Now’s the time to support a favorite budding gospel artist in a nationwide singing competition – all while helping to raise awareness about stroke.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Most Powerful Voices competition is underway, and you can vote for the top 10 finalists until April 28. Cast your vote online or download the app.

In its fifth year, the online competition is open to independent artists, groups and choirs who sing gospel, praise, worship and holy hip-hop. RCA Inspiration Artist Latice Crawford, A&R executives and a Roland Corporation music expert will select the winner from the top 10.

The winner will be announced May 23 and will receive a chance to perform at a 2015 Stellar Awards Weekend Showcase, vocal performance equipment and a personal coaching session with RCA Inspiration Artist Deon Kipping.

Past winners include P Lo JetsonBrandon Camphor and One Way and Vetrea Slack Ruffin & The Ruffin Family.

The contest is an important way to raise stroke awareness — particularly in the African-American community. More than 100,000 African-Americans will suffer a new or reoccurring stroke this year, and all competitors and voters will receive potentially lifesaving stroke information.

“Stroke is a leading cause of severe, long-term disability and death for all Americans, and African-Americans are at increased risk due to higher prevalence of risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and previous heart attack and/or stroke,” said Dr. Rani Whitfield, a family practitioner in Baton Rouge, La., and an American Stroke Association spokesperson. “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.”

For more information and to view previous performances: