If you've been following me and my blog rantings for awhile, then you'll know I always make it a point to highlight events and happenings that help those that are less fortunate, or (in this case) are just looking for that one opportunity to really show the world what they can do! That's why I had to tell you ladies about this newest initiative from Avon called Avon Voices. They are looking to give two lucky women from around the world the chance of a lifetime - to share their voices with the world! I had the wonderful opportunity to chat with Joe Billone, the VP of Global Representative Branding and Communitcations, who is responsbile for puting this whole program together! We got to talk about why a beauty brand like Avon would be getting into the music scene, some of the awesome celebrity judges, and how we can get in on the voting fun!
MJ: Some may see a singing contest as somewhat as a far stretch for a beauty company. What made you (or Avon) decide to hold a global singing contest? How does in tie in with your company's mission and philosophy?
JB: Avon Voices, like Avon, celebrates transformation. For 125 years, women have come to Avon to be empowered to transform their lives and make their dreams come true. As we celebrate our 125th Anniversary year, we are thrilled to give women the opportunity to raise their individual voice in song and share it on a truly global stage. Avon's unique personal relationship with women makes this possible - only Avon could bring the world together this way. Seeing our global Contenders and watching their transformations during this program demonstrates that Avon Voices is a perfect extension of our mission as the company for women.
MJ: Who are some of your celebrity judges? How did you go about picking them to participate in this contest?
JB: Since Avon Voices is a global talent search, we wanted to be sure that we had on our celebrity judging panel music luminaries from around the world. As we met with them individually, everyone was so excited by the vision of this program that they were delighted to join us. We believe this is the most diverse panel of global musicians ever assembled for a program of this kind. Avon Voices judges include: Fergie, six-time Grammy award winner; Diane Warren, legendary songwriter; Natasha Bedingfield, Grammy nominated singer/songwriter; Lea Salonga, Filipina singer and actress; Valeriya, Russian sensation; Delta Goodrem, Australian Artist of the Decade; Sheila E., breakthrough, Grammy-nominated female percussionist; David Pack, Grammy award-winning singer/composer and music producer; Diego Torres, Grammy nominated singer/composer; Ivete Sangalo, Brazil's biggest pop star; and Maia, Colombian singing star.
MJ: I found it very interesting that you also have a songwriting contest. Tell a little about that aspect of this competition.
JB: This really is another extension of our commitment to celebrate voices of hope, optimism and empowerment. Beginning May 20th (going through July 1st) both women and men are invited to enter the Songwriting Competition. They are asked to write an original song that inspires or shares hope and optimism with the world and submit a digital file, digital recording of the song and lyric sheet at AvonVoices.com.
MJ: So how does the contest work? What does the grand prize winner receive?
JB: The goal of the Talent Search is to find two talented singers - one an Avon Representative - who may have the opportunity to record a professionally produced album. But, more than that, it is about giving women from every corner of the globe, the opportunity of a lifetime. For the 178 Round 1 Contenders that is just what has happened when they were given the chance to travel to exciting destinations such as Paris, Nashville, Rio and Hong Kong where they recorded music videos and received Avon makeovers. The 25 Global Semi-finalists will receive professional coaching from some of our noted panel of judges and record new performance videos in Los Angeles this July.
MJ: How can my readers and I get in on the Avon Voices fun?
JB: Your readers can view and vote throughout the rest of the program and there's still time left to vote for Round 1 Contenders before Friday May 20th by going to www.AvonVoices.com and registering (its free). At the site, readers can watch Contender videos from around the world and vote for their favorite to help choose the winner. Round 2 Contenders will be announced on May 30th and voting for the next round will begin and go until June 20th. We welcome everyone - women and men - to join our online community and help make dreams come true. This is what Avon has been doing for 125 years and it's what Avon Voices is doing right now!
Don't forget to visit AvonVoices.com to caste your vote (I've heard some of these ladies and they sound amazing!). For now I leave you with this cool video from same ladies that may be familiar to you!
Photos courtesy of Avon.