Kalamazoo singer/songwriter Shelby Lentz has a chance to be crowned Miss Michigan 2017.

Five years ago, Shelby began competing in Miss America contests. She was crowned Miss Greater Kalamazoo in November 2016 and now, she has a shot to win the title of Miss Michigan. Currently living in Nashville and attending Belmont University while networking in the Country music world, Shelby is back home for the Summer and has been busy doing volunteer work for the pageant.

This week (June 13-17), the real work begins at the Miss Michigan competition in Muskegon. Onstage interviews and evening gowns make up the preliminary competition in Thursday, with swim suit and talent on Friday. Saturday, the top 12 will be announced and one of them will become our Miss Michigan 2017.

Remembering her from our Kalamazoo Ribfest band competition, I chatted with Shelby on Facebook messenger about the upcoming pageant, and she told me

I will be performing an original song called "Champion" that I co-wrote with a friend from Belmont University--where I attend school in Nashville. We wrote it based around the Rocky Balboa films, but it has also become an anthem of my own and the HD community for fighting this disease together. Heritage Guitar made me a customized guitar that I will be playing during the performance.

Photo: Tracy Derhammer
Photo: Tracy Derhammer

HD stands for Huntington's Disease. Shelby revealed, "Two years ago, a diagnosis of Huntington's Disease, a genetic neurological disorder, was found in my grandfather, father, and 11 year old sister, and as recently as myself. I have taken my role as a titleholder to promote Huntington's Disease and bring awareness and advocacy to this fatal disease."

Win or lose, Shelby Lentz is excited to be a part of the final step toward a berth in the Miss America pageant, telling me, "I am beyond excited for this opportunity and blessed for all of the love and support." We are all cheering for you, Shelby, and I hope to talk with you soon as the new Miss Michigan!

Bonus Video: Kyle Jennings Solo-Live-Acoustic

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