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World Karaoke Champion launches International Karaoke Cup to be held in Seattle

Garvaundo Hamilton, the 2020 Karaoke World Champion, now has his eyes set on hosting his own international karaoke competition in Seattle. #k5evening

KIRKLAND, Wash. — When most people think of karaoke, they picture fun, crazy, and perhaps out of tune. 

But once you hear Garvaundo Hamilton and friends sing, your image might change. 

The Seattle area has quite the karaoke scene. On a typical Friday night, Ozzie's, in Seattle's Queen Anne Neighborhood, has a line wrapped around the building. 

Garvaundo Hamilton is a local star on the karaoke scene. But he made headlines in 2020, when he won the Karaoke World Championship with his recording of the song "Fix You" by Coldplay. 

As amazing as he sounds in the video, there's nothing like hearing him live. We followed Garvaundo to two karaoke spots — The Whiskey Mile in Kirkland and Ozzie's in Seattle.  

And whenever Garvaundo sings, something inevitably happens. People start recording on their phones and sharing. As grateful as he is for the love, he is hoping to share the spotlight by starting a new competition.

He's calling it the International Karaoke Cup.

"The goal is to have this one organization kind of like the NBA. The Olympic council organization or the NFL. We create all the rules that will govern karaoke competitions," Garvaundo explained. "Creating a community through this competition globally is my goal." 

So far, he has contestants from 10 countries and 15 states.

Whiskey Mile KJ Jeffrey Walker is a musician who started competing in karaoke. He expects the competition will highlight what people in the PNW karaoke scene already know. 

"Before I came into this, I used to think of it as where sad singers go to die," Walker shared. "This slow death of a graveyard of singers. But doing it, it's vibrant. It's full of all these incredible singers and I had no idea all these people who care about it. There are also people who are just having fun and belting out their favorite song, but that's cool too. Karaoke is really about everybody."

But the best part, according to Jeff and Garvaundo, has nothing to do with the singing itself, but the community that builds around it. 

"Karaoke, you can meet your average joe. But also, you could meet a CEO or you could meet a journalist like yourself just having fun. Doctors, nurses, teachers just after a long day at work," Garvaundo shared. "I made friends from all walks of life, and I love that!"

The International Karaoke Cup will take place in Seattle this fall. For more information, visit IKF Karaoke Cup.

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