FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Seven-Time GRAMMY® Award Winner Kirk Franklin Presents
Artists United For Haiti
Gospel Music All-Stars Record An Inspiring Song to Aid Relief Efforts in Haiti
“Are You Listening” features performances by GRAMMY, Stellar and Dove Award Winners CeCe Winans, BeBe Winans, Yolanda Adams, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin, Shirley Caesar, Fred Hammond, Smokie Norful, Marvin Sapp, Karen Clark-Sheard, and many others
Steve Harvey and Tom Joyner Support Franklin and Gospel Community To Build Awareness
“Are You Listening” Available for Purchase January 22, beginning at 5 p.m., at www.verityrecords.com
(New York, New York – January 21, 2009) As gospel music artists gathered in Nashville, Tennessee to celebrate the biggest and brightest at the 25th Stellar Awards this past weekend, they also came together for a higher purpose. With the recent tragic earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Kirk Franklin assembled numerous award-winning gospel music artists in Nashville’s Quad Studios to lend their voices to “Are You Listening,” a song they all hope will inspire those devastated as well as raise much needed funds for Haiti. All proceeds from the record will be donated to charities involved in relief efforts.
Artists United for Haiti includes (listed in alphabetical order) Yolanda Adams; Jeremy Camp; Shirley Caesar; Dorinda Clark-Cole; Natalie Grant; Fred Hammond; Tamela & David Mann; Mary Mary; Donnie McClurkin; Bishop Paul S. Morton; J. Moss; Smokie Norful; Marvin Sapp; Karen Clark-Sheard; Kiera “KiKi” Sheard; BeBe Winans; CeCe Winans and Marvin Winans along with other gospel artists featured in choir including Shari Addison; Kathy Taylor Brown; John Gray; Bishop Darryl Hines; Stephen Hurd; Karima Kibble; Judith McAllister; Nicole C. Mullen; Jessica Reedy; The Neville Sisters; Troy Sneed; Micah Stampley; Melinda Watts and Brian Courtney Wilson.
While Gospel music has always been about spreading the good news, what Haiti needs most are funds and resources to help them rebuild and restore their communities. “All the artists associated with the project donated their talent and gifts for this project,” says song and project producer Kirk Franklin. “This initiative is so important because while we are asking America to give we know that many are giving sacrificially. The people of Haiti are very spiritual people with an unwavering faith and belief in God and still count The Lord as the main source and provider. We will continue to pray and stand with them. We hope this song will bring much needed support and awareness in an effort to raise funds in the near and long-term future.”
“Are You Listening” also features top musicians in popular music including GRAMMY Award-winning co-producer Shaun Martin. Franklin is the executive producer along with, James “Jazzy” Jordan, executive vice president/GM of Verity Gospel Music Group; and Carla Williams and Jessie Hurst of FoYo Soul Entertainment.
There are numerous people in the gospel and Christian communities supporting the people of Haiti and this initiative. Top radio hosts Steve Harvey and Tom Joyner are supporting Kirk Franklin in effort to support our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean. On Friday, January 22, Kirk Franklin will do call-ins to both shows and Steve Harvey will play the song during his radiothon.
The Gospel Music Channel (http://www.gospelmusicchannel.com) television network had exclusive access to the historic gathering and recording session. GMC is producing the official music video for “Are You Listening: A Love Song for Haiti” which will world premiere in a one hour special presentation on GMC Friday, Jan. 22 at 7:00 p.m. (ET), immediately before GMC’s airing of the global “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon (8:00 p.m.). The special will be hosted by Lisa Kimmey-Winans and will feature exclusive interview footage with Kirk Franklin from the recording session interspersed throughout multiple runs of the music video. GMC will encore the special on Saturday, Jan. 23 at 6:00 p.m. (ET). The music video will then go into heavy rotation in all GMC music video blocks. GMC will also produce and premiere an exclusive “A Love Song for Haiti: The Making of ‘Are You Listening’” behind-the-scenes special in February.
“Are You Listening” will be serviced simultaneously to a variety of radio formats, including Gospel, Urban AC and Pop to create a seamless and ubiquitous presence on the airwaves, inspiring more people to lend their hand to Haiti by purchasing the song.
“Are You Listening” will be available for purchase at www.verityrecords.com starting at 5 p.m. Friday, January 22. The single will be available next week on iTunesafter January 20 at Wal-Mart and other major retailers.
For additional information on the project, please visit, www.kirkfranklin.com.
About Kirk Franklin
Kirk Franklin is the biggest selling Contemporary Gospel artist in the history of SoundScan, with over 14 million albums sold to date and over 20 #1 singles at Gospel radio. Franklin changed musical history in 1993 with the release of his debut album, KIRK FRANKLIN AND THE FAMILY, the first Gospel album to sell more than one million units. Franklin‘s latest CD, THE FIGHT OF MY LIFE, was awarded two 2009 GRAMMY® Awards for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album and Best Gospel Song for “Help Me Believe.” It follows his previous, RIAA-certified platinum CD, HERO, which remained in the Top 10 on the Billboard charts for close to two years after its release. To date, the musical trendsetter has garnered 7 GRAMMY Awards; an American Music Award; 35 Stellar Awards (gospel); 12 Dove Awards (CCM); 4 NAACP Awards; 2BET Music Awards, a Soul Train Award and numerous others. In March 2010, Franklin will resume hosting the third season of the BET original series, SUNDAY BEST. The entrepreneur not only serves as host of the program, the channel‘s nationwide search for the next best gospel artist, but co-executive produces the series. A hugely popular hit with audiences, the program is the network‘s first gospel talent competition and garnered the highest ratings for a gospel show in its history. A devoted husband, Franklin and his wife Tammy have been happily married for 15 years and are proud parents of four children.
About Verity Gospel Music Group
A division of Jive Label Group, Verity Gospel Music Group is comprised of Verity Records; GospoCentric Records; Fo-Yo Soul Entertainment; Quiet Water Entertainment; F. Hammond Music and New Life Records. Verity Gospel Music Group is based in New York and has offices in Nashville, TN.
For media information and interviews, please contact:
Gwendolyn Quinn Kymberlee Norsworthy
GQ Media & Public Relations, Inc. Verity Gospel Music Group