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Home Arts & Entertainment Originally published December 30, 2013

Gospel artists raise voices, stroke awareness in national singing competition

by AFRO Staff

    Most Powerful Voices gospel singing competition. (Courtesy Image)
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The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Most Powerful Voices gospel singing competition, presented in conjunction with television network UP, returns in search of dynamic gospel performers who will raise stroke awareness — particularly in the African-American community — through the power of music.

The online competition is open to independent artists, groups and choirs who sing gospel, praise, worship and holy hip-hop. This is the fifth year of Most Powerful Voices and the fifth year the contest has been presented by UP.

Participants can visit mostpowerfulvoices.org and upload a video or MP3 file of their performance between now and March 2. Voting is live and fans have until April 28 to vote.

Public votes will determine the top 10 artists. Industry experts such as RCA Inspiration Artist Latice Crawford, A&R executives and a Roland Corporation musicality expert will review the top 10 and select the winner.

More than 100,000 African-Americans will suffer a new or reoccurring stroke this year, which is why those who register to compete or vote will receive potentially lifesaving stroke information.

"Stroke is a leading cause of severe, long-term disability and death for all Americans, and African-Americans are at increased risk due to higher prevalence of risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and previous heart attack and/or stroke," said Dr. Rani Whitfield, a family practitioner in Baton Rouge, La., and an American Stroke Association spokesperson. "We need to reach as many people as possible to help them to reduce their risk and to know what to do in a stroke emergency to help improve stroke outcomes."

The winner will be announced May 23 and will receive:

• A performance opportunity at a 2015 Stellar Awards Weekend Showcase (travel and hotel provided by RCA Inspiration)

• $1,500 cash prize

• $3,500 of vocal performance equipment from Roland Corporation

• Personal coaching session with renowned RCA Inspiration Artist Deon Kipping

• A Digital Download of the Week from UP

• National recognition on UPtv.com