BILLY RAY CYRUS AND PATTY LOVELESS CALL ON AMERICANS TO ‘TUNE UP FOR COPD’ IN NEW SONGWRITING COMPETITION

Winner Earns Opportunity to Perform at CMA Music Festival

Ridgefield, CT-The DRIVE4COPD national public health initiative today announced that it is partnering with the Country Music Association (CMA) to launch the Tune Up For COPD Songwriting Competition, featuring Country Music stars Billy Ray Cyrus and Patty Loveless. The competition challenges Americans to create a new DRIVE4COPD song to help raise awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Last year, Loveless wrote the campaign anthem, ‘Drive,’ in honor of her sister Dottie, who died of COPD when she was only 48 years old. In line with the DRIVE4COPD mission, Tune Up for COPD asks amateur songwriters to write a song with a motivational message that encourages people to be proactive in taking control of their lives and be healthy. The winner will have the opportunity to perform his or her song live at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville in June 2011. In addition, fans can log onto DRIVE4COPD.COM to view and vote on entries. A “fan favorite” song, determined by the highest number of online votes, will be showcased online.

“I learned at an early age from my grandfather, who was a pastor, both the impact COPD symptoms have on one’s life and the power of a person’s voice. And I’ve taken those lessons with me throughout the years,” said Cyrus, the newest celebrity to become a DRIVE4COPD Ambassador. “I know music motivates people to take action, and that’s why I’m asking America to help us find the next great song to drive awareness of COPD.”

Tune Up for COPD contestants can upload videos and lyrics sheets before April 15. A winning entry will be chosen by a panel of impartial judges including Cyrus, Loveless, industry experts and members of DRIVE4COPD partnering organizations like the American Association for Respiratory Care, Country Music Association, COPD Alliance, COPD Foundation, NASCAR® and U.S. COPD Coalition. The prize includes a 3-day/2-night trip for the winner and a guest to attend the 2011 CMA Music Fest and perform his/her winning song. For complete competition rules and information, visit DRIVE4COPD.COM.

COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema or both, is a progressive disease that makes it harder and harder to breathe. It kills more people every year than breast cancer and diabetes combined. Of the top 10 leading causes of death, it’s the only one on the rise.

“It’s overwhelming to realize that half of the 24 million Americans who may have COPD don’t know it1b,” said Brian Carlin, MD, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Drexel University School of Medicine. “The first step in getting the help you may need is to find out if you are at risk.”

DRIVE4COPD encourages those aged 35 or older to log onto DRIVE4COPD.COM to take a brief, five-question screener to see if they might be at risk for COPD. If the screener indicates risk, results can be printed and brought to a healthcare professional to discuss.


Billy Ray Cyrus and Patty Loveless Photos Provided by the Country Music Association

© CMA Close Up News Service

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