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Veteran Singer "Elaine Norwood" Is Back With New Hit

After two decades backing up the likes of Mariah Carey, James Ingram and the Isley Brothers, Elaine Norwood is now standing in the spotlight. After years of paying her dues, Norwood enjoyed her first bona fide national hit last year. The dramatic ballad “He’s Still Working On Me” peaked at #19 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart and the rousing new single, “I’ll Say Yes,” is poised to do the same.

On her vibrant fourth CD, “Released” (Highly Favored Music), Norwood shows all the dimensions to her dynamic personality. Her father, Rev. Charles Norwood, joins her on their remake of Rev. James Cleveland’s 1976 smash, “God Has Smiled On Me.” The polished but passionate album vacillates from traditional ballads such as “Soon I Will Be Done” and a sanctified rendition of Alicia Key’s “Ain’t Got You” to churchy romps like “I’ll Say Yes!” and funky, up-tempo tracks like  “Never Let A Day Go By.”

Producing duties fell to `70s funkster Leon Haywood (of “Don’t Push It, Don’t Force It” R&B fame) and gospel producer Sanchez Harley (Shirley Caesar, Mighty Clouds of Joy).

“These songs really affirm my heart,” Norwood confesses. “I’ve been a praise and worship leader since 1996. The other albums didn’t capture that side of me totally. In the studio, you are locked into the track and when it ends, you are done but God might not be!  We can sing a tag in church for ten minutes but to do that on a CD, the record label is going to say that radio needs no more than four or five minutes of the song. They aren’t going to play a ten- minute song. But, on this project, I was allowed to go longer, so I truly feel that with these songs I’ve been released.”

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