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Cyrus, Loveless team up to fight COPD

Thursday, January 27, 2011 – Billy Ray Cyrus and Patty Loveless are teaming up to raise awareness about the disease COPD through the Tune Up For COPD Songwriting Competition.

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 48 years old.

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 perform live at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville in June. 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. "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 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.

COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema or both, is a progressive disease that makes it harder and harder to breathe. Of the top 10 leading causes of death, it's the only one on the rise.

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