Matthew Austin Brown, a Baldwin High School graduate, and fellow members of the group Home Free are the newest winners of the music competition The Sing-Off on NBC. The winners were announced during a broadcast Monday night.
As winners, Home Free earns the grand prize — $100,000 and a Sony Music recording contract.
The Sing-Off is a unique competition series that showcases the country’s top a capella groups performing popular songs with no lip-syncing, backup bands or safety nets. Multi-platinum recording artist Nick Lachey is host of the NBC show. Judges include Jewel, Ben Folds of Ben Folds Five and Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men.
Brown, a Tifton native, began his musical heritage as a young boy growing up with his father in the southern gospel community along with his mother in church. Brown moved to Milledgeville as a high school freshman, attending BHS. He starred in many roles in various school and community musical productions. Brown secured an overall state championship as a soloist during his senior year in 2004.
Home Free was the last group standing among nine other groups during Season 4 of The Sing-Off, which kicked off with a two-hour premiere on Dec. 9.
The group auditioned in New York and sang three songs. A week later they were contacted about the show.
Prior to the show’s airing, Brown said a win would be “life-changing” for members of the group.
“This provides a platform for us to reach a whole new world, to a market of people to share our music with,” Brown said before the show premiered. “Milledgeville is home to me, so I hope everybody votes for us and shows their support. I want to make Milledgeville-Baldwin County proud.”
For more information about Brown and the Home Free band visit www.theaustinbrown.com, www.homefreevocalband.com or like the Home Free Facebook group.
Click here to check out our Neighbors feature on the band and Austin's journey to The Sing-Off:
Check out video from Monday's announcement here: