Few people can truly be called music icons, but the late John Lennon is more than that: he's the quintessential rock legend. What better way to honor one of the world's greatest musicians than to show how his music lives on?
As part of our celebration of his 70th birthday on Oct. 9, Billboard.com went looking for a new working class hero who could truly rock a Lennon tune. Fans everywhere tuned up and turned in some inspired covers of Lennon's tunes. Last week we narrowed the field to four finalists and opening it up to a Billboard.com poll. Over 22,000 folks watched the cover artists' videos and voted, and we've now tallied them all up: The winner is Estee Maria Hadzikostas & Danny Borg's heartfelt rendition of Lennon's "Don't Let Me Down," released in 1969 by the Beatles.
Estee Maria Hadzikostas & Danny Borg - "Don't Let Me Down."
Hadzikostas and Borg explain that the inspiration to enter the cover song contest came from their, "respect and admiration for John Lennon. To consistently write popular music that has a message while reaching a broad audience decade after decade is a true gift and one we aspire to earn."
Singer/songwriter Estee Maria Hadzikostas, from Long Island, NY, honed her musical talents at the Berklee College of Music and is currently performing around New York City. More of her music can be found at Myspace.com/esteemaria. The other half of the pair, New York drummer Danny Borg is also a trained pianist and songwriter. Over the past 6 years, he has shared the stage and studio with musicians including Carlton Holmes, Lukas Haas, Chris Theberge and former New York Yankee Bernie Williams opening for Diana Ross and Patti LaBelle at New York's Radio City Music Hall. More of his music can be found at Myspace.com/dannyborgdrums.
The pair, who have been playing and writing music together in New York, will debut their new collaboration, The Estee Maria Project, in a performance at the Bitter End in Manhattan on Oct. 26. They hope to record an album soon.
In winning the contest, the New York duo, who were also voted the Facebook fan-favorite in the first round, score a John Lennon prize package that includes reissues of all of Lennon's solo albums, a Lennon Box of Vision, a set of Lennon t-shirts, and more.
Thanks again to all of our four finalists: winners Hadzikostas & Borg, plus the three runner ups Robert Beavers from Dekalb, IL, The Canon Logic from Brooklyn, NY, and the Jacob Jeffries Band from Plantation, FL. Everyone did a great job.