Gospel Music’s Rising Urban Inspirational Group LIVRE’ Brings Soul And Cheer With New Holiday Video “GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN”
LIVRE’s Christmas Single Highlighted On Star-Studded Holiday Compilation Featuring Alicia Keys, Brandy, Tyrese, Justine Skye, Gabi Wilson, Elle Varner, SWV’s Coko And More
New York, NY — Gospel music’s Urban Inspirational quintet LIVRE’ (pronounced liv-RAY) release the official video for their modernized rendition of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” a featured track on the star-studded compilation, A Classic Holiday… Presented by MBK.
Comprised of Ajanee Hambrick, Ariel Malloy, Malik Spence, Kenneth Williams and Roger Tolbert, the New York-based group is already earning accolades with their stand-out holiday track that’s reminiscent of a soulfully enriched Pentatonix. A recent review in The New York Times describes their rendition as “precise” and “tightly harmonized.”
Crowned the next generation of urban inspirational singers, LIVRE’ had three Top 20 singles on Billboard’s Gospel Radio Chart: “I Will Be Alright,” “Amazing” and their most recent release “Everything’s Coming Up Jesus.” The talented vocalists are preparing their debut album JERICHO: TRIBE OF JOSHUA slated for release in Spring 2016.
A Classic Holiday… offers a range of contemporary R&B pop, traditional soul, gospel and jazz-infused songs from super-stars: Alicia Keys, Tyrese and Brandy; talented singers: Coko (of SWV), Gabi Wilson, Elle Varner, B. Slade (formerly known as Tonex), Justine Skye; Anaysha, who came to prominence as of one of Kirk Franklin’s lead singers; and emerging artists Daisha and Alex Harris, who is already drawing comparisons to Sam Cook with his retro-vocal styling’s. The Huffington Post has declared that the new classic set “is the new holiday album of the year.”
LIVRE’ will be promoting the Christmas project and their single by making special appearances on Good Day New York (Airing 12/22) and performing live at the Woodbridge Center Mall, NJ (12/11) and at Macy’s Atlanta Lenox Mall (12/12).
Additionally, artists from the album have been covering media outlets locally and nationwide including Brandy on the TODAY Show (12/3) and The Chew (airing 12/15), and Alex Harris performing on WFLA’s DAYTIME morning show (airing 12/7). On December 15th, many of the artists from the compilation will perform at a holiday concert/party at B.B. Kings in NY including B. Slade, Gabi Wilson, Justine Skye, Bridget Kelly, LIVRE’, Alex and surprise guests.
“Over the last few years I’ve experienced extreme ups and downs with life, depression, disappointment with my career and even the feeling of being left behind,” confesses urban inspirational vocalist DeWayne Woods who burst on to the music scene in a big way with his 2006 Top 5 radio smash “Let Go” that was written and produced by Maroon 5’s P.J. Morton. The song spent a solid year on various Billboard Magazine singles charts and won him three Stellar Awards including Best New Artist of the Year. After other radio hits such as “Living on the Top” and “I Won’t Be Afraid,” things quieted down for the Kansas City native and that brings us to the themes that echo throughout Woods’ first CD in four years, “Life Lessons” (Soul Therapy/ Central South Distribution). “When my manager and I started receiving music from songwriters, I always made sure that the songs we chose reflected some part of my life. I believe that’s why `Let Go’ was so special, because I lived it. As the record started to build and we worked with the writers about certain things I wanted to express, I realized it became a teaching record full of lessons that I’ve learned over the years. I’ve gone through these experiences not just for me, but to help someone who may be experiencing the same things.”
I had broken dreams; I was so full of pain
But then You came and now I’ll never be the same again
I had tried it all and I wanted to change
And right then you came and now I’ll never be the same again
Whether it’s a new relationship or a renewed sense of faith, many people have been in a similar situation as the one described in the engaging song “Never Be The Same Again.” Much of this thought-provoking Urban Inspirational album revolves around the notions of comfort and hope. There’s a sense of vulnerability and a search for reassurance in the passionate remake of Grammy® Award winner Donald Lawrence’s 2002 gem “Can I Lay In Your Arms?” Larry Waddell & Stokley Williams of the R&B band Mint Condition deliver a bold self-affirmation to those who have been told they were not “good enough” on the smooth “They Said” that was cut in the soulful flavor of “What Kind of Man Would I Be” and “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes),” the group’s `90s classics. “I knew I wanted to work with them in some form but they were so kind and receptive that I knew this connection was God ordained,” Woods says of the mash-up. “The fact that all I had to do was pick up the phone and call each one and without hesitation they say YES proves how important showing yourself friendly and humble really matters in life.”
Woods has also shown himself friendly to and maintained a brotherhood with P.J. Morton since the Maroon 5 keyboardist crafted his 2006 hit “Let Go.” To this new set, Morton contributes the aforementioned “Never Be The Same” and the contagious old school soul number “Take The Pain Away” that features an earthy vocal assist from R&B star Avery*Sunshine. There’s a smooth swag to “Sometimes” where Woods sings, “You just may have to walk alone, move away from your comfort zone” as we learn to triumph over life’s everyday trials. The breezy rhythm of “Worrying Never Helped” is perfect for the dance floor and it’s also a message to “Get up, don’t sit down because you should be dancing.”
The current Top 20 radio single “Friend of Mine” provokes dancing too. Backed by an African stomp rhythm, it’s a fusion of `70s psychedelic rock guitar, New Orleans funk and gospel electricity. The sandpapery vocal grit of Grammy® Award winner Anthony Hamilton and Dave Hollister’s apple butter-smooth squall contrast nicely with Woods’ hearty wail for a tour de force performance. Woods brings his gruffest vocal on the intense vamp of the upbeat R&B hand-clapper “In My Heart.” The infectious “With You” is a rousing up-tempo that showcases Woods trading adlibs with rapper B. Reith on the instantly lovable track. Another warm moment comes with the anthem “Try” that’s cut in the soaring orchestral style of “The Greatest Love of All” or “I Believe I Can Fly.”
Although, Woods feels deeply connected to each song on the album, “Relying” is one that holds particularly special meaning to him. “That song is very special to me,” he says of the unplugged guitar groove. “It basically sums up my attitude about where I am in my life and journey. Letting go of what if’s and why not’s and learning that the only way to make it is to totally rely on God and what He’s promised in giving me the future that I hope for.”
A native of Kansas City, Missouri, music was always in Woods’ blood. “I grew up studying so many artists, but I would say that Daryl Coley and Donny Hathaway were the biggest vocal inspirations to me,” he says. “I studied Daryl because there were no limits to his voice and the things he could do. I wanted to push myself in the same way. I studied Donny because of his passion. When he sang, you felt every lyric.” Woods graduated from the Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts and then joined the gospel group, Joy Unlimited. As he sought to find his bearings in the music business, Woods became an in-demand background singer for a number of R&B and gospel artists before stepping into the spotlight as a lead singer with Atlantic Starr on their CDs “All Because of You” (1997) and “Legacy” (1999). He also tried his hand at acting with performances in stage plays alongside such notables as Peabo Bryson, Dave Hollister, Morris Day, Deniece Williams and Cuba Gooding, Sr. In 1998, Woods had the notion to launch an inspirational choir, When Singers Meet. The group backed him on his first national solo CD release “Introducing DeWayne Woods & When Singers Meet (Quiet Water/Verity Records). Boosted by “Let Go,” the album spent 73 weeks on Billboard’s Gospel Albums sales chart where it peaked at #5. The uplifting single spent an amazing 53 weeks on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart
where it rose to #4 before crossing over to the magazine’s Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop chart where it peaked at #19. After almost a decade in the business, Woods was suddenly an overnight star.
Things were good for a stretch with other respectable radio hits such as “Living on the Top,” “I Won’t Be Afraid” and “God Is” but none of the releases matched the initial impact and success of “Let Go.” After his label deal was up, rather than sign with a new company, Woods and his manager Wade Jordan decided to open the Soul Therapy music label and chart their own collective musical path. “This album is being released independently,” Woods says of the project. “That’s a major feat for me because I feel like I’m really taking the teachings I’ve learned over the years being in the industry and working with my mentor, Donald Lawrence, and really putting them into practice.”
The practice has paid off and Woods and Jordan have created a hallmark album that matches the quality of Woods’ debut so he’s learned his lessons well and wants its audience to have a similar experience. “I want people to hear this record as the soundtrack to their lives,” Woods explains. “I would love for people to feel about this record how they feel about their favorite book, movie, TV show or even their favorite outfit. It’s that thing they love to experience over and over again and never gets old to them.”
2015 Life Lessons Top Gospel Albums N/A
2010 My Life’s Lyrics Top Gospel Albums #3
2006 Introducing Dewayne Woods
& When Singers Meet Top Gospel Albums #5
2015 Friend of Mine Gospel Airplay #15
Featuring Dave Hollister & Anthony Hamilton
2014 Never Be The Same Gospel Airplay #21
2013 Only You Can Deliver Gospel Airplay #23
Kevin Vasser Featuring DeWayne Woods
2010 Living on the Top Hot Gospel Songs #11
2010 Living on the Top Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop #14
2008 God Is Hot Gospel Songs #20
2008 Let Go Gospel Digital Songs #9
2008 Let Go Bubbling Under/R&B/Hip-Hop #19
2007 Let Go Hot Gospel Songs #4
STELLAR AWARD WINS
2008 New Artist of the Year
2008 Vocalist of the Year
2008 Urban Inspirational Single Performance of the Year/Let Go
2014 Celebrity Spokesman, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
*All charts are based on Billboard Magazine/The Nielsen Company Data
MOTOWN RECORD & EMI GOSPEL ANNOUNCE JOINT VENTURE…..
Motown Records takes a giant step into the ever-expanding Gospel music field as the result of a joint venture partnership with EMI Gospel, creating a new label Motown Gospel. The announcement was made by Barry Weiss, Chairman & CEO, UMG East Coast Label Group and Bill Hearn, President & CEO, Capitol Christian Music Group.
“UMG’s acquisition of EMI music offered the ideal opportunity to merge the EMI Gospel label with the strength of the newly revitalized Motown Records,” said Mr. Weiss. “The new Motown Gospel label will offer broader Urban AC crossover potential and further opportunities and synergy between Motown Gospel artists and the Motownand Island Def Jam urban roster.”
Fred Hammond’s 13th CD, UNITED TENORS debuts #1 on Billboard’s Gospel Sales Charts
The United Tenors recently made appearances in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Richmond, Virginia and Washington, D.C. to promote the album. The first single from the United Tenors is “Here In Our Praise,” which is one of the most added songs at Gospel radio this week. It is a mellow sing-along in which they sing in unison: “With our hearts Lord, we worship you and we won’t be the same. In your power O Lord, we are changed! As we lift up your name let your presence reign over us as we worship you.” Watch the video here to experience “Here In Our Praise” for yourself à UT VIDEO.
Kymberlee Norsworthy / 212.833.6640
EMI Gospel signed a gospel exclusive recording partnership with Stellar award-winning gospel artist Tye Tribbett and Tribbett’s Kingdom Music…
EMI Gospel today signed an exclusive recording partnership agreement with GRAMMY® nominated and multiple Stellar award-winning gospel artist Tye Tribbett and Tribbett’s Kingdom Music.
To date, Tye Tribett has recorded four albums with numerous groundbreaking and chart-topping hit singles and career achievements. “I am grateful to call EMI Gospel my new home,” says Tye Tribbett. “I believe the EMI Gospel team is fully committed in supporting this new phase in my music career.” Ken Pennell, President of EMI Gospel, made the announcement about the new partnership at the label’s Artist Showcase following the 28th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards in Nashville. “Tye is the future of gospel music,” says Pennell. “He has always been forward in his musical style and his talent as a stage performer. His ministry speaks to the heart of a new generation. Tye’s uniqueness is unmatched and unparalleled.”
Tribbett’s opening performance of his new single, “Same God,” at the 28th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards was received by rave reviews and a standing ovation. The single, “Same God” will be available in February and will be featured on his EMI Gospel debut release, Greater Than, scheduled for release this summer.
His highly anticipated debut album, Life (2004), brought Tribbett and his group, GA (Greater Anointing), a wide array of new fans and a Stellar Award nomination. Tribbett’s sophomore project with GA, Victory, was released in 2006, debuting at #1 on Billboard’sTop Gospel Albums chart.This break-out project, which included the #1 gospel radio single, “Victory,” received three Stellar Awards, three GRAMMY® Award nominations and a Dove Award nomination. His third release, Stand Out (2008), again topped the charts and earned the group another nomination for a GRAMMY® Award. In 2009, Tribbett, who is also an accomplished musician who plays multiple instruments, retired GA and made other changes in his musical style and direction, resulting in the 2010 release of the aptly named Fresh. The CD, which the Washington Post called “a wondrous album,” also entered Billboard’sTop Gospel Albums chart at #1.
Tribbett first came to national attention in 1997 when he entered his group, GA, into the McDonalds and Wrigley’s Gospel choir competitions, where they “swept the competitions,” winning first place in all categories. The group quickly became highly in demand, performing with music industry superstars Gloria Estefan, LeAnn Rimes, Elton John, Luther Vandross, and Stevie Wonder. They also appeared with Jill Scott, India Arie, John Mellencamp, Musiq Soulchild, and The Roots, among many other artists, and toured with Faith Hill and Don Henley. Tribbett and his group performed “Let Go, Let God” on the soundtrack of the Dream Works animated film The Prince of Egypt with award-winning duo Mary Mary. The group also appeared on Commons’ Electric Circus album, Jessica Simpsons’ Christmas album, Will Smiths’ project Lost & Found, on a song featuring Mary J. Blige, and Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River.” Tribbett has done numerous live TV appearances including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Saturday Night Live (SNL), Vogue Fashion Awards, VH1, the Country Music Awards, a tribute to Oprah Winfrey at the 39th Annual NAACP Image Awards, and NBC’s nationally televised Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting. Tribbett supports a number of organizations in raising awareness, education, health, and screenings, including the American Breast Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Big Brother Mentor Program, the Childhood Obesity Association, and the Association for Juvenile Diabetes.
Here are this years winners, congrats to you all!!
Artist of The Year – Marvin Sapp
Group/Duo of the Year – Mary Mary
Choir of the Year – Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Choir
Female Vocalist of the Year – Kierra Sheard
Thomas A. Dorsey Award – Bishop T.D. Jakes
Male Vocalist of the Year – Marvin Sapp
New Artist of the Year – Le’ Andria Johnson
James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award – Kurt Carr
Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award – Inez Andrews
Song of the Year – Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago
New York, NY – January 11, 2013 – The new year is off to a bright start for Gospel artist Kurt Carr, who will release his 7th CD project – the double disc BLESS THIS HOUSE – on January 22.
The weekend prior to the CD release, Carr will be celebrated in Nashville as he receives the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award at the 28th Annual Stellar Awards. This is an especially humbling honor for Carr, who received his break in Gospel music when Cleveland hired him as a keyboard player. The day prior to the Stellar Awards, Carr will be honored at the BMI Trailblazer’s Luncheon, which annually salutes premier Gospel artists in an afternoon of stirring tributes.
A Musical Evening with Kurt Carr will be presented on Sunday, January 20 at Cathedral of Praise Church of God In Christ in Nashville. Attendees will be treated to a one-of-a-kind evening with Carr, who will provide an exclusive BLESS THIS HOUSE experience. “We are always interested in involving ourselves in areas that will uplift and empower people through the Word of God,” said Bishop Jerry L. Maynard, Senior Pastor of Cathedral of Praise church. “I believe we will be uplifted through the music of Kurt Carr and inspired by his style of praise and worship, which has drawn thousands to a closer relationship with Christ.” After leaving Nashville, Carr will make promotional stops in Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia and Chicago.
Written and produced by Carr, BLESS THIS HOUSE is comprised of 17 lush songs of encouragement and gratitude. The title track was a last minute addition that came to Carr while he was in Los Angeles to record the final songs for the CD. “I woke up at 4 a.m. in the morning with that title [in my mind]. I thought that would be a great way to summarize all of the music because I wanted to do an album full of songs that were great for the church experience,” he says. “I tried to go back to sleep and I couldn’t, so I sat up in my bed and wrote that song. I went to the studio around noon and when I taught it to my singers the worship was so strong that I knew this song was God-give and I knew it was the title cut.”
The first single, “I’ve Seen Him Do It,” was selected by Gospel music fans. Last Fall, Verity Gospel Music Group ran a poll across a variety of websites so that fans could choose either “I’ve Seen Him Do It” or “Bless This House” as the first single. “I think this song will touch and inspire believers everywhere because every believer has seen God do miraculous things,” says Carr. Open this link to hear “I’ve Seen Him Do It” –> http://youtu.be/MYuEjAWdw8g.
BLESS THIS HOUSE also features soaring praise and worship ballads such as “There Is A Sound” featuring Yvette Williams; “Praise and Worship” featuring Nikitta Foxx and “Touched By The Fountain of Grace” featuring Troy Bright – all which, in true Carr form, possess the pomp, majesty and classical ceremony of light opera.
A very well-rounded project, the 2-disc set also features high energy songs surely to become praise team favorites, such as
“Oh Magnify The Lord” and “Great God Great Praise.” The pop-infused “We Gotta Put Jesus Back,” featuring 7 year old Myles Caton, speaks of society breaking down as a result of taking Jesus out of Christmas and removing prayer from public schools. The solution: Put Jesus back! There’s a feel good vintage R&B vibe to “It’s A Good Day” which proclaims “every day you wake up…it’s a good day.”
Over the last 20 years, Kurt Carr’s songs have become Sunday morning staples. Such modern day hymns as “In the Sanctuary,” “The Presence of the Lord Is Here,” “For Every Mountain,” “God Blocked It,” and “Peace and Favor Rest on Us” are standards in Gospel music. After graduating from college and experiencing several mentorships with Gospel greats Richard Smallwood and Reverend James Cleveland, Carr put together his own ensemble, The Kurt Carr Singers, and released his debut album Together in 1991. Songs from his debut, such as “Holy, Holy, Holy” reflect Carr’s unique ability to amalgamate classical and Gospel sounds effortlessly.
Carr says his new project, BLESS THIS HOUSE, builds upon his masterful work of the past, and is a continuum of who he is.
“I believe I’ve come into what my niche and what my purpose is,” says Carr. “And that is to make music that edifies the body and blesses the church of Jesus Christ.”
BLESS THIS HOUSE will be in stores January 22, 2013.
New York, NY December 6, 2012 – Verity Gospel Music Group landed a total of five nominations for the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Fred Hammond’s catchy single “I Feel Good” was nominated for Best Gospel Song, and Hammond was also nominated for Best Gospel Song (along with co-writers James Fortune & FIYA and Monica)- for “Hold On.”Marvin Sapp’s I WIN was nominated for Best Gospel Album, and his heartfelt single “My Testimony” was nominated for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance and Best Gospel Song.
Fred Hammond’s GOD, LOVE & ROMANCE debuted #1 on Billboard’s Gospel Albums chart and #8 on the Billboard Top-200. It was his 7th consecutive #1 Gospel album debut, and his highest debut ever in the Top-200. The debut single “I Feel Good” peaked at #1 at Gospel radio. Hammond has been a Gospel music arbiter for three amazing decades and has consistently pushed the genre into new melodic territory. The Detroit native ascended from bass-playing sideman for The Winans; to founding member of the trendsetting sextet Commissioned; to creating the further renowned ensemble Radical for Christ, to becoming a highly influential solo artist and producer in his own right. He is a multiple Stellar and Dove Award winner and his 2006 CD Free to Worship netted him his first Grammy for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album.
Marvin Sapp’s I WIN also debuted #1 on Billboard’s Gospel Albums chart. The CD debuted #9 on the Billboard Top-200 and its accompanying live recording DVD debuted at #2 on the Christian Music Video chart. The debut single “My Testimony” peaked at #1 at Gospel radio. A multiple Stellar and Dove Award winner, Sapp is Senior Pastor and founder of Lighthouse Full Life Center in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is also a former member of the group Commissioned; he was recruited by Hammond to join the ensemble before launching his solo career.
The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards will air live on CBS from the Staples Center on February 10, 2013.