Together, gospel music powerhouse Earnest Pugh, and legendary Blacksmoke Records founder Kerry Douglas, created some of the biggest and most cherished gospel hits of the new millennium such as the Billboard number one smashes, "Rain On Us" (2009) and "I Need Your Glory" (2011). After some years of working separately, they have reunited for Pugh's forthcoming album and new radio single, "Survive," which will release in the fourth quarter of 2017 on Douglas' Black Smoke Music Worldwide label.
"Kerry did a tremendous job in positioning me as an artist for many years and putting my name on the gospel music map," Pugh says as he ponders what he considers a return home to Blacksmoke. While he and Douglas agreed to pursue unique opportunities for a period of time, Pugh has always recognized Douglas as an incredible business partner with an unparalleled pulse for radio and retail marketing and promotions.
"Working with Kerry has always garnered great results because we have great chemistry in the recording studio," Pugh confesses. "Kerry and his team are dedicated to the process and bring creative ideas and an unmatched work ethic. We're truly a winning combination and I'm optimistic about what God will allow us to accomplish with this new project." Douglas agrees and adds that, "Pugh has always been a self-starter and an easy artist to mobilize and manage. It's a win-win situation."
Pugh's soul-stirring new single, "Survive," encourages and empowers those facing daunting circumstances. It was written by Charlotte, NC-based songwriter Kenny Curry and produced by Michael Bereal who also produced "I Need Your Glory" and "Rain On Us."
In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Pugh and Douglas plan to pay tribute to survivors of the disease. "This is near and dear to my heart because I have lost countless relatives and friends to this horrible disease over the years," Pugh says. "This is my way of edifying those who have faced this life-threatening disease." Black Smoke Music will donate a portion of proceeds from the single to breast cancer research.
The "Survive" album features an impressive roster of producers including Michael Bereal, Keith Williams, Lucius Hoskins and E. Devon Goodwin. The initial radio single, "I Need You To Breathe," recently peaked at No. 3 on Billboard's Gospel Recurrent chart. The set also features collaborations with some of gospel music's most notable stars such as Kierra Sheard, Nikki Ross, Hip Hop artist Sarg and pianist/artist, John Paul McGee.