Legendary drummer Roger Taylor has announced Marc Martel as one of the winning vocalists for The Queen Extravaganza contest Thursday.
"What an amazing and unexpected opportunity to come our way – not to mention the timing of it all for me," said Marc Martel, in a press release from Hollywood Records. "Having gotten to know the other contest winners a bit in LA, I'm confident we have what it takes to gel as a unit and give our best to do justice to some of the best rock music ever recorded. I am so thankful for the chance to do this. Gonna be Fun!"
Martel had a chance to be on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" Oct. 3 where he sang a picture perfect version of "Somebody to Love."
His initial YouTube audition of that song went viral and has well over 5 million views.
He is one of the lead singers in Christian rock band Downhere, formed in 1999, which only became a band because of a school project. Jason Germain is the other lead singer, while Glenn Lavender plays bass and Jeremy Thiessen is the drummer.
The band was signed to Word Records after the label contacted the members through email. At first, the band members thought it was a joke, but after persistence from the company, they realized their dream.
Downhere has won several awards including the Juno Awards, Covenant Awards, Vibe Awards, Prairie Music Awards and Dove Awards.
“It is such a thrill when artists we have been developing and working with get the recognition they deserve. To have Downhere continue to garner the accolades from their Canadian fans is overwhelming,” said Steve Ford, vice president of marketing at Centricity Music.
The fans showed their support for Martel, and voted him winner of the MTV O Award last week for Best Fan Cover.
"As the audition videos began posting, we could see right away that the caliber of talent was very high," said Taylor.
"But when I got into the studio with the final 25 musicians, I realized that these guys are seriously good players. They went way beyond my expectations. It was an incredibly difficult decision to choose the final line-up. I wish I could've kept them all, but in the end, I'm very happy with this group of exceptional musicians."
The winners of the contest are:
Vocals: Marc Martel and Jennifer Espinoza
Guitarists: Tristan Avakian and Brian Gresh
Drums: Tyler Warren
Bass: Francois-Olivier Doyon