(DALLAS, Texas), (Jan. 14, 2010) &mdash The American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, has joined with the Gospel Music Channel to educate people about stroke through an online singing competition.

Most Powerful Voices, held Jan. 19&ndashApril 6, will engage competing choirs and voters from across America in the American Stroke Association&rsquos Power To End Stroke cause campaign.

Each choir who enters the competition is required to upload a video or MP3 recording of one song and provide photos and background information by March 9. In order to move to the next round, each member of the choir should have at least five different people to register and vote for their choir. Large and small choirs can participate and can be from a church, the military or any other group and participants must be at least 18 years -old.

The public votes for their favorite choir thru March 20.&nbsp A panel of judges will choose the top 20 choirs (ten small and ten large) to advance to the final round March 21 thru March 27. There will be no public voting during this time. The public will begin voting again March 28 thru April 6 for the winning choirs from the top 20. Two choirs will win (one small and one large) and will be notified on April 6.&nbsp The winning choirs will perform at the Power Awards Show on May 7 in New York City. The association hosts the annual event to honor people who increase stroke awareness among African Americans. In addition, one of the two choirs will be chosen by EMI Gospel as a grand prize winner and will receive a professional coaching session from a national EMI Gospel artist.

&nbsp2 of 2, Most Powerful Voices

  • Other prizes for the winning choirs include:
  • &nbsp 50 free tickets per winning choir to the Power Awards Show
  • One American Airlines ticket per winning choir to attend the 2010 Power Awards Show
  • $5,000 worth of music equipment per winning choir from Roland, manufacturer and distributer&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp of electronic musical instruments
  • Recognition on the Gospel Music Channel

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

Power To End Stroke is targeted to African Americans because of their disproportionate risks of stroke.&nbsp 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.

&ldquoStroke is a serious issue in the African-American community,&rdquo said Dr. Rani Whitfield, a family practitioner in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and American Stroke Association spokesperson.&nbsp &ldquoIt 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&rsquos why it&rsquos an important requirement of this competition to register people to receive stroke information.&nbsp 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.&rdquo

&nbsp&ldquoThe Gospel Music Channel&rsquos 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 choirs across America. We are thrilled to be part of such a beneficial program to prevent strokes and showcase great choirs and music,&rdquo commented Philip Manwaring, vice president of Digital Media for the Gospel Music Channel.

&nbspFor more information and to register for the contest, visit http://choir.gospelmusicchannel.com. &nbsp


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About the American Stroke Association

Created in 1997 as a division of the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association works to improve stroke prevention, diagnosis and treatment to save lives from stroke &mdash America&rsquos No. 3 killer and a leading cause of serious disability.&nbsp To do this, we&nbspfund&nbspscientific research,&nbsphelp people better understand and avoid stroke, encourage government support, guide healthcare professionals, and provide information to stroke survivors and their caregivers to enhance their quality of life.&nbsp To learn more, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit strokeassociation.org.


&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp About the Gospel Music Channel

The Gospel Music Channel (http://www.gospelmusicchannel.com) can be seen in 46 million homes on various cable systems around the country, on DIRECTV on channel 338 and on Verizon FiOS on channel 224.