For Immediate Release
June 13, 2013
Contact Information

Toiya Honore
(214) 706-1456

(BPRW) Winners of National Most Powerful Voices Gospel Competition Selected

- Contestants and Voters engaged in Stroke awareness -

(BLACK PR WIRE) – (Dallas, Texas) (June 12, 2013) -- The votes have been tallied, and the 2013 Grand Prize winner of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s 4th annual Most Powerful Voices Gospel competition is Vetrea Slack Ruffin from Harvest, Alabama. Vetrea beat out 651 artists for the coveted title and will receive:

• The opportunity to perform at a concert with Light Records artists, including $2,500

• $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 UP TV’s Digital Download of the week

The top 10 finalists were judged by gospel music industry leaders including Michelle Williams (formerly of Destiny’s Child), James Robinson, former senior vice president/general manager of Light Records, and holy hip hop artist Flame.

More than 9 thousand fans voted for their favorite and Nikea Marie Jones from Woodbridge, Virginia was chosen as the Fan Favorite. The top 10 artists will receive prize packs from Light Records.

Most Powerful Voices is an annual online gospel competition of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Power To End Stroke cause campaign. In conjunction with UP TV, Light Records and Roland Corporation, the competition helps the association to educate people, especially African-Americans, about stroke, the No. 4 cause of death for all Americans and the No. 1 preventable cause of disability.

"I entered this competition because it was unique, and I felt it was a wonderful opportunity for my group to be heard. Our ministry’s message is focused on healing the total person. This competition focuses on a cause that I believe in. My mother passed away in November 2001 after having a massive heart attack. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has given us a platform to focus our ministry towards raising community awareness about the prevention of heart disease and stroke," says Vetrea.

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

Through Power To End Stroke, the association provides culturally relevant events, tools and resources to decrease stroke among African-Americans, who are disproportionately affected by the disease. For more information about Most Powerful Voices, visit

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association
The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — America’s No. 4 killer and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent, treat and beat stroke. The Dallas-based association was created in 1997 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit

About UP
UP, ( based in Atlanta, is America’s favorite network for uplifting family entertainment. The network presents original and acquired movies, series, stage plays and music specials along with gMovies, the first faith-friendly streaming movie service. The UP brand is reflected in “Uplift Someone,” the network’s successful pro-social initiative. UP can be seen in more than 62 million homes on major cable systems including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Charter Communications, as well as DIRECTV on channel 338, DISH Network on channel 188, and Verizon FiOS on channel 224. Follow UP on Facebook & Twitter & @UPtv.

About Light Records
For over 40 years Light Records has provided life-changing, restorative and inspiring Gospel music. Launched in 1966 by Ralph Carmichael in conjunction with Word Records, Light Records has been synonymous with the best in Gospel music, a pioneering force that catapulted the careers of legends Andraé Crouch, Walter Hawkins, The Winans, and Commissioned. From their prolific Gospel catalogue to today’s modern favorites, Light Records includes consistent top-rated and #1 releases among its critically-acclaimed roster of artists who have a profound impact on Gospel. The group includes Gospel icon Dorinda Clark-Cole, Bishop Paul S. Morton, James Fortune, William McDowell and Jessica Reedy, the legendary Gospel Hall of Famer Shirley Caesar and Michelle Williams (of Destiny’s Child). Light Records is a wholly owned division of Entertainment One, a leading international entertainment company.