In 2010 alone there were more than 1,140 successful music projects on Kickstarter, but one project in particular stands out: Bleu. The singer-songwriter, who has toured with John Mayer and written songs for the Jonas Brothers and Hanson, among others, came to Kickstarter after dealing with the type of red-tape only the music industry (or US gov’t) could serve up. But prior setbacks couldn’t hold Bleu from getting his solo music to his fans. Rather than simply using Kickstarter as a way to fund his latest record, Bleu took it to another level — cooking three-course meals for fans, playing in backers living rooms, playing special birthday songs and even collaborating with backers on new material. Bleu did it all, and he did it well.
Honorable Mention: While thousands of artists used Kickstarter this past year to fund records, few others were more innovative than Musopen, which used the platform to record, and subsequently release (for free!), classical works by Beethoven, Brahms Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky able to be used in any capacity under the Creative Commons license. Musopen freed music, while Search & Restore documented it, proving that jazz was not only alive, but thriving in the 21st century.See more Kickstarter award winners here.