Follow in Willie Nelson's Footsteps by Entering the 'Don't Mess with Texas' Song Search Contest

If you have strong feelings about keeping Texas litter-free, here's your chance to express them. The Texas Department of Transportation is holding a contest for amateur musicians to join the ranks of country superstars like George Strait, Willie Nelson, LeAnn Rimes and Grupo Fantasma by penning and filming an original 30-second song promoting the "Don't mess with Texas" campaign.

"Music has been a part of the 'Don't mess with Texas' campaign from the beginning," Jeff Austin III, Texas Transportation Commissioner, said in a statement. "We're excited to expand on this legacy by giving Texans of every walk of life a chance to add their voice to the campaign and share in a fun way how we all have a part to play in keeping our state clean and beautiful."

The iconic "Don't mess with Texas" message was first implemented by state officials in 1985. The following year, the anti-litter message was introduced to a statewide television audience during the Cotton Bowl when Stevie Ray Vaughan appeared in the very first 30-second TV spot for the campaign.

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TXDOT's "Don't mess with Texas" Song Search Contest is open for video submissions now through Oct. 10 for Texas residents only. Those who want to participate should be an amateur musical talent (not signed to a label) and they must mention the anti-littering campaign as well as explain how to appropriately dispose of trash.

One English and one Spanish singing winner will receive a 2018 Gibson guitar donated by Gibson brands, a possible TV commercial alongside the Randy Rogers Band or Las Fenix, and a live performance at an iHeart Live Music Lounge inside a Texas radio station. Read over the contest rules, find some inspiration, and finally submit your 30-second video at And even if you're not musically inclined, you'll have a chance to get involved when the public voting period begins!

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Follow in Willie Nelson's Footsteps by Entering the 'Don't Mess with Texas' Song Search Contest