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The American Heart Association has joined with GMC, formerly the Gospel Music Channel and Music World Gospel to educate people about stroke through an online gospel singing competition.

Most Powerful Voices, held now thru February 14, is engaging independent artists and choirs to compete on behalf of the American Heart Association’s Power To End Stroke cause campaign as voters from across America get to select the winners. Competitors are required to upload a video or MP3 recording of one song by December 3. In order to move to the next round, competitors need public votes. Participating choirs and independent artists may be from a church, the military, a school or any other group and must be at least 18 years -old.

The top 40 choirs will have an opportunity to be showcased to music industry leader and entrepreneur Mathew Knowles, CEO and President of Music World Entertainment, among other judges. “It is our dream at Music World Entertainment to empower people and bring an uplifting message to the world. The partnerships with Music World Gospel, GMC and the American Heart Association’s ‘Most Powerful Voices’ competition is consistent with our mission,” said Mathew Knowles. “Gospel music is a meaningful and powerful vehicle of expression and inspiration. I am excited and look forward to meeting and hearing these individual artists and talented choirs from across the country.”

Following the judges selection of the top 20 contestants, the public will choose the winning choir and a winning independent artist who will be announced on February 14, 2011. The winners will perform at the Power Awards Show on May 6 in New York City at the Apollo Theater. The American Heart Association hosts the annual event to honor people who increase stroke awareness among African Americans.

In addition, the winners will receive:

* One song recorded by Music World Gospel for a Most Powerful Voices compilation CD and a song featured at an online retailer

* A professional coaching session from Music World Gospel artist Brian Courtney Wilson

* $5,000 worth of music equipment from Roland, manufacturer and distributer of electronic musical instruments

* $1,000 cash prize from Music World Gospel

* Recognition on GMC’s national television network

* And more!

When people register to vote or compete in the competition, they receive monthly e-newsletters from the American Heart Association’s Power To End Stroke campaign and other information to help them to reduce their risk of stroke.

Power To End Stroke reaches African Americans because of their disproportionate risks of stroke. Stroke is the third leading cause of death for all Americans, and African Americans are at increased risk due to the higher prevalence of risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and previous heart attack and/or stroke.

“Stroke is a serious issue in the African-American community,” said Dr. Rani Whitfield, a family practitioner in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and American Heart Association spokesperson. “It is a leading cause of severe, long-term disability, and more than 100,000 African Americans will suffer a new or reoccurring stroke this year. That’s why it’s an important requirement of this competition to register people to receive stroke information. 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.”

“GMC’s mission is to inspire, uplift and entertain. We believe the Most Powerful Voices contest will inspire people to make positive lifestyle changes to prevent strokes and entertain them through uplifting music from outstanding independent artists and choirs across America. We are thrilled to be part of such a beneficial program to prevent strokes and showcase great artists and music,” commented Philip Manwaring, Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning, Research, and Technology for GMC.

For more information and to register for the contest, visit http://power.gmclife.com.

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