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How Sweet The Sound Discovers Top New Talent in Gospel Music

Annual Competition Finds Fresh Voices While Strengthening Mental Health in Communities of Color

ATLANTA, GA, March 7, 2023 – This summer, gospel music competition How Sweet The Sound will showcase breakthrough performers in music, dance, and spoken word that are ready to reshape the gospel music industry. The live event takes place June 3, 2023, at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, GA.

How Sweet The Sound will enable emerging artists to vie for cash prizes and the title of best gospel choir, soloist, dance performance and spoken word artist. Judges include Grammy Award winner and pastor, Hezekiah Walker; Grammy Award winner, actress, author, and entrepreneur Tamela Mann; Dove Award winner and Grammy nominated artist, actress and author Jekalyn Carr; renowned gospel choir director and Stellar Award winner Ricky Dillard; and national Billboard chart-topping choir director, syndicated radio host, and pastor J.J. Hairston. The judges, along with How Sweet The Sound’s host, Grammy Award-winning song writer and record producer Donald Lawrence, will perform live at the event.

“I am so happy to see that How Sweet The Sound can continue to provide a platform for the performing arts to flourish within the faith-based community,” said Nathanael Brown, an award-winning choral director, saxophonist, and CEO of Gentle Giant Music Ministries, which owns the How Sweet The Sound brand.

This year, for the first time, How Sweet The Sound will award a winner in the “Best Spoken Word Artist” category, in collaboration with the Ad Council’s Mental Health Initiative. Through this ongoing partnership, How Sweet The Sound will continue to elevate the importance of mental health and encourage people in the Black community to take a proactive approach to their emotional wellbeing. This includes sharing resources like expert-vetted conversation guides from Sound It Out, which uses the power of music to help parents and caregivers have conversations about emotional wellbeing with their middle schoolers.

“We’re thrilled to deepen our ongoing partnership with How Sweet the Sound and shine a light on the importance of supporting emotional wellbeing for everyone, including the Black community,” said Sherry Thompson, Mental Health Campaign Coalition Lead, the Ad Council.

Tickets for How Sweet The Sound are available at Ticketmaster or the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

How Sweet The Sound is a national gospel music competition tour celebrating the history and sound of gospel music and dance throughout the USA. Follow How Sweet The Sound communities on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

The Ad Council is where creativity and causes converge. The non-profit organization brings together the most creative minds in advertising, media, technology, and marketing to address many of the nation's most important causes. The Ad Council has created many of the most iconic campaigns in advertising history. Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk. Smokey Bear. Love Has No Labels. The Ad Council's innovative social impact campaigns raise awareness, inspire action, and save lives. To learn more, visit, follow the Ad Council's communities on Facebook and Twitter, and view the creative on YouTube.

Sound It Out is a national campaign that uses the power of music to help parents and caregivers better support their middle schooler’s emotional wellbeing. Created by the Ad Council, in partnership with Pivotal Ventures and a coalition of organizations, the campaign offers exclusive music from some of today’s brightest stars alongside free resources and conversation guides developed by a panel of expert advisors. To learn more, visit and join the community on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

In November 2022, the Ad Council launched a new Mental Health Initiative, uniting brands, marketers, media companies and nonprofits to address the mental health crisis throughout the U.S. at scale. With a founding investment from the Huntsman Mental Health Institute, the multi-year initiative aims to change social norms and create a society that is more open, accepting, and proactive when it comes to mental health.

To get involved in this effort or find resources if you’re struggling with your mental health or know someone who needs help, visit

Media Contact

Michael L. Miller
Michael Miller PR for How Sweet The Sound
(310) 776-3933