plus a public Web site at Each "concert hall-size" superstore is filled with more than 100,000 name-brand musical instruments and recording and pro audio products. All Mars Music stores also have a full-size stage and Entertainment Center, recording studio and Learning Center. Through a variety of innovative programs (the Learning Centers, the Mars Music Foundation, Rock U, Be A Player, Mars Babies Make Music), Mars Music is already the largest provider of private music instruction in the United States, having given more than 1,000,000 lessons since the company's inception.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 28, 2000
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