Superstar singer/ songwriter Lionel Richie,  whose Tuskegee album is the top-selling album in the first half of 2012, has signed on as the mentor for the grand prize winner of The Nashville Songwriter’s Association International’s popular NSAI Song Contest Presented by CMT. The 13th annual competition kicks off Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012 and runs through October 31, 2012. Aspiring songwriters in any genre are encouraged to send their best songs to be judged by a panel of experts in a variety of categories including the Lyric-Only category added last year.

The NSAI Song Contest Presented by CMT has proven to be a powerful vehicle for aspiring songwriters to get discovered. Past winners have found success ranging from signing an artist development deal to securing a music publishing staff writer deal. This nationwide platform is for songwriters in all genres to submit their best tunes for consideration.

The contest offers one Grand Prize Winner, one CMT Listeners’ Choice Winner, and one Lyric-Only winner. The Grand Prize winner will have an opportunity to spend one hour being mentored by songwriting and artist legend Lionel Richie. Additional prizes will include a single-song professional demo, tickets to the 2013 CMT Music Awards in Nashville, a private tour of CMT studios, a performance at The Bluebird Café, meetings with major music publishers and a one-year membership to NSAI, just to name a few.  For more, visit nsai.cmt.com.

The entry fees are $35.00 (Current NSAI members) and $45.00 (Non-Members) per song submitted. Songwriters may submit as many songs as they would like, but the preceding fees apply to each song submitted. Entries will be accepted from August 1 until October 31, 2012 via SonicBids.com online submission platform. For details on submitting songs as well as the official prizes and rules & regulations go to www.nsai.cmt.com. Visit nashvillesongwriters.com, facebook.com/nsaiofficial and twitter.com/nsaiofficial for updates.

Proceeds benefit the NSAI Legislative Fund to protect the rights of songwriters.