Sandhills to stardom: Julia Golden competes in Carolina Music Showdown

Moore County’s Julia Golden has been making a name for herself from the Sandhills to Nashville “as long as she’s been alive.” Now, she’s vying for the top spot in the Carolina Artist Showdown with her song “Cupid.”

The competition, hosted by the Carolina Country Music Awards, offers local talent the chance for daily radio airplay on the Carolina Country Radio Network. Listeners across the Carolinas are encouraged to tune in and vote for their favorite song and artist. The top “vote-getter” each month is dubbed Artist of the Month and has their song featured daily.

Voting is open until the end of May, and Julia appreciates any support from the community. “I’m really proud of my hometown. I’m proud of Moore County,” noted Julia. “I want to represent Moore County in Nashville, and I want to represent my hometown as best as I can.”

Though she is Moore County born-and-raised, Julia has recently begun traveling to Nashville for live performances in addition to her shows in the Carolinas. For local shows, Julia is often accompanied by her guitarist, Mike Smith, who she describes as a highly skilled musician, 20-year military veteran, and “the very best man.”

To be considered for the Carolina Artist Showdown, artists can submit their songs or be contacted directly by the competition’s organizers. Julia submitted “Cupid” at the end of February and was selected as one of May’s competitors. This is no small feat for Julia — with over a thousand submissions annually, the competition is fierce, and only two to five songs are chosen each month to compete.

If Julia secures the most votes and becomes the Artist of the Month, she’ll qualify as a contender for the CCMA’s Entertainer of the Year, where she could potentially be the youngest ever to take the title.

To cast a vote, listeners simply need to join the Carolina Artist Showdown Facebook group and vote through the page.

“Cupid” is available for streaming on all major platforms, even TikTok and Instagram. To vote for Julia, visit the Carolina Artist Showdown Facebook group. Alternatively, to learn more about Julia and listen to her music, she can be found on social media platforms @juliagoldenmusic or at

Feature photo: Julia Golden and Mike Smith/Courtesy photo.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel copy editor Abegail Murphy. 

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