DALLAS, February 5 — GMC TV, Light Records and Roland Corporation will participate in the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s 4th annual Most Powerful Voices gospel competition. The online gospel singing competition helps the association to educate people about stroke — the No. 4 cause of death and the leading preventable cause of disability in America. Michelle Williams is involved in the contest, because her family has been affected by stroke.
The contest is open to independent artists, groups and choirs who sing gospel, holy hip hop, praise and worship music. Participants, who must be 18 years or older, may sign up at Power.watchgmctv.com and now have until February 28 to upload a video or MP3 file. Family, friends — and fans — have until April 17 to vote for their favorite artists. Those who register to compete or vote will receive lifesaving stroke information from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
The top 10 finalists will be judged by gospel music industry leaders, including singer and song writer Michelle Williams (formerly of Destiny’s Child), James Robinson, president of A&R at Light Records, and holy hip hop artist Flame. The grand prize winner will be announced May 20 and will receive:
• The opportunity to perform in the Central Park Summer Stage Concert in New York City with Light Records artists
• $2,500 for a trip to New York
• $1,500 cash and a digital single on iTunes from Light Records
• Personal coaching by a renowned Light Records gospel artist
• $5,000 in musical instruments and gear from Roland Corporation
• National recognition on GMC TV’s Digital Download of the week
The top 10 finalists and a lucky voter will also win prizes.
“Embracing our commitment to uplift and inspire our viewers with quality faith-friendly programming, we are pleased to support Most Powerful Voices, which allows aspiring artists to lift their voices and showcase their talents while raising awareness about an important health issue — the prevention of strokes,” said Philip Manwaring, senior vice president of strategic planning and research for GMC TV.
Most Powerful Voices is part of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Power To End Stroke awareness campaign. Through Power To End Stroke, the association provides culturally relevant events, tools and resources to decrease stroke among African-Americans, who are disproportionally affected by the disease.
“African-Americans are especially susceptible to stroke due to a higher prevalence of high blood pressure, diabetes and previous heart attack or stroke,” said Dr. Rani Whitfield, family practitioner and American Stroke Association spokesperson. “That’s why it’s an important requirement of this competition to receive stroke information and to learn how stroke is largely preventable, treatable and beatable.”
Michelle Williams is involved in Most Powerful Voices because it “focuses on two things that I am passionate about — gospel music and sharing stroke information,” she said. “My father and my grandmother suffered from strokes. My father’s stroke left him unable to walk or talk and I am sad to say that my grandmother is no longer with us. Stroke has really devastated my family, so being involved with the competition gives me the opportunity to share my story and to empower people with stroke knowledge to help them to reduce their risks.”
For more information on the competition and stroke, visit power.watchgmctv.com.