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Friday, January 15, 2021

‘I SEE A STAR IN YOU’

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Okay, maybe you haven’t reached superstar status yet.

But everyone will have a chance to be a star for an evening during the Karaoke Musical Awards.

The event, which is in its third year, will be held on Sunday, June 6 at the Center Point Ball Room, 3336 N. Arlington Ave.

Contestants will be eligible for cash prizes ranging from $300 for first-place winners to $50 for fourth- and fifth-place finalists. Special guest judges will be on hand to evaluate contestants, and a new feature, the “half time” show, will include Tonna B, Two Right Connection and Dickey Pierson of the Vanguards.

The event is being organized by Diamonds & Pearls, an organization that presents local karaoke concerts. Currently, it is the only annual event of its kind in the state.

“Our theme this year is ‘I see a star in you,’” said Paul Reeves, a popular karaoke vocalist, promoter and member of Diamonds & Pearls. “We know a star is in everyone, and we’re just going to have a night of fun.”

Karaoke, which originated in Japan, is a form where participants sing to a soundtrack played on a karaoke machine. The machine displays lyrics to help guide the singer and sometimes has video images to help set the mood for an audience.

Since the 1980s, karaoke has become a popular activity at parties, weddings, corporate receptions and other events throughout the Untied States. Annual karaoke competitions have become popular in cities such as Atlanta, Chicago and Las Vegas.

It has also become a popular activity in Indianapolis, and several local nightclubs have specific states set aside for karaoke events that allow anyone to get on stage and perform like a professional.

“That’s part of the fun of it,” Reeves said. “Karaoke gives people a unique opportunity they otherwise might not have. They have a chance to leave their stress behind, get on stage, enjoy performing for family and friends and increase their confidence.”

Reeves, who loves singing songs by groups such as The Stylistics and Earth, Wind and Fire, said even those who once struggled with shyness have discovered hidden talents through karaoke events.

Reeves recalled a woman who attended karaoke concerts for three years before finally singing who sounded “like a songbird” once she got on stage. The first contestant for the original karaoke awards show had never performed before anyone, but touched the audience and received a standing ovation.

“Man, you can’t put a price on a feeling like that,” Reeves said. “Music does amazing things for people, and it is spiritual because it can change your day, your life and how you feel about yourself.”

Vickey Calvert, who is known by many as “The Queen of Karaoke” and has been part of the Karaoke circuit for 15 years, agrees.

“I love everything about it – the people, the singing, the music,” she said. “Imagine getting at the end of a long week, and you get on that stage and everybody’s cheering for you. That really lifts you up. There isn’t much that compares to that kind of feeling!”

Where did karaoke originate?

It is agreed that karaoke originated in Japan, but the identity of its inventor is disputed. Most say it was invented by musician Daisuke Inoue® in Kobe, Japan in 1971. Inoue was asked by guests of his performances to provide a recording of his songs so they could sing along during events. Sensing a business opportunity, he made tape recorders that played a song for coins, and leased them to stores.

It’s your night!

What: Third Annual Karaoke Musical Awards

When: Sunday, June 6 from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Where: Center Point Ballroom, 3336 N. Arlington Ave.

Admission: $10 in advance, $15 the day of the show.

Participation in competition is free with admission!

Contestants must enter by June 4.

For advance tickets and more information, call (317) 730-7847.

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