A “miracle” took out this year’s Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition.

Matt Corby and Dann Hume’s ‘Miracle Love’ won first prize in the prestigious contest, ahead of Sarah Aaron’ multiple APRA Award-winning smash, ‘The Middle’.

Third place this year went to Brisbane artist Sahara Beck for “Here We Go Again.”

With their victory spoils, Corby and Hume will share $50,000, courtesy of APRA AMCOS, Alberts and BMG. It’s said to be the largest first-place cash prize for any songwriting competition on the planet.

Matt Corby, ‘Miracle Love’

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A song drenched in emotion and warmth, ‘Miracle Love’ is lifted from Corby’s second album Rainbow Valley, which opened at No. 4 on the ARIA Album Chart last November. The ARIA Award winner will get a chance to perform his winning number this weekend at Splendour in the Grass in Byron Bay.

“This song was a special one for Matt and I, one of the first songs we wrote together after a few years between his albums,” says Hume, who co-wrote the song. “No idea what would come, when it was finished it felt like it had always existed and we just happen to find it buried in the backyard studio of his house.”

In a statement issued this morning from the competition organisers, Hume and Corby noted, “We are so grateful that such a positive song burrowed into the hearts and ears of our peers and genuinely humbled by this moment.”

Second-place, and a $10,000 cash prize donated by the Australasian Music Publishers Association (AMPAL), goes to Sarah Aarons for ‘The Middle,’ a Grammy-nominated worldwide hit performed by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey.

The Melbourne-raised, Los Angeles-based hitmaker, collected four trophies at the 2019 APRA Awards, including songwriter of the year.

Zedd and Grey, ‘The Middle’ featuring Maren Morris

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In third place, Sarah Beck scores $5,000 courtesy of Aon for ‘Here We Go Again,’ which she wrote with producer Tony Buchen.

Sahara Beck, ‘Here We Go Again’

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Also, 21-year old Melbourne singer-songwriter Kaiit scoops $5,000 for ‘Miss Shiney,’ which wins the Unpublished prize, now in its second year. Kaiit, the recipient of the Archie Roach Foundation Award for emerging talent at The Age Music Victoria Awards, co-wrote the winning Unpublished song with Michael Lee Chan, Mohamed Komba, Vincent Goodyer and Nicholas Martin.

Kaait, ‘Miss Shiney’

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All told, the winners were selected from a pool of 3,683 entries from 48 countries. The voting results were “extremely tight”, organizers say, and the final winners were unpredictable throughout the voting process. The songs were narrowed down from a top 40 finalist shortlist, and the chosen few were selected by a music industry panel featuring the likes of songwriter Lior, previous Vanda & Young first-place winner Isabella Manfredi of The Preatures, triple j Unearthed’s Dave Ruby Howe, TIO’s Lars Brandle and others.

Now in its 10th year, the annual contest is much more than songwriters’ arm wrestle. It’s a fundraising vehicle for Nordoff-Robbins.

Applicants chip in an entry fee of $50 per submission, with all money raised going to Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia (NRMTA) programs. To date, entrants have raised more than $1.2 million for good causes.

The prize takes its name from the legendary songwriters and founding members of The Easybeats, Harry Vanda and George Young, who passed away in October 2017.