After three weeks of competing on stage, Tran Thi Kim Loan and Nguyen Thanh Van have won the Tieng Hat Mai Xanh (Evergreen Singing) award, the first ever singing contest for people aged 35 and above in the country.

They won among the contest's eight finalists, thanks to their successful performances of pop music in a soulful style that proved popular with fans.

The 36-year-old Loan managed to step out from her background, a fruit dealer at Dong Nai province's Thong Nhat district, singing with passion and confidence to show off her talent in compositions by Truong Quy Hai, Truong Sa and Nguyen Cuong.

She brought home the first prize for contestants between 35 and 50, which was voted on by the jury, which included singers like Mang Thi Hoi and Quoc Tru.

Loan also won the Most Favourite Singer with 11,000 votes from the viewing audience.

The 51-year-old Van, a tourist guide at the HCM City-based travel agency Saigontourist, won the first prize for contestants above 50. His strong voice was perfect in revolutionary songs composed by Quach Tuan Du and Pham Minh Tuan.

Not surprisingly, Van was also named the best singer in performing folk and revolutionary music.

Winners from each group received 20 million VND each in prize money.

"They are all amateurs but with their love for music, they left a very strong impression on our professional artists," said veteran singer Cam Van, one of the contest's guest singers.

The jury's Special Prize was given to Le Thi Nhung, 74, whose style was new to many fans.

Tieng Hat Mai Xanh was held by HCM City Television (HTV) and broadcast live on HTV9 channel.

Contestants competed in different styles of music, including pop, rock, folk and revolutionary music, as well as songs of their own choice.

The contest attracted more than 2,000 participants from HCM City, Tra Vinh, Can Tho, Ca Mau, Quang Ninh, Da Nang and Lam Dong./.