Vance Joy (nee James Keogh) has won the 2014 International Songwriting Competition with his alt-pop hit "Riptide," and he did so in a historic way. It's the first time in the contest's 14-year history to merit perfect scores from every judge. Those judges included a number of fellow musicians, including Avicii, Bastille and Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels of Run D.M.C., as well as music industry representatives.
"It is such an honor to win this songwriting prize," Keogh said in a statement after the win. "Writing songs is what gives me a feeling of purpose. I'm proud to receive this award voted on by my songwriting peers."
There's more than just honor that comes with the ISC win. The top prize in the competition also earned Vance Joy a $25,000 cash payment as well as $45,000 in merchandise and services.
"Riptide" was a major success on U.S. rock radio during 2014, peaking at no. 1 on both the rock and alternative charts, while, rising to no. 30 on the Hot 100. The single has sold more than 2 million copies in the U.S. alone, while also going multi-platinum in his homeland of Australia as well as Canada.
Previous winners include Bastille, Gotye, Passenger and The Band Perry.