Nashville songwriter Ric Kipp has been named the winner of the AOL Music-sponsored Michael Jackson’s "Dream" Songwriting Contest. The contest was administered through Tonos Entertainment, the global musician's online network founded by legendary BMI songwriters Carole Bayer Sager, David Foster and Kenneth Babyface Edmonds. Kipp’s lyrical submission allowed him the opportunity to work with Michael Jackson, Foster, and Sager on a song to be recorded by Jackson.
Carole Bayer Sager with Ric Kipp and David Foster
David Foster wrote the melody for an anthemic song entitled “I Have This Dream,” for which Jackson had already written the title and first line of the chorus, and asked America On-Line members to submit "an optimistic and inspiring” lyric to complete the song. Jackson, Sager and Foster selected Kipp’s lyrics from over 1,000 entries, saying his words “best reflected our vision for the song.” In July, Kipp was flown to Los Angeles for a co-writing session with Sager and Foster, where the trio completed the song.
Originally from New Orleans, Ric Kipp grew up on a gumbo of blues, rock, jazz and country influences. After headlining clubs in the Big Easy and throughout the South, Kipp took his well-received roots rock band west to LA, where he won a BMI-sponsored songwriting contest resulting in an indie record deal. On a trip to Nashville, Kipp was offered a songwriting deal by publishing legend Buddy Killen. After relocating from Los Angeles, Kipp formed a roots country band and toured the South and Europe. He has recorded with Steve Earle, has had songs in film soundtracks and has a song on the current Confederate Railroad CD.
Kipp will return to Los Angeles later this summer, when Jackson will record his vocals on the project, possibly with an all-star roster of artists -- not unlike his 1985 famine relief anthem “We Are The World." All proceeds from the project will be donated to children’s relief organizations around the world.