Shariq Tucker, age 22, recently won the 26th annual Guitar Center national drum-off on his eighth attempt, beating more than 5,000 other drummers in the competition. He won a $25,000 cash prize and thousands more worth of drumming equipment.
"When I heard my name called as the winner, tears of joy ran down my face," Tucker says about the win.
The Bronx-born drummer prefers jazz fusion and has played with his church in Brooklyn for five years. He's been playing since his father put drum sticks in his hand as age three. Said judge Trevor Lawrence Jr. of his contest-winning performance back in January: "While all of the finalists brought something unique to the table, Shariq had a great confidence and meter in his playing."