The music industry has been no stranger to using music for charitable causes. Rocking for Darfur, Music for Bangladesh, Tibetan Freedom Concerts…all aimed to create awareness and revenue for interesting global causes.

The industry has united once again but for something a little closer to home. Even more exciting, it gives hope to not only those afflicted by disease, but hope to musicians looking to break through into the industry sphere so difficult to get in front of.

The exciting new music “contest” and charity program, Download For The Cure®, combines the ability for the independent music artist to both get heard and have their music serve a bigger purpose.

Partnered with the most recognizable name in the fight against cancer, the American Cancer Society, Download For The Cure® will offer a national music search to select a 12 to 15 song virtual album exclusively available through iTunes. All download proceeds from that virtual album will be directly donated to the American Cancer Society’s fight against cancer.

The best part, music artists who apply will have the opportunity to be heard by an industry panel hand selected for their different functions within the music industry. The panel consists of representatives from major labels, managers, attorneys etc.

Director of Marketing for Virgin records, Nikki Hirsch, is one of the 8 industry panelists. Download for the Cure® is an exciting program for Ms. Hirsch not only for the chance to help those affected by cancer but to have a great way to find new music. When asked what makes a great artist “great” Nikki explains, “Artistic integrity is the most important criteria for me, and that means staying true to your sound and style without compromising it to fit a trend. And on a superficial level, I like music I can rock out or shake my tush to.”

Also on the panel are the heads of A&R for Atlantic Records and Interscope Records Andy Karp and Luke Wood, respectively, mega producer John Alagia, VP of Marketing for the universally abundant community MySpace, Josh Brooks and more.

The American Cancer Society is more than excited to have the opportunity to unite music makers and music lovers in an effort to fight cancer. "I have no doubt that this program will find success and provide us with a link (pardon the pun) to a new audience... we couldn't ask for much more than that - a chance to spread hope, an opportunity to make a difference," says Mark Drill, Regional Income Development Director of the American Cancer Society's regional headquarters in Philadelphia.

Not your ordinary music “contest”. Music saving lives, your music…Get Heard!

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