vetrea-slack-ruffin.jpgDALLAS, Texas (BLACK PR WIRE) – The votes have been tallied, and the 2013 Grand Prize winner of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s fourth annual Most Powerful Voices Gospel competition is Vetrea Slack Ruffin from Harvest, Ala.

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.
Ruffin 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; personal coaching by a renowned Light Records gospel artist; $5,000 in musical instruments and gear from Roland Corporation; and 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 9,000 fans voted for their favorite. Nikea Marie Jones from Woodbridge, Va. was chosen as the Fan Favorite. The top 10 artists will receive prize packs from Light Records.
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.
“I entered this competition because it was unique, and I felt it was a wonderful opportunity for my group to be heard,” said Ruffin. “Our ministry’s message is focused on healing the total person.
“This competition focuses on a cause that I believe in,” she added. “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.”