Houston, TX: Black Smoke Music Worldwide CEO Kerry Douglas’ latest find – James Fortune & FIYA – have eclipsed some of gospel’s biggest names to claim ten Stellar Award nominations in the 26th annual Stellar Awards – gospel music’s biggest night of the year – that will take place Saturday, January 15, 2011 at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN. This is the most nominations of any artist or group this year.
Fortune’s January 2010 CD release, Encore, has won Stellar nominations for Artist of the Year Song of the Year, CD of the Year, Producer of the Year, Group/Duo of the Year, Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary CD of the Year, Urban Inspirational Performance of the Year, Contemporary Group/Duo of the Year, and Praise and Worship CD of the Year. The CD reached #2 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart and also crossed over to the R&B, Top Independent, and The Billboard 200 charts.
The news comes on the heels of Fortune’s latest radio smash, “I Believe” (featuring Zacardi Cortez and Shawn McLemore) topping the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart for six weeks. The song is featured on the Top Ten CD, Kerry Douglas Presents The Gospel Mix Volume IV that also features hits by Earnest Pugh and Jimmy Hicks. A spirited live version of “I Believe” will be the centerpiece on Fortune’s upcoming December 7th CD release, “James Fortune & FIYA: I Believe Live,” that will launch with a live performance on the syndicated radio program, The Tom Joyner Morning Show.
“This is America’s song,” says Black Smoke Music Worldwide CEO, Kerry Douglas. “It’s #1 because America is going through hard times. People are out of work, people are sick, the economy is bad but we all want to believe that things will get better and this song reminds us that with God’s help things will get better sooner than later. That’s why I keep saying this isn’t just a gospel song. This is a song for all of America.”