Country music singer/songwriter, Dakota Hayden, was first discovered after winning the second season of Shine.
During Shine singers, songwriters and hip-hop artists alike are given personalized training from Grammy Winning mentors and coaches. During a long week of challenges, the contestants are put in scenarios that prepare them for the music industry. Each competitor must learn to sing, sell and become a better songwriter. Shine is the #1 competition short form series in America currently in Season 3, where Dakota returns as a mentor for the new coming freshman class.
The teen heartthrob came in ready to impress during his season. After the judges hand picked him from hundreds of online auditions, he joined a group of 40 singers eyeing the prize.
Though not necessarily a frontrunner after auditions, Dakota sang his original song, "Already Gone" written about the loss of someone close to his family. This was when the tides turned in his favor. The show takes place over the course of a week, where artists have to grab attention quickly before their left at the chopping block. Well, get out the tissues because this song will take you there. Click here to watch it now.
After surviving his first challenge, he was heading into group rounds. He was put into a group with Julia May, Jackson Snelling (who also went on to compete on American Idol after Shine - watch his audition here), and Joslyn Brown.
Watch his journey on BTV's original series, Shine here:
After making it to Hollywood, Dakota was eliminated right before the live shows. He made it all the way to the Top 30, with much respect from the judging panel the includes: Katy Perry, Keith Urban and Lionel Richie. The winner that ended up taking the crown during season 20 was another Kentucky native - Noah Thompson.
Did you catch him on American Idol? Did you watch Dakota on Shine? Well if not, you'll get another chance when Shine returns at the end of the summer.