NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 8, 2008) - Cosmopolitan magazine announced that Mieka Pauley is the winner of its first-ever StarLaunch™ search for the next fun, fearless female music star Friday night at Terminal 5 in New York City. The winner was declared after a live battle-of-the-bands, which was a culmination of a four-month nationwide competition. At the concert finale, the contest's three finalists -- Alexa Wilkinson, Mieka Pauley and Fortune 457 -- were given the opportunity to open for pop superstar Natasha Bedingfield and special guest Solange Knowles.

"I am so excited to be chosen as Cosmo's first fun, fearless female rock star," said Mieka from New York. "I never imagined that when I submitted my video to YouTube that I would end up opening for Natasha Bedingfield and Solange Knowles and win the StarLaunch contest!"

Cosmo's StarLaunch™ talent search, sponsored by Nikon, Pantene, CoverGirl and bebe, kicked off in September of this year when hundreds of artists from across the country submitted videos of themselves to YouTube performing an original song. A panel of A&R executives then narrowed down the field to 10 semifinalists. Cosmo readers and music fans voted online for their favorite, selecting the top three, who competed in the live concert finale, emceed by TV host Damien Fahey, featuring Natasha Bedingfield and Solange Knowles.

A panel of top music executives including Sylvia Rhone (President/EVP, Universal Motown), David Novik (SVP of A&R, Decca/Universal) and Mike Mangini (Grammy Award-winning producer and musician), along with the in-house audience and online community, selected the ultimate winner, who received a package that will jump start their music career including:

--  $10,000 cash
--  A 3-track demo created with a hit-making record producer
--  Up to 10 performances at Cosmopolitan-sponsored events
--  Memberships to SESAC (a performing rights organization for music
    artists and publishers) and FanBridge (a premier fan list management
--  Prizes from Nikon, Pantene, CoverGirl and bebe

"We are so excited to crown Mieka the winner of our first-ever StarLaunch™ search. She is such a talented artist and truly embodies the Cosmo 'fun and fearless' spirit," said Donna Kalajian Lagani, Senior Vice President and Publishing Director, Cosmopolitan. "We couldn't have asked for a better or more talented group of finalists to play at our first StarLaunch concert -- we believe all of them have amazing careers ahead of them."

All three finalists received Nikon COOLPIX cameras to document their preparation for the concert finale. A slideshow of their pictures will be available at In addition, bebe's VIP stylist worked with each female finalist to perfect her rock star look for the evening. Outfits were gifted to each female performer and they received prize packages from Pantene and CoverGirl.

For more information on StarLaunch™, visit


Cosmopolitan ( is the best-selling young women's magazine in the U.S., a bible for fun, fearless females that reaches more than 18 million readers a month. Cosmopolitan delivers the latest news on men and love, fashion and beauty, women's health and self-improvement, and entertainment. Readers can also interact with the brand on the digital front, with Cosmopolitan mobile ( In addition to its U.S. flagship, Cosmopolitan publishes 58 editions around the world. Hearst Magazines is a unit of Hearst Corporation ( and one of the world's largest publishers of monthly magazines, with nearly 200 editions around the world, including 16 U.S. titles and 20 magazines in the United Kingdom, published through its wholly owned subsidiary, The National Magazine Company Limited. Hearst reaches more adults than any other publisher of monthly magazines (70.6 million total adults, according to MRI, Fall 2008).

Contact Information: Contact: Marisa Ollins Cosmopolitan 212-649-2577 Andrea Faville Cosmopolitan 212-649-2165 Photos and b-roll available upon request