Global Sensation Tones and I Wins ISC Grand Prize For “Dance Monkey”

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Tones and I wins the overall Grand Prize of the 2019 International Songwriting Competition with her song "Dance Monkey". Judges Included: Coldplay, Tom Waits, Kevin Gates, Cam, American Authors, Kristian Bush (Sugarland), Avery Lipman (Founder/President, Republic Records), and more.

ISC 2019 Grand Prize Winner - Tones And I

This is such a great example of how just the right song can change an artist's life and should inspire up-and-coming songwriters to keep on following their dream.

The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is pleased to announce its 2019 winners. Established in 2002, ISC is the world’s largest international songwriting competition, receiving over 18,000 entries from 140 countries in 2019. More than $150,000 in cash and merchandise is awarded to 71 winners in 23 categories covering all genres of music.

Winning ISC is an honor awarded to many artists whose careers have been successful. Previous winners have included: Illenium; Vance Joy; Bastille; Gotye; Lindsey Stirling; Kimbra; The Band Perry; Kehlani; Faouzia; Gregory Porter; Fantastic Negrito; Passenger; Lupe Fiasco; Gin Wigmore; Missy Higgins; For King and Country; Dean Lewis; and many more.

For a list of winners and to hear the winning songs, go to:

For a list of judges, go to

It is with great pleasure that ISC bestows its highest honor to Australian artist and songwriter Tones And I for the song "Dance Monkey." The Grand Prize consists of $25,000 in cash (USD) and almost $45,000 in additional prizes.

“This song has taken the world by storm, and it is undeniable that it has propelled Tones And I to massive superstardom,” said ISC Founder and Director, Candace Avery. "Prior to 'Dance Monkey,' Tones And I was an indie artist struggling to get her voice heard. This is such a great example of how just the right song can change an artist's life and should inspire up-and-coming songwriters to keep on following their dream."

Australian singer and songwriter Toni Watson (known as Tones And I) grew up in Mornington Peninsula but moved to Byron Bay in 2017 to busk on the streets, where she lived out of her van for the year. In 2019, she made history when she became the first artist to spend 24 weeks at #1 on the ARIA singles charts with her global smash "Dance Monkey," which she says took her only a little more than 30 minutes to write. Since its release in May 2019, the hit single has reached #1 in 30 countries; amassed more than seven billion streams; became the highest streamed song ever by a female artist on Spotify and the most Shazamed song of all time; and is now the longest ever running #1 song on the Spotify global charts. She made her US television debut in November 2019 on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (her performance has generated over 80 million views on YouTube to date). The accolades, awards, and universal love of this song has vaulted Tones And I to the global stage. This is quite a remarkable achievement for someone who was busking and living out of a van at the end of 2018, and this young Aussie artist will no doubt continue to make history.

In addition to the Grand Prize winner, many other deserving songwriters also share in the prestige of winning their respective categories in ISC. These winners hail from all over the world and range from talented amateurs to seasoned songwriting veterans.

ISC is sponsored by: Arturia; Celebrity Access; Eventric; Fairytale Brownies; Fender; Gig Salad; Lurssen Mastering; Merch Cat; Musicians Institute; MXL Mics; Presonus; Shubb Capos; Song U; Sweetwater; and Tunecore.

Entries are now open for the 2020 competition at:

For low-res photos of winners, go to
For high-res photos, contact

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Candace Avery
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