Cigna-HealthSpring Names 2014 Silver StarTM at Rousing Ryman Finale Ruby Wilson of Memphis Wins Top $5,000 Prize
NASHVILLE – October 23, 2014 – Cigna-HealthSpring crowned Ruby Wilson as the 2014 Silver Star™ at the seventh annual competition held Sunday, October 19. Ten Silver Stars finalists energized the audience at the Ryman Auditorium with a variety of musical genres and talents. Wilson, a Delta Blues singer from Memphis, was awarded the coveted $5,000 first prize; Laurie and Richard Collett, husband and wife ballroom dancers from Temple Terrace, Florida, came in second, winning $2,000; and singer/songwriter Irving Evans of Memphis received $500 as the third-place winner.
Wilson is 66 and began performing when she was 16 years old. She is known in the Memphis music scene as “The Queen of Beale Street”.
“Ruby is an inspiration to all of us. She is proof that no matter what your age, you can still bring joy to people by sharing your talent. Her performance brought the Ryman audience to their feet,” said Greg Miller, Cigna-HealthSpring chief operating officer of Tennessee. “Silver Stars is an event I look forward to every year. The talent the contestants deliver is always impressive and uplifting and it’s a great way to give back to the communities we serve and provide a chance for seniors to live out their dreams on the Ryman stage.”
Cigna-HealthSpring’s Silver Stars shines a spotlight on outstanding singers, musicians and dancers age 60 and older who perform before a live audience and celebrity judging panel. This year, celebrity judges Deborah Allen, Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and producer; Keith Bilbrey, country music TV and radio personality who was the first host of The Nashville Network’s “Grand Ole Opry Live”; and Robert K. Oermann, Nashville-based author and journalist who pens weekly columns for MusicRow magazine, determined the first-, second- and third-place winners.
The finalists for the 2014 Silver Stars competition were as follows:
- María Benham & Mariachi Mucho Corazon: Singer, performed “Spanish Eyes”
- Sally Burgess and The Burgess Family Trio: Singer, performed “Where No One Stands Alone” a cappella
- Sam Cooper & Reckless Abandon: Soul singer/band, performed “What Your Man Can’t Fix”
- Tommy Cravens: Singer, performed “Soul Man”
- Eddie Delgado & The Habanero Brothers: Singer/band, performed “Black Magic Woman”
- Patricia Reinbott: Singer, performed “I Will Remember You”
- Irving Evans: Singer and keyboardist, performed “Maybe This Time”
- Floyd Helums: Singer, performed “Another Bridge to Burn”
- Ruby Wilson: Singer, performed “Hoochie Coochie Woman”
Temple Terrace, FL
- Richard & Laurie Collett: Ballroom dance team, danced to “Fire of the Spirit”
Silver Stars, presented by Cigna-HealthSpring, is a talent competition for active adults age 60 and older. Cigna-HealthSpring, a leading health service company focused on serving Medicare and Medicaid customers, established Silver Stars in 2008 to give seniors an opportunity to share their talents and realize their dreams on the legendary Ryman Auditorium stage in Music City. Most shows like American Idol™ and Nashville Star™ exclusively focus on young contestants, so Silver Stars has a become a popular and sought-after event for the untapped pool of senior talent.
Event host and producer Billy Block said, “In my experience, the key to winning is patience and persistence. That’s especially true for the 2014 Cigna-HealthSpring Silver Stars finalists. These talented folks have continued to stay committed to a vision and a dream and remained patient and persistent in their pursuit of success. If you believe it, you can achieve it!”
The 2014 Silver Stars competition was co-sponsored by the YMCA, Emergency Mobile Healthcare, Harvest Construction, Human Arc, Med Solutions, Nashville Public Television and Nashville Scene.
Photos and video from the final competition event are available on request. A video about Silver Stars is available here. For more information, visit www.hssilverstars.com or call Graham Harrison at 615-294-4669.
Cigna-HealthSpring, a Cigna company (NYSE:CI), is one of the country's leading health plans focused on delivering care to the senior population, predominately through Medicare Advantage and other Medicare and Medicaid products. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Cigna-HealthSpring offers a national stand-alone prescription drug plan and operates health plans in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.cignahealthspring.com.