After beating out dozens of entries from across the state, two musical artists will realize their dreams of stardom as winners of the Texas Department of Transportation’s “ Don’t mess with Texas” Song Search Contest. Singer-songwriter Whitney K. Lane of La Porte, Texas and musical group Papi Chulo (J.J. Moreno and Joffre Correa) of Allen, Texas will join the roster of musical notables who have represented the iconic “Don’t mess with Texas” campaign throughout its more than 30-year history.
“We are thrilled to welcome Whitney, J.J. and Joffre to the musical legacy of the ‘Don’t mess with Texas’ campaign,” said Jeff Austin III, Texas Transportation Commissioner. “Their voices and their winning songs will enhance the campaign’s education message of the importance of keeping our state clean and beautiful.”
The “Don’t mess with Texas” Song Search Contest invited undiscovered Texans to compose an original 30-second song, incorporating the campaign’s anti-litter message. More than 170 Texans submitted entries in both English and Spanish. Lane is the winner in the contest’s English-language category, while Papi Chulo is the Spanish-language winner. The winners now join the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan , George Strait, Willie Nelson, LeAnn Rimes and Grupo Fantasma who have represented the campaign. The winners will be featured in the 2019 “Don’t mess with Texas” statewide ad campaign starting later this month. The winners also will receive a prize package donated by Gibson Brands and iHeart media, which includes a 2018 Gibson Guitar and an exclusive performance at an iHeart Live Music Lounge.
Country superstars, the Randy Rogers Band, and Latin pop and norteño stars, Las Fenix, who were featured in the 2018 “Don’t mess with Texas” campaign, also lent their time and talent to help discover the campaign’s newest performers by helping promote the competition.
“Don’t mess with Texas” has been educating Texans about litter prevention since 1986. The campaign is the signature initiative for TxDOT’s litter-prevention initiatives, which include Adopt-a-Highway, a grassroots partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful, and the community outreach and statewide cleanup, called the “Don’t Mess with Texas” Trash-Off.