Richard Smallwood’s 15th CD – “PROMISES” – debuts #1 on Billboard’s Gospel/Christian Sales Chart. It is Smallwood’s second highest debut since the 2001 release of PERSUADED, and it is the first time he has debuted #1 on the combined Christian/Gospel chart.
“PROMISES” is arguably Smallwood’s most personal recording project to date. It is Smallwood’s first CD since the 2005 passing of his mother – the artist’s biggest fan and motivator and the person responsible for introducing him to the classical music that would become the standard underpinning of his sound. The CD is also the first project since Smallwood’s friend and mentor Walter Hawkins passed away last year. In tribute to Hawkins, Smallwood reworked “Is There Any Way?” on this CD.
The first single from the CD, “Trust Me,” is approaching Top-10 at Gospel radio, and Smallwood will perform the tune during upcoming appearances on TBN’s Praise the Lord (August 26, re-airing August 27) and BET’s Sunday Best (August 28).
PROMISES also includes “Praying for Peace,” which features Lalah Hathaway (daughter of his 60s Howard University classmate Donny Hathaway); and “Facts Are, Truth Is;” a collaboration with Donald Lawrence. “Donald is one of my closest friends,” Smallwood says. “I always wanted to work with him, so I said, `I want you to write something for the CD.’ He said, `why don’t we write something together?’ I said, `No, I want you to write something that is you. I don’t want to tamper with it.’ He came up with a baaad [meaning good] song. It’s one of my favorites on the project.”
Vision, Smallwood’s trusty ensemble of singers, appears throughout the CD – which was produced by longtime collaborator Steven Ford.
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