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Oscar nominated, multiple GRAMMY,®  Stellar and GMA Dove Award winner and GMA Hall of Famer Andraé Crouch will release his 18th album.

The Journey, in stores May 17, 2011.His new single, “The Promise,” will be sold exclusively at Wal-mart beginning February 15. Late last week I had a moment to speak with Andrae Crouch and his sister Saundra.

Often when you are faced with talking to a musical legend there is  the challenge asking fresh and original questions.  Speaking with Pastor Crouch was not only refreshing but a spiritual recharge to the battery.

When I queried him why this  particular project was to come out  now, he laughed and said in his spirit joy filled voice , “ We need to get this message out. We need to encourage and strengthen everyone. ”

The message of the “Promise” is one that is not missed by him on the struggles of artists and young people in light of the world’s demands.

“I think standing in the presence of the Lord each day is what we should all be doing. If you want to do something in the world you need to reach out and get some information.” Andraé said.

Saundra chimed in “It’s amazing the world we live in with the opportunities we have to get the word out there. In just a click of a button we can reach so many people. The churches need to use this opportunity better. It’s a blessing.”

The new single and album will be released by Riverphlo Entertainment and distributed by Universal Music Christian Group. Riverphlo Entertainment’s founder, President and CEO Luther “Mano” Hanes signed Andraé Crouch to his new label in 2010. Andraé spoke highly of Mano and said that “his talent is so blessed and God given.”

The single CD package of “The Promise” includes the single, an instrumental version, an instrumental version with background vocals, “The Promise” video, a video with a personal message from Crouch and a PDF copy of the sheet music.  The digital version of single will be sold initially at Walmart.com, iTunes and Amazon beginning February 15.  The digital single will be available at all other online retail outlets on February 22.  The digital single includes the same components as the physical CD, with the exception of the sheet music.

When I posed the concern of how to  encourage our young people he lovingly intoned with the love of a father, “Have friends, learn as much as you can. Reach out and expose yourself to the world. You have that potential. We all have that potential. I was thankful my mother and father helped me to do that. Expose yourself to everything. Have friends and enjoy life as long as it doesn’t go against the bible. That’s how you grow.

“The Promise” is written by Crouch and Hanes, an award-winning producer, who is also the creator and executive producer for the CD project. This will be his 18th album

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