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The Search Begins for America's Next Idol -- With a Heavenly Twist

Rockers, Country Crooners, Hip-Hoppers, and Pop Divas to Compete for National Recording Contract in Gospel Music Channel's GOSPEL DREAM

* Aug. 12 - Sept. 30: Seven cities to host regional auditions

* Oct. 5 - Dec. 1: Nationally-televised Gospel Dream on Gospel Music Channel(TM)

ATLANTA, July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- What's missing from the wildly popular American Idol(R) search for musical talent? Gospel.

But with 80 million listeners of America's 1400 gospel radio stations buying more than $1 billion albums each year, the gospel music industry now has its own nationwide talent search where spiritual star hopefuls can make their dreams come true.

Gospel Music Channel, America's first 24-hour music entertainment network devoted to the best of all forms of gospel and Christian music -- contemporary to traditional, country to hip-hop -- is looking for the next Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, or Clay Aiken of gospel music, via its new nationally-televised talent search Gospel Dream 2005.

Sponsored by Ford, Black Radiance, and Zondervan, Gospel Dream 2005 will air this October -- December on the Gospel Music Channel.

Twenty-one recording star hopefuls will be chosen from regional auditions in Atlanta (Aug. 12-13), Dallas (Aug. 19-20), New Orleans (Aug. 26-27), St. Louis (Sept. 9-10), Chicago (Sept. 16-17), Detroit (Sept. 23-24), and Memphis (Sept. 30-Oct. 1) to compete in the national finals in Atlanta, airing Nov. 30 (semi-finals) and Dec. 1 (finale).

Launched in October 2004, the Gospel Music Channel is the first 24-hour all-music entertainment network devoted to the best of gospel and Christian music. Led by cable network veterans Brad Siegel, former president of Turner Broadcasting, and Charley Humbard, Discovery Channel's former general manager of digital networks, Gospel Music Channel is currently available on cable systems in more than 130 cities nationwide. From the soulful sounds of Aretha Franklin to the country roots of Randy Travis, to the contemporary stylings of Kirk Franklin, Jars of Clay, and Amy Grant, the Gospel Music Channel celebrates a musical genre that crosses cultures and generations and delivers a fan base so large it deserves its own network.

Gospel Dream contest details and registration available at www.GospelMusicChannel.com.

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