Gospel Music's Premiere Vocalist Offers Songs of Hope and Peace During These Times of Unrest

PRNewswire
LOS ANGELES
Apr 10, 2003

Gospel music is no longer reserved for Sunday mornings. In recent years we've seen the many sounds of gospel literally explode domestically and internationally. Now more than ever, this genre of music has found acceptance in the mainstream arena. Verity Records is known for being home to the hottest gospel recording artists, today. One artist being the incomparable raspy tenor, Donnie McClurkin, who gave us the mega cross-over hit, "We Fall Down". The success of this single is one of the reasons the CD, Live From London and More ... is quickly approaching double platinum status. This undeniable gospel hit has found what seems to be a permanent resting spot on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Catalog Albums Chart. The CD peaked at #6, but has held the #13 slot for months. To date it has been on the charts for over 126 weeks. Prior to the success of Live From London, McClurkin was best known for his ever encouraging and compelling tune, "Stand" from his self-titled debut CD released in 1996. This song was a long-time pillar of strength for those inside the walls of the church, but soon became a favorite in households throughout the U.S. after McClurkin's performances on national television. From Hollywood celebrities to politicians, this song quickly became the most requested of all and soon became an anthem to all who needed a word of encouragement. "The main thing about the songs that I sing is they must minister to people. If they don't minister to me, then I'm not going to sing the song."

Now gospel music's gem is back with the highly anticipated release of his third CD, Donnie McClurkin ... Again. And once again, he has successfully woven a collection of uplifting and praiseworthy songs together that will not disappoint the fans. Donnie McClurkin ... Again made a major impact the week of its' release, debuting @ #1 on the Billboard Gospel Charts, #12 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Charts and #31 on the Top 200.

"I don't believe that crossing over is wrong, if anything, it's in the secular area where the Gospel needs to be heard, says Donnie." McClurkin's music is being heard in various forms of media: radio, internet and television. He made guest appearances on UPN sitcoms, The Parkers, Girlfriends, performed on Good Morning America, The CBS Early Show, presented at the American Music Awards, performed on several awards shows such as Essence Awards, BET Awards, Soul Train Awards, and The Trumpet Awards. With all of the awards and accolades under his belt you would think that this gospel superstar would be impressed with his success, but not so. Donnie says, "entertainment is not my goal, but that God be pleased and someone who hears, experiences Jesus in a greater way."

The key when listening to this diverse selection of songs is making sure you absorb the lyrics. Each song offers a personalized message that will encourage, provoke, delight, challenge, remind you who you are and what you can do, which are all designed to build you up, spiritually. You may think that's a lot for a CD to offer, but that's exactly what gospel music is suppose to do. Tracks like, "Yes You Can" and "I'm Walking" persuades the listeners to pursue their dreams and goals. The lead track, "Again" is a gentle reminder that God is never tired of us coming to Him for help and guidance. Donnie & Lynette Hawkins-Stephens breathes life into an old favorite Hawkins tune, "Special Gift" and "Heart To Soul" is a tender tune that focus on the humility of man's attempt to give back to God what he can never repay. Although the entire CD deserves a laudable review, it's the soul-stirring and heart-warming ballad, "The Prayer" written and produced by Carol Bayer and David Foster, that hits home. This track should be in high rotation at every radio station around the U.S.

As gospel music continues to make strides in the mainstream marketplace, it will definitely require that they increase in the areas of promotional budgets. The first single from McClurkin's CD is the timely release, "The Prayer." The single is supported with an exquisite looking video that cause one to reflect on what America needs most during this time of unrest and that's more love, peace, hope, and assuredness of safety. "We're at a time when we have to pray. Our nation needs it like they've never needed it before. We need to stay focused so we can be a source of strength for our families and our troops. Distance is not a factor when it comes to prayer, no matter how far away they are, our prayers can benefit the men and women overseas. That's why a song like, "The Prayer" can be helpful, because in spite of all the reports of terrorism in our midst it gives us a sense of dependency on God and that's what the song reflects, states McClurkin." McClurkin's strong affinity towards the song was fueled by one of the music industry's most respected and talented producers around, David Foster. Foster searched out the gospel sensation after seeing him perform at an awards show, and was determined to convince McClurkin to record "The Prayer." Foster prided himself of knowing all the great voices of today, but was blown away after hearing the unique style and range of Donnie's voice. After months of searching for McClurkin, it didn't take a great deal of persuasion before heading into the studio; the song itself was enough to convince McClurkin. The lyrics, the music and the sense of unity that the song represented, sealed the deal. The timing could not have been better, with all the rumors that our country was on the brink of war, both McClurkin & Foster, agreed that the song must be recorded.

You can check out McClurkin on the upcoming Dove Awards set to air on Saturday, April 19th with an encore broadcasting on TBN (Trinity Broadcast Network) on April 25th and 26th. He will also be the special music guest on The CBS Saturday Early Show the day before Easter Sunday, April 19th. And if you miss him on the small screen, you can catch him on the big screen when he makes a cameo appearance in the upcoming Paramount film, "Fighting Temptation" with Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Beyonce Knowles set for release this summer.

In spite of McClurkin's non-stop schedule nothing interferes with him wearing the most important hat of all, and that's the hat of a pastor. The east coast based artist, also is known as Pastor McClurkin to the Perfecting Faith Church family in Long Island, NY. The rapidly growing Freeport based congregation started almost two years ago, after McClurkin relocated from Detroit where he served as an associate minister at Perfecting Church whose overseer is Pastor Marvin L. Winans. When asked how he manages to juggle so many roles, McClurkin states, " It has been a challenge balancing the singing and preaching because I do both with so much passion. However, I'm learning how to set priorities and pace my schedule so it's not as grueling as it has been in the past. I have a lot of work to do and I can't afford to allow myself to get burned out before the work is complete."

For additional information on Donnie McClurkin and to check out his calendar of upcoming events log on to www.donniemcclurkin.com

   Contact:  JoJo Pada
             212-824-1233
             jojo.pada@verityrecords.com

SOURCE: Verity Records

CONTACT: JoJo Pada of Verity Records, +1-212-824-1233,
jojo.pada@verityrecords.com

Web site: http://verityrecords.com/
http://www.donniemcclurkin.com/