Monday, November 20, 2006

Vanessa Is Back

Seven-time Grammy nominee Vanessa Bell Armstrong will release her highly anticipated album Walking Miracle, on EMI Gospel February 20, 2007. The epic songstress returns front and center stage with her an awe-inspiring, ultramodern full length CD. Time bears no stance on the voice of a true gospel historian, “When I started out, I was a contemporary vocalist however the late Thomas Whitfield mixed it up with a traditional feel and since then I never went far from that,” Armstrong explained, when discussing the range of traditional and contemporary blends on the new LP.

“I love the contemporary and I love the me the time-honored sounds of gospel music is our gives us encourages, but the contemporary-up tempo stuff is what lifts us up." Supporters don’t have to wait until next year to own a sample of the singer’s latest offering. The commercial single So Good To Me is available in stores November 21, 2006.

Walking Miracle captures the hearts of countless Vanessa Bell Armstrong fans, as it includes a parade of soon to be legendary material---saturated with contemporary R&B soul harmony—and irrefutable ‘Ole school’ rips and runs that assist in defining Armstrong’s reputable musical forte. The critically acclaimed singer formulated a new found partnership with super producer Rodney Jerkins, who produced the albums R&B evocative title track “Walking Miracle.” The smooth and sleek track backs Armstrong’s clear and catchy vocals. It is a relatable song for everyone that knows the healing power of God.

“They were praying for my son (who was recently diagnosed with the debilitating disease MS) one Sunday night and the song just came to me,” describes Armstrong. “He is a walking miracle and I know he’s healed and through faith and assurance I am just waiting for the evidence of His promise.” Dark Child Entertainment’s Freddie Jerkins also adds production credits to the new album, submitting the upbeat “Till The Victory Is Won” and the urban contemporary ballad “Fall In Love,” to the upcoming 11-track release. To benchmark this anticipated release, a commercial single from Walking Miracle will be released on November 21, 2006 which includes the hopeful song “So Good To Me,” produced by label mate and Grammy award winner Smokie Norful and the stand out track “Seasons” featuring a guest appearance by the phenomenal J. Moss.

In addition, consumers can view a sneak peek of It’s Over Now, a full length live performance video by going to

Her career highlights prove that Armstrong has truly withstood the test of time. The singer recorded her debut record Peace Be Still (1983) and Chosen (1984) which hit number one on Billboard's Top 10 gospel albums.

In 1987 the singer, took a more middle-of-the-road approach her self-titled LP, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, which included “Pressing On” and "You Bring Out The Best In Me." Later albums consist of Something On The Inside (1993) and The Secret Is Out (1995). Walking Miracle quickly strikes a cord in the souls of listeners, aside from the first-rate production and strong vocals; Armstrong relays a message of Christ.

“When people listen to this album, I want people to know the giver of this wonderful gift is God,” Armstrong said. “He has anointed me to reach the masses. I want people to know that is something better....the thing that we are all missing in today’s world is Jesus....we have to bring that message to them.”

Kudos goes to DC Gospel News Update and EMI Gospel for this article.

Monday, November 13, 2006

PRAYZEHYMN HI-5: Schedule of Events

It's celebration time!

On November 19, 2001, the PRAYZEHYMN Yahoo! Group was formed and quicky grew to become one of the popular gospel communities hosted on Yahoo. Since then, PRAYZEHYMN Entertainment has increased in strength and exposure - with its multiple resources and outlets including and the PRAYZE Report.

We are forever grateful for the journey that God has blessed us with and are excited about the opportunities that face us for the future. In celebration of our five year anniversary, we decided to cook up a number of activities that will surely go down in our history books. Be a part of the celebration.

Below you can view the anniversary schedule of events for the months of November and December. Plus, we created a special flyer that will help guide you through those events while offline. Save it to your computer and plan ahead to be a part of the festivities.


november 13
...presenting the November Edition of PRAYZEHYMN Life

november 17
[James Cleveland Online Memorial]
The offical PRAYZEHYMN tribute to one of Gospel’s greats. Featuring a full overview, scrapbook, external links, accomplishments, music showcase and a section where you can post your personal notes.

november 19
[Win A COBY 256 MB MP3 Digital Music Player]
The big giveaway of the year. All you have to do is answer the “So You Think You Know Gospel” trivia quiz - which will be posted on the site. Get all the answers right and you will be eligible to winning a brand-new MP3 Player. Courtesy of

november 22
[The Journey]
J. Matthew Cobb reveals in an exclusive editorial some of the struggles and battles he had to overcome during the last five years. And learn more about the “haters” and some of the great gospel industry problems of today. Big-time revelations revealed.

november 28
[Giving Out A’s]
The albums are USDA-approved by PRAYZEHYMN. Full of protein and energy. And we are giving away a free CDs. But it must be from the list of A’s we have delivered out in the REVIEW section of It’s a long list to choose from, all you have to do is be a member of the PRAYZEHYMN Fellowship and watch the message board for the trivia question. Reply and you can win. (Excluding A+ albums in PRAYZEHYMN Mastercards’ section).

november 25
[Unity Ensemble Rehearsal]
In or around Birmingham? Are you gifted to sing? The Unity Ensemble will be rehearsing and preparing for the HI-5: PRAYZEHYMN Anniversary Celebration. Must be 18 years of age or older. Email for more details and location.

december 1
[Unity Ensemble Rehearsal]
Rehearsal #2

december 9
[Unity Ensemble Rehearsal]
Rehearsal #3 and final rehearsal

december 10
[HI-5: PRAYZEHYMN Anniversary Celebration]
To be held at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, Pratt City in Birmingham, AL
5:00 p.m.
Special Guests: Jamel Strong, Trini Massie, A&M Gospel Choir, E. Tony Gaines & VIP, New Zion Bible Way Church Choir and many others
All roads lead to Birmingham on this special night. Come and be a part of the celebration.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Election 2006: Religious Politikin'

Come November 7th we will finally see who controls what in politics.

Seems like the Dems are fighting and fighting strongly to dominate the Senate this year, since the recent sex scandal surrounding Rep. Mark Foley, one that has damaged the credibility of the GOP conservative base, and the recent poll numbers surrounding America's disapproval rate about our country's involvements in Iraq. Just recently, Foley decided to step down ammist the allegations that began to pour out surrounding suggestive emails to young men whom had served as Congressional pages. Now with the House Ethics Committee and the FBI both opening investigations on misconduct and possible criminal charges and with Bush's troubling staff in deep water, Democrats are trying to bounce back into the spotlight - hoping to get the attention of voters this coming Tuesday.

President Bush isn't taking this lightly; campaigning extensively to regain the public's interest and support. He continues to reiterate that he will stick out the war in Iraq, but most of U.S. churches, a key part of the conservative foundations of the current republican agenda, remain divided on the issue. Polls show a solid majority, an incredible 60%, are opposed to the war. While recent polls have stressed that the majority of black churches still tend to vote Democrat even though they may be ultra-conservative and tend to fall out on issues regarding abortion and same-sex marriage, Rev. Al Sharpton recently addressed church leaders that social justice, education and fighting poverty remain much more serious issues. African-Americans only make up 13% of the U.S. population, but are important factors when dealing with regional races regarding the Senate and House.

It also seems this year that negative ads, or poking fun at scandals and nasty campaigning, are the attention-getter on television leading up to the Big Day. And apparently the nasty ads are working. Since the Republican party is highly rooted in conservative values and think "liberal" is a curse word, it's amazing that their campaigning this year, which marks the majority of high-spending commercials and advertisements sent out, feels so a campaign staged by an anti-Christ movement.

A troubling scandal surrounding Rev. Ted Haggard, pastor of mega-church New Life Church in Colorado, now troubles the conservative base of the GOP party. Haggard stepped down as pastor of the church as well as the National Association of Evangelicals (a group that highly supports Bush) due to recent allegations from former male prostitute Mike Jones regarding sexual affairs and drug usage with him. Haggard denied most of the claims on television, except for the claim stating that he purchased meth from him. He claims he never used the drug.

The National Clergy Council recently released a public letter showcasing their sympathy over Haggard and feels his decision to step down doesn't make him a hypocrite; claiming he acknowledges his evils.

The Huffington Post covers a whole different side to the hypocrisy. It mentions that the gay community of Colorado Springs recalls Haggard's involvement with them and even exposes video and conflicting statements from the pastor.

Regardless of where one stands on this issue, it is shaking up churches and it is ruffin' up the GOP. Who knows if this situation will play a big part in the turnout this Tuesday. Time will tell.

Since this article made its online appearance, several events have transpired that prove in the polls to have helped both parties.

Saddam Hussein has been convicted to be executed by way of hanging for ordering the murder of ordering the murder of 148 Shi'ite residents of Dujail in 1982. While Tony Blair opposes the death sentence, others across the country including President Bush rejoices to hear the verdict.

Former pastor Rev. Ted Haggard released a public letter to be read to his church. The offical letter can be read here.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Stellar Award Nominations 2007

Well, spread the word. The nominations for the 22nd Annual Stellar Awards have been released to the public by Central City Productions. This year's big recepient include Donald Lawrence; packing a chunky eight nods in all. Other keynote contenders include Myron Butler (with Levi) with nominations for Best New Artist and Kirk Franklin - both sharing a total of seven nominations. Israel Houghton, CeCe Winans and Tye Tribbett also have a bundle of nominations on their plate as well. An interesting place to watch over are Malcolm Williams & Great Faith and Youthful Praise being nominated in the Choir of the Year category. There is also a new category this year for the popular Praise-And-Worship style of music in gospel. Juanita Bynum, Byron Cage, Vickie Yohe and Kevin Burroughs Neely were nominated in that category. An excellent independent project we covered and reviewed on by Kevin Turner is also nominated for Instrumental CD of the Year. Sadly, Norman Hutchins, Andrae' Crouch and Judith Christie-McAllister were not nominated this time around for their excellent albums. Maybe next year's list of nominations will earn their attention.

Often dubbed lately as being the BET Awards of Gospel music, the Stellars will once again celebrate their next award show at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN on January 13, 2007.

For more details and the full list of nominees, click here.