Over the last decade, Blacksmoke Music Worldwide CEO Kerry Douglas has become known throughout the gospel music industry as the man who turns unknown singers into gospel’s next superstars. Among the artists he’s broken is James Fortune whose 2008 breakthrough song “I Trust You”
spent 29 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart – the second longest run in the history of the chart.
While major gospel labels solicit established artists to record, Douglas is building his brand by developing the undeveloped. His forthcoming, Kerry Douglas Presents Gospel Mix IV CD/DVD, is the latest in his hit series of compilation CDs that have introduced now established gospel artists such as Jimmy Hicks and James Fortune to the public.
The new project features the radio smash “I Believe” that features James Fortune & FIYA, Shawn Mclemore and Zacardi Cortex. The dramatic ballad cracked Billboard’s Top Ten Hot Gospel Songs chart within three weeks of it being serviced to radio. Already six of the CD’s 17 songs are in rotation on the BDS Top 100 Gospel Playlist. The package also includes a 14-track DVD featuring live performances or concept videos of the various artists on the audio CD such as James Fortune, Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson, Earnest Pugh, The Brown Boyz and Jimmy Hicks.
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“We’re doing something no one else is doing,” says Douglas. “We’re not taking old hits and repackaging them. We’re taking new songs and making them today’s hits through the Gospel Mix IV CD/DVD.” Douglas is insuring the project’s success with an aggressive marketing campaign that will feature radio and national television advertising, and a Motown Revue-styled fall concert tour (by bus) starring the various artists featured on the Gospel Mix IV. “It’s part of my vision to take artists who have talent and anointing and give them a national platform,” Douglas adds.