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Dionne Warwick set to perform at charity awards show in Georgia (Includes interview)

The Not Alone Foundation (NAF) is a non-profit organisation committed to providing financial and educational assistance, as well as medical resources, for chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease (the charity’s founder Mark Dodd receives dialysis for 10 hours a day and has done for over 10 years).

The Diamond Awards is the foundation’s largest fundraising event and is designed to honour excellence in the entertainment, corporate and creative fields, as well as in the local community. Each award salutes professional accomplishments and other contributions to society on a local, state, national and international level.

Now in her mid 70s, Dionne Warwick’s outstanding career spans over half a century. This true icon of American music, a cousin of the late Whitney Houston, has sold over 25 million albums and is second only to Aretha Franklin when it comes to singles charted on the Billboard Hot 100 (Ms Warwick has 69, achieved between 1955 and 1999).

Thirty three of her hits were penned by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, though the resourceful star achieved her first number one without the pair’s help, duetting with The Spinners in 1974 on “Then Came You.” Her most recent albums are Only Trust Your Heart (2011), Now (2012) and Feels So Good (2014).

“I’m doing great,” replied the lady herself, who these days spends much of her time in Brazil, when quizzed about her current health and present activities. “There’s a documentary being done on me and I will be going into the studio to record. I am also finishing my tour and will resume it in January, so I’m pretty busy.”

Commenting on Mark Dodd and his efforts, Ms Warwick said: “I became involved with the young man who started a charity called the Not Alone Foundation dealing with kidney disease. He has kidney disease and became the voice for those who are suffering with this, especially those in underprivileged communities, urging all to get tested and learn more about this catastrophic disease.”

Mark Dodd  founder and CEO of the Not Alone Foundation

Mark Dodd, founder and CEO of the Not Alone Foundation
The Not Alone Foundation

Ms Warwick has previously been recognised at the awards ceremony, winning the 2013 Chairman’s Award – making this her third year supporting the cause. “Being honoured by Mark Dodd was a highlight in my career,” she said, “and I felt compelled to try to help him awaken the need to know in folks about this.”

Asked for her thoughts on popular music these days, Ms Warwick mused: “The music of today I feel is geared for much younger ears than mine. I listen to my peers and also to Brazilian music.”

What are some standout moments in her long and varied career? “There are too many wonderful memories to give just a few. I’m celebrating 55 years at this time and each of those years hold several incredible moments and memories.”

The Diamond Awards will take place on Friday, December 9 at 7:00pm at Northside Hospital in Canton, Georgia.

For more information, visit the charity’s official website.

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