Chances are you watched him perform hit singles on AmericanIdol. You may have even been one of the 24 million callersthat voted him winner of the six-month competition. A yearafter he stole hearts across the nation, Studdard is returning tohis roots. In preparation for his inspirational album, “TheGospel Album,” Studdard will be touring churches throughout thestates.
“I grew up in the church and there’s alot of musical influences and gospel music that I have alwaysloved,” Studdard told MTV.com. “So I’m doing analbum of just tribute songs, like Commissioned and the Winans,(artists) that I have listened to all my life.”
Growing up in Birmingham, AL, Studdard sanghis first solo at the tender age of three atRisingStarBaptistChurch. It was here he realized andperfected his talent. At home, he would listen to hismother’s Donny Hathaway, Fred Hammond, and gospel records and dreamof one day reaching their level. Years later, with a platinumselling album in the bag, Studdard decided it was time to honorthese early influences.
Expect production from a variety of sources onthe Studdard album. Slated to produce four songs on “TheGospel Album” is Warryn Campbell, whose list of clients includesgospel great, Yolanda Adams. The two are considering tunessuch as “Jesus is Love” by the Commodores, “No Weapon” by FredHammond, “Tomorrow” by the Winans, as well as many others. Studdard is also expected to work with R&B artist, R. Kelly ona possible tune for the disc.
Through the WilliamMorrisAgency, Studdard,known to his fans as the “Velvet Teddy Bear,” will also beavailable for limited performances in churches. Through theiragents, local church organizers can make offers. If the offeris approved, a confirmation and contracts will be faxed and thechurch congregation will receive the gift of a live American Idolperformance.
Ruben Studdard’s gospel album is slated to bereleased in November, in accordance with his churchperformances. If things go as planned, by the end of theyear, Studdard will be more than just an American Idol but thenation’s Gospel Icon.
For more information on booking Studdard at your church visit