Following four back-to-back GRAMMY Award-winning albums, Israel Houghton returns with New Breed to gather two additional GRAMMY nominations for the first live recording in five years from Israel & New Breed, Jesus At The Center, which was recorded as a joint venture by Integrity Music and RGM-NEW BREED Music. The nominations were announced last night by The Recording Academy from “The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music’s Biggest Night,” a one-hour CBS entertainment special broadcast live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
Receiving a nomination for Best Gospel Album, as well as for Best Contemporary Christian Music Song for the hit AC radio single, “Your Presence Is Heaven,” the latter nod marks Houghton’s first nomination in the category. The awards will be given out during the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards, live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, and broadcast on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
In addition to the GRAMMY nominations, Houghton has been tapped by the 28th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards to perform at their annual awards ceremony to tape Jan. 19, 2013. Houghton will perform his current Top 5 and climbing hit Gospel single, “It’s Not Over (When God Is In It)” from Jesus At The Center.
Jesus At The Center was released Aug. 14 and launched to the top of multiple retail sales charts, becoming Israel’s fifth consecutive Billboard Top 200-selling album and gathering praise from fans and critics alike. Recorded live over four days in front of more than 29,000 worshippers at Houston’s Lakewood Church, the Jesus At The Center double-CD, 18 song album with three additional studio singles features Israel & New Breed returning to their roots, delivering new anthems for the modern day church.
After hearing the album, USA Today’s Brian Mansfield calls Israel Houghton “an impassioned worship leader with impeccable pacing” who has “a killer band that blends '80s synth-funk, Latin dance, even arena rock.” Associated Press says the music is “superb praise and worship” as Worship Leader confirms it is “a multicultural, polyrhythmic, choral feast of pop-shaded, rock-informed worship that combines and fuses a universe of musical possibility.” Following more praise from critics, as well as multiple major print and broadcast network appearances, such as ABC’s The View, Los Angeles Times, The 700 Club, BET, WGN TV, Jet Magazine, The Tavis Smiley Show, Gospel Music Channel, Ebony, The Washington Post, GospelFlava.com, San Francisco Chronicle, CCM Magazine, Detroit News and more, Israel Houghton will be featured soon in an upcoming PBS NewsHour story.
Co-writing all the songs, except the Bob Dylan cover, “To Make You Feel My Love,” and “You Have Me,” by Michael and Lisa Gungor, Israel says, “The overarching story of the album is that sometimes we can be so ‘churched’ that we can lose sight of the ‘who, what, why’ of worship. This project simply places Jesus where he is supposed to be. We intentionally removed the metaphors and simply focused on his name.”
Taking the message and music on the road, Israel shared the stage for the very first time with peers Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp and Donnie McClurkin on The King’s Men tour that filled 15 major market venues in the US this fall. Israel’s touring continues this month with an event tomorrow in Nigeria, followed by an event in London Dec. 29 before returning to the US for a series of dates beginning in January. For all the last tour dates and news, go to www.newbreedmusic.com.
In 1995, Israel and Meleasa Houghton founded New Breed Ministries, an organization they continue to run and that is comprised of noted musicians and singers who serve within their respective churches and together serve the Church at large. Since then, Israel & New Breed has amassed a legion of followers that crosses generational and African American, Latin and Caucasian listener lines. While blasting down barriers, Israel has been fittingly graced with 2 Gold-selling albums, 4 GRAMMY Awards, 12 Dove Awards, 2 Stellar Awards and a Soul Train Award.
Active as worship leader in his local church, Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church (Houston), Israel has served as worship leader at Hillsong conferences and Franklin Graham crusades. He has written or co-written 11 CCLI Top 500 favorites, been featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, accompanied Alicia Keys at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards for a performance of George Michael's “Freedom '90,” and performed at the 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards. He uses his own multi-cultural upbringing as a reference point with a desire to draw people of all races, ages and cultures together. More information on Israel & New Breed is available at www.newbreedmusic.com.