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Choose the Cover of Rolling Stone: The Final Countdown Begins

Revisit all the bands who faced off to win the big prize

July 28, 2011 7:00 AM ET
sheepdogs lelia broussard choose the cover contest
Lelia Broussard and the Sheepdogs backstage at Bonnaroo, 2011.
Jeff Gentner/Getty Images

For over 40 years, the cover of Rolling Stone has featured many of the greatest artists of all time. This month, for the first time ever, the cover will showcase an unsigned artist chosen by our readers.

Beginning in February, 16 of the best unsigned bands in North America faced off against each other. The prize? Not only the cover of Rolling Stone, but also a recording contract from Atlantic Records, home to classic artists such as Led Zeppelin, Aretha Franklin, Bruno Mars, T.I. and many, many more.

Over the past few months, we've watched the bands record new songs with top producers, play live in our studio and get mentored by stars like Patrick Stump, Kid Rock and Lady Antebellum. We've also visited the artists' hometowns, hung out with them on the streets of New York City and followed the two finalists, the Sheepdogs and Lelia Broussard, as they played a battle of the bands at Bonnaroo and appeared together on an episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

You can catch up on the entire journey below, where we've compiled footage from the contest from day one. If you've been following all along, you can revisit every band, every performance and every moment on the path to the big reveal on Monday, when we announce which artist you chose to hit the big time on the cover of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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