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Kim Burrell is one of Gospel music’s most famous and favored talents. But her unparalleled vocal dexterity is respected industry-wide thanks to a list of showstopping performances with mega artists like Whitney Houston and Harry Connick, Jr. On her latest studio effort, The Love Album (Shanachie), Burrell lends her legendary soul to a diverse collection of classic and new love tunes. The vocal legend shares more about the album’s premise and explains her focus as multi-genre artist in this CCM exclusive.
CCM: What was the thought process behind recording The Love Album? Kim: I wanted to encourage church people to enjoy music outside of traditional church boundaries. I wanted to create songs for regular churchgoers to sing that do not make them feel condemned for enjoying all kinds of music...and to help them spread their wings a bit.
CCM: This record features covers of songs by Earth, Wind & Fire, DeBarge and The Clark Sisters as well as several Kim Burrell originals. Was it intimidating tracklisting your tunes alongside such legendary perennials? Kim: Not at all. I have a close friendship with El DeBarge and we respect one another’s music. I have respect for their genres or I would not have recorded their songs. I have such belief in what comes from my heart and I felt it was necessary to combine it with these songs. My message of love speaks the same language as their message of love.
CCM: What music was influential in your musical upbringing?
Kim: Mostly gospel music because my parents were preachers and pastors. But my dad also listened to various types of music. I have listened to everything. The Police, Chicago, Bon Jovi... It was not just gospel that brought this love side out of me.
CCM: You are a legend in Gospel music, but famous for your jazz chops in the mainstream. How do you juggle two seemingly different music careers? Kim: It is all one career. It is just me doing what I do and people who like different types of music label me based on what they relate to in my music.
CCM: Gracing so many different arenas with your performances, what role does faith play in your stage soul? Kim: Faith is all I have when I walk onto every single stage. Whatever reason God has opened that door is about to be fulfilled. It is all about faith. I have one purpose and that is to reach the heart and soul of man through the message of Jesus Christ.
The Act: Committed The Site: blog.music.aol. com/2011/05/12/committed-break-free- interview/ The Sound: Acapella soul The Buzz: The highly popular recent winners of NBC’s “The Sing-Off” talk to Aol Music about their upcoming Epic Records release and debut radio single “Break Free.”
The Act: Vickie Winans The Site: www.vickiewinans.com The Sound: Contemporary-traditional gospel The Buzz: Winans’ new weekly variety and magazine program, “The Vickie Winans Show” is scheduled to premiere this fall on The Word Network featuring a wide array of guests and talk topics. Look for show dates and times at thewordnetwork.org.
The Act: Bishop T.D. Jakes The Site: www.tdjakes.org The Sound: Smooth R&Bs soul The Buzz: On a recent TBN “Praise the Lord” program, Jakes discussed with host Donnie McClurkin the purpose of his recent Sacred Love Songs 2 recording featuring Ledisi, Fred Hammond and Karen Clark Sheard.
— Andrew Greer