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May 1, 2014

Purduette to compete in Voice of McDonald's competition tonight

Ashlae Nelms

Ashlae Nelms, a Purdue sophomore and member of the Purduettes, is surprised with the news of becoming a semifinalist in the Voice of McDonald's global singing competition after the afternoon Purdue Christmas Show performance on Dec. 7. Nelms will compete in the final round of the competition today. (Photo provided) 
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Ashlae Nelms, a Purdue sophomore and member of the Purduettes, will compete today (May 1) during the finals of the fifth biennial Voice of McDonald's global singing competition.

Nelms is one of four finalists selected from a field of nearly 58,000 McDonald's employees representing 63 countries. The final round takes place at 9 tonight in Orlando and can be viewed online at www.voiceofmcdonalds.com.  The competition also may be followed on Twitter at #voiceofmcdonalds.

Nelms started working at McDonald's in her hometown of Lawrenceville, Illinois, when she was 16. She is a computer graphic technology major and part of Purdue Musical Organizations, singing as an alto in the Purduettes.

Video of Nelms singing is available on the competition website at www.voiceofmcdonalds.com/voting/ashlae_nelms.

This week, Nelms and the other finalists attended a music industry workshop hosted by judges from the semifinal round, including Grammy Award-winning artist Chris Daughtry. Nelms also participated in a master class with David Foster, a Grammy Award-winning music producer and composer.

The judges for the final round of competition are Foster; Ken Hertz, an entertainment attorney and brand marketing strategist; and Skylar Grey, a Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter. Hertz represents artists such as Will Smith and Enrique Iglesias, and Grey is famous for hit songs such as "Love the Way You Lie" and "I'm Coming Home."

The winner will receive the grand prize of $25,000. Second place wins $17,500; third, $12,500; and fourth, $7,500. Nelms also will receive $500 to fund a celebration party at the McDonald's restaurant where she works and will have $1,000 donated in her name to either her local Ronald McDonald house or another children's charity.

More on the competition can be found at www.voiceofmcdonalds.com.

Writer: Hannah Harper, harper4@purdue.edu