DRIVE4COPD and the Country Music Association Set the Stage for the Next Voice of COPD Awareness!

May 18, 2011   |   
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Billy Ray Cyrus and Patty Loveless Select Tim Wright To Win
The Tune Up For COPD Songwriting Competition

Ridgefield, CT, May 18, 2011 – Landmark public health campaign DRIVE4COPD announced today that Tim Wright was chosen from more than 150 entries as the winner of the Tune Up for COPD Songwriting Competition. DRIVE4COPD Celebrity Ambassadors Billy Ray Cyrus and Patty Loveless were among the judges for the competition, launched in partnership with the Country Music Association (CMA), which challenged Americans to create a new DRIVE4COPD song to help raise awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Wright, 59, from Carmel, Ind., will perform his song, “Just As Long As I Can Breathe,” as the opening act for Cyrus at the CMA Music Festival on June 11. Cyrus will provide a few insider performance tips and introduce Wright to the audience before both singers take the stage.

“As a musician, the best way I know how to inspire people is through song,” said Cyrus, whose grandfather suffered from symptoms of COPD. “It has been rewarding to see songwriters across the country rise to the challenge and help lend their voices to COPD awareness.”

The impartial panel of judges selected Wright as the winner because his song most closely aligned with the DRIVE4COPD mission to encourage people to be proactive in taking control of their health.

“You can get advice many times and not truly hear it until it‟s put into song,” said Loveless, who last year wrote the DRIVE4COPD campaign anthem in memory of her sister who died of COPD at age 48. “It was amazing to see the impact of my song 'Drive' when I performed it at last  year‟s CMA Music Festival and I hope Mr. Wright has a similarly empowering experience.”

In addition, more than 11,000 people voted for their “Fan Favorite.” Rod Richmond‟s song “Breathe Free,” will be featured online at DRIVE4COPD.COM, where people can also download Loveless' song “Drive.”

COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both, is a serious lung disease that robs people of their ability to breathe. An estimated 24 million Americans may have COPD but approximately half don‟t know it and remain undiagnosed.

DRIVE4COPD encourages Americans age 35 or older to log onto DRIVE4COPD.COM to take a brief, five-question screener to see if they might at risk for COPD and talk to a healthcare professional about their results.

*DRIVE4COPD Celebrity Ambassadors are paid spokespeople of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

About DRIVE4COPD
Launched in February 2010, DRIVE4COPD is a landmark public health movement embraced by leading health, business, entertainment and sports organizations to drive fundamental change in COPD awareness in this country. This initiative aims to focus national attention on this common and debilitating disease and reach millions of Americans about the need for early detection.

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