From ‘American Idol to ‘The Walking Dead’: Lee DeWyze Lands Publishing Deal with SONGS (EXCLUSIVE)

Lee DeWyze
Marina Chavez

Singer-songwriter Lee DeWyze, who won the ninth season of “American Idol,” has joined the roster at SONGS, the publishing company that’s home to The Weeknd, Diplo, Lorde, and DJ Mustard. DeWyze, who is now a free agent after stints with Vanguard and Shanachie Records, has seen success in synchs ever since his composition, “Blackbird Song,” was selected for a key scene in “The Walking Dead.” Since then, he’s seen more than 30 placements in television shows and commercials.

“It’s been an exciting time over the past year,” the 31-year old Illinois native tells Variety. “The deal with SONGS is a great next step for me in my career. I was always a songwriter, and it really came to the forefront when I went over to Vanguard and was able to make, what I consider, the first record that was through-and-through all me.”


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That album, “Frames,” included the song “Don’t Be Afraid,” which landed in a Blue Cross/Blue Shield commercial campaign. Placements on the NHL, ABC’s “The Fosters” and CBS’ “Elementary” followed.

Carianne Marshall, partner and head of Creative Licensing at Songs, was impressed with the breadth of DeWyze’s unreleased material, which he along with manager Brett Radin presented. Says Amanda Tufeld, SONGS’ director of creative services: “While signings such as The Weeknd and Lorde put us on the map, SONGS’ number one priority remains our dedication to our writers — big and small and  in all stages of their career. … Lee is an extraordinarily talented songwriter and will prove to be a great addition to the SONGS family.”

“Songwriting is really at the core of what they do, as it is at the core of who I am,” adds DeWyze. “I felt like SONGS was the place I belonged.”

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    1. Wonderful for Lee to be recognized as a gifted songwriter. He was my favorite on Idol and I continued to follow him after his win. He has once again impressed me with his song “Weight”. His voice, the words and the music make you feel the song. Congratulations Lee!

    2. I’m so happy to see this news. Lee DeWyze has become my favorite artist and I believe that we are just beginning to see the depth of his talent.

    3. CINDY says:

      I’m sorry for not being familiar with his other works, but I’ve watched every episode of The Walking Dead since 2010, and Blackbird Song, which appeared in season 5, can still bring a tear to my eye. It was so beautifully done to fit the tiny 2 minute opening scene it was created for. Fans of The Walking Dead refer to it as “Bob’s Song”, and it was perfect in reflecting the character’s sad past that it was created for. Thank you.

    4. JoAnne Arnold says:

      Good for you, Lee.
      Much Happiness , you are the Best!!!

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