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11 June 2007
New Miss Alabama Speaks from the Heart

Reprinted here in its entirety.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Tavia Green
The Birmingham News Staff Writer

Jamie Langley remembers watching from the audience as her sister, Julia, performed on stage at the Miss Alabama pageant.

It was 1989, and the 5-year-old was mesmerized by the sequined, glittering dresses and the talent competition. She dreamed of one day competing to be Miss Alabama.

That dream came true Saturday when a sparkling four-point tiara was placed on Langley's brunette locks, and the 23-year-old was crowned Miss Alabama 2007.

Standing nearby in Wright Center at Samford University were her parents, Jeff and Mailey Langley, and her sister, Julia. She said Julia was just as nervous as she was the whole night and twice as overjoyed when she won.

"Last night I was ecstatic," Langley said, smiling Sunday afternoon. "But today I am really excited and have a sense of peace. I think it's going to be a great year."

Langley, a native of Wadley, competed as Miss Painted Rock. She is a senior at Jacksonville State University and majors in communications with a minor in music. Her goal is to combine both of her passions and work in entertainment broadcasting.

Langley has competed in the Miss Alabama pageant for six years, and twice was a top 10 semi-finalist. Last year she won the talent competition.

Scholarships have helped pay for her education. Along with her new title, she has won more than $10,000 in scholarships.

On Saturday, Langley performed the song "Listen," from the hit movie "Dream Girls." She won the talent competition on Wednesday night.

Music has always been a part of her life. Her mother taught her to sing, and her family performs gospel music in churches as "The Langleys."

She has also used her vocal talents to promote her platform, "Cardiac Care: From the Heart." Langley has been promoting cardiovascular awareness and working with the American Heart Association each year she's competed in the Miss Alabama pageant.

She released a CD, "From the Heart," which features songs about the heart from all genres of music. She said it's one of the accomplishments she is most proud of, because cardiovascular disease has affected her life.

Her father, Jeff, had a heart attack when she was 5 years old. He underwent triple bypass surgery.

"My dad is my ultimate hero," Langley said. "Just to think I could've lived the majority of my life without my dad is terrifying."

Langley worked to incorporate an exercise program for senior citizens at assisted living homes and developed a Girl Scout uniform patch to promote cardio care.

She said the next year will be a wonderful experience for her as she lives her dream as Miss Alabama. She will make many public appearances, give speeches and go on to represent Alabama in the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas. The pageant's date hasn't been set.

Langley said she hopes to inspire young people. She also hopes to inspire young women to compete in pageants and eventually, the Miss Alabama Pageant.

"I'm thrilled to be a representative of Alabama," she said. "I'm proud of our state, and I think we have good citizens. To be a representative of them is a blessing to my heart."

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