In August, 2011, Canadian rockers The Sheepdogs became the first unsigned band to be featured on the cover of Rolling Stone.
The Sheepdogs took part in the outlet’s Choose the Cover contest. After months of competition and over 1.5 million votes cast online, the boogie rock revivalists beat out 15 other artists, winning their way onto the cover.
As part of their prize, The Sheepdogs also got a contract with Atlantic Records, which came at the perfect time, as the band had been feeling the strain of pursuing music prior to winning the competition.
“I saw high school friends get jobs and get married and become adults, and I’m still pursuing this artistic dream where I have no money, no assets and a shitty car I can’t even afford to register,” frontman Ewan Currie explained to Rolling Stone.
When a music manager submitted their demo for the contest, everything changed. They got to visit New York City, perform on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and even rock out at Bonnaroo.