NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 26, 2019)—Tipton, Indiana, resident Gabriel Winn reached the final four in the Pigeon Forge Path To Fame talent competition on Saturday, June 22. The singer competed against 13 other performers at the Smoky Mountain Opry theater in Pigeon Forge.
Winn, 17, was one of four semi-finalists selected from 24 Path To Fame contestants at the Cabaret Theatre in downtown Indianapolis on March 23.
During the final competition, Winn performed “Let It Be,” accompanying himself on keyboards. The performance garnered the judges’ attention, and Winn returned to the stage and sang “She Used To Be Mine,” a song from the Broadway musical Waitress. Singing since the age of 12, Winn also performs in show choir and community theater in Tipton. His musical influences are actor/singer Jeremy Jordan and his grandfather. The latter attended Saturday’s event, and Winn recognized him from the stage.
While Winn didn’t claim the grand prize, he did capture the attention of Nashville talent executive and Path To Fame professional mentor John Alexander, co-founder and CEO of BandTwango. “Gabriel simply blew me away, even more so than at his first audition in March in Indianapolis. He’s an incredible vocalist.” Alexander discovered country stars Kelsea Ballerini and Patty Loveless, among others.
Frankfort, Kentucky, resident Grayson Thurman, 18, claimed the grand championship prize. He wins a year of monthly consultations with Alexander as well as a career consultation with country artist Carly Pearce. Professional photography and videography session, media training and introductions to other entertainment industry executives complete the grand prize package which includes tools to help Thurman advance his career.
“The performers represented in the Pigeon Forge Path To Fame championship are representative of the great talent we saw in Birmingham, Lexington and Indianapolis this year,” said Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism Executive Director Leon Downey. “We’re eager to see where each performer’s path to fame takes them but, hopefully, back to Pigeon Forge.”
Home to a variety of musical productions and dinner shows, Pigeon Forge’s theatre community has helped launch the careers of Pearce, who performed at Dollywood theme park and Country Tonite theater, American Idol alum Janelle Arthur, singer/songwriter/actress Diana DeGarmo, Grand Ole Opry member Craig Morgan and soap star Eric Martsolf.
About Pigeon Forge:
Pigeon Forge is located in East Tennessee, approximately 35 miles from Knoxville and McGhee-Tyson Airport. Two-thirds of the nation's population east of the Mississippi River lives within a day's drive, making it an easily accessible family vacation destination. The city's neighbor is Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most-visited national park in the U.S. It also is home to Dolly Parton's Dollywood theme park, Tennessee's most-visited ticketed attraction. More information about all aspects of Pigeon Forge are available at MyPigeonForge.com or toll-free at 1-800-251-9100.