Andraé Crouch: Still bringing the good news.

A Legend Returns: New Andraé Crouch Album Due In May;

Choir Competition Already Underway

His new single, “The Promise,” is already making waves, but come May 17 Grammy winning gospel legend Andraé Crouch will make an even stronger statement of faith with the release of his 18th album, The Journey.

The new single and album will be released by Riverphlo Entertainment and distributed by Universal Music Christian Group. Riverphlo Entertainment's founder, President and CEO Luther "Mano" Hanes signed Crouch to his new label last year. "It is very simple. It is the greatest honor in the world to sign Andraé Crouch to Riverphlo," said Hanes. "I am playing music today because of him. I learned how to play piano by imitating him when I was six years old. I studied all of his records, all day long."

Andraé Crouch, ‘The Promise,’ the first single from the artist’s new album, The Journey, due for release on May 17.

The single CD package of "The Promise" includes the single, an instrumental version, an instrumental version with background vocals, "The Promise" video, a video with a personal message from Crouch and a PDF copy of the sheet music. The digital version of the single was sold initially only at Walmart.com, iTunes and Amazon but is now available at all other online retail outlets. The digital single includes the same components as the physical CD, with the exception of the sheet music.

"The Promise" is written by Crouch and Hanes, an award-winning producer, who is also executive producer for the CD project. "He has always been progressive, prolific and ahead of his time," Hanes said of Crouch. "He dominated radio during his time in the industry, but that was not the thing that made him great. What made him great was how his songs exploded and took deep root inside the church--no mater what color or denomination. His songs were made great by the churches all over the world. When I thought of this project, it was very important that we start off with a song that spoke to the state of the world today, the times we are living in and how we really need to hear from God. The body of Christ needs to be reassured of God's promise to His people. I felt this song was the perfect song for the body of Christ in this hour."

Honoring Crouch's music legacy, Riverphlo Entertainment is launching "The Promise" Choir Competition, which launched on February 15 and will continue through June 30, 2011. After registering with Riverphlo, choirs are able to download sheet music of “The Promise,” and then must send audio or video of their performance of the song to either of the site’s listed at the Riverphlo website. The winning choir will receive multiple prizes, including a two-song digital recording deal with Riverphlo and an appearance in Crouch’s upcoming documentary film. The artist, along with Mano Hanes, also will visit the winning choir’s community to conduct a music workshop on songwriting, production and music ministry. Rules, deadlines, prizes, terms and conditions and how-to information are posted online.

A late ‘60s Andraé Crouch classic, the Motown-influenced ‘Christian People,’ with Tremaine Hawkins singing lead with Crouch’s group The Disciples. This single was Grammy nominated in the ‘Soul Gospel’ category. When he heard about the nomination, Crouch was puzzled. ‘I never knew of the Grammys or what all this meant,’ he said in a 1999 interview. ‘We came from the Valley, which is 30 miles outside of Los Angeles, and we were sheltered from the ‘Big City’ of L.A.’

Crouch has been an important figure in Christian Music since the 1960s. He is credited with revolutionizing the sound of contemporary gospel music and was one of the first black gospel artists to crossover to mainstream contemporary Christian music. His songs have been performed by Elvis Presley, Paul Simon, and church choirs and other musical groups around the world. Crouch also has worked as a producer or arranger with Michael Jackson, Madonna ("Like A Prayer"), Quincy Jones, Diana Ross, Elton John and Rick Astley ("Cry For Help"). His film credits include Once Upon A Forest, The Color Purple, The Lion King and Free Willy. In 2004, he became the only living contemporary gospel artist--and just the third in history--to have his star enshrined on the prestigious Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Even as he continues writing new songs--reportedly as many as 20 to 30 a week--Crouch is serving as Senior Pastor at the New Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ in San Fernando, California, the church founded by his parents. His twin sister, Sandra Crouch, is the executive pastor.

For more information on Andraé Crouch or Riverphlo Entertainment, visit the Riverphlo website.

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