Looking Ahead

Industry executives are making an impressive case for upcoming projects they think have the potential to re-energize sales in both the fall and winter quarters. Zomba will look to projects from Hezekiah Walker (November 4), Kurt Carr (October), Donald Lawrence (November 18), Donnie McClurkin (winter) and Sunday's Best winner Crystal Aiken and runner-up Shari Addison, whose individual debut projects are coincidentally slated to hit the streets November 11. Sony looks to score big with Mary Mary's latest effort which releases this week. 
Meanwhile the workshop's other big showcase—sponsored by EMI—served as a chance for the label to talk up three big projects heading down the pike, starting with Kierra “Kiki” Sheard's October release, featuring the lead single, "Praise Him Now," which is generating buzz at gospel radio.
Heather Headley wowed gospel announcers with her rendition of "I Know the Lord Will Make a Way," featured on her debut gospel CD due out later this year. A remake of the Commodores' "Jesus Is Love," featuring Smokie Norful, is expected to be a key selling point.

Meanwhile Norful was on hand to stir up buzz for his next project, to be recorded live this week at the Canon Center in Memphis. In the meantime, WOW is releasing a gem of a compilation, WOW Gospel All Time Favorite Songs. With cuts like “Stomp,” “Stand,” “I Need You Now,” “Alabaster Box” and “Heaven,” they have good reason to expect chart-topping sales.

About the Writer

Lisa Collins, a Los Angeles native and resident, is a syndicated columnist, writer, publisher and former Billboard Magazine columnist. Her career in gospel began in 1988 with her creation of “Inside Gospel,” a daily/weekly syndicated radio series that provided news, profiles and product updates relative to the gospel music community. For the next eight years, she would also serve as executive producer of the show that was broadcast in more than 100 markets nationwide. Collins has also served as a segment producer for BET and authored well over 300 articles on a variety of issues for a number of national publications from Essence to Upscale. Her background in the field of entertainment reporting is extensive, featuring cover stories and interviews with the likes of Richard Pryor, Michael Jackson and Prince.

© 2008 GospelMusicChannel.com.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission. 

**This column first published on October 21, 2008.

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