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Multiple GRAMMY, Stellar, Dove Award Winner Israel Houghton Joins A Select Group of Artists with iTunes LP Love God. Love People. iTunes LP is First Ever To Offer Interactive Music Mixer, Social Network Capabilities, More

Houghton Releases Love God. Love People. August 31, Featuring Special Guest Vocalists Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Take 6

Nashville, TN (Aug. 12, 2010) – Integrity Music launches the first ever Christian artist iTunes LP in support of multiple GRAMMY, Stellar and Dove Award winner, Soul Train Award winner and double RIAA certified Gold-selling artist Israel Houghton and his critically acclaimed album, Love God. Love People., releasing August 31 on Integrity Music/Columbia Records.  Houghton also becomes the first artist, mainstream or Christian, to have an LP release that includes interactive social network capabilities, a music mixer and Bible verses, as well as the ability to create your own album cover.  Other artists who have popular LPs include John Mayer, Dave Mathews, Lifehouse, OneRepublic and Christina Aguilera.
After becoming the first Christian artist with an iPhone Application last year, Houghton returns to lead the way for the industry with his iTunes LP, a format developed by Apple Inc. to bring back and even enhance the experience of owning the “long play” recording.  Houghton’s Love God. Love People. iTunes LP, available Aug. 31 at www.itunes.com/israelhoughton, interactively includes not only the new music, but also animated lyrics, chord charts, liner notes, performance videos, photos and other bonus materials, as well as the first-ever interactive “Mixer.”

The Love God. Love People. iTunes LP “Mixer” area allows the user to control the mix of the song, “The Name Of,” featured on the new album. Users can pull the lead vocals, background vocals, drums, guitar, bass, and keyboard in or out of the song, or use any combinations thereof.  Similarly, users can interact with the first-ever LP “Create A Cover,” making their own Love God. Love People. cover artwork, which they then can share with friends on their social networks.

“We are very excited to bring a whole new level of interactivity to this exclusive iTunes music experience,” says Chris Estes, Integrity Music sr. director of digital media.  “This new platform brings the best of both worlds together. Fans will experience the album like never before and be able to create unique content inside the LP. When you combine that with social network interaction, it becomes a valuable shared experience.  We really wanted to push the envelope in this new media, so the best place to start was in the Facebook and Twitter arenas where Israel is well established with over 100,000 fans.  I believe this will be a great album experience for the fans.  I don’t know any other iTunes LPs that offer chord charts, video, extra audio, cover art creation tools, and rich media interactions all for $12.99.”

Other significant features on the iTunes LP include:

- The first-ever "Interactive Bible" that displays a new verse everyday focusing on loving God and loving people.

- A "Song List" play area lets the user, for the first time ever on an iTunes LP, share what song is being listened to via Twitter.

- A “Work Tape” area that features early “demo” song versions being played by Houghton and co-producers Aaron Lindsey and Tommy Sims.

- “Black Cab Sessions” that includes a “making of the album” video filmed at the world famous Abbey Road Studios in London, known for being the studio where all the Beatles records were recorded, as well as a host of other best-selling artists.

- Three custom “visualizers” that cue with selected songs and feature recording studio photos, album artwork and more.

As an innovative worship leader, singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Israel is also known for his work as a master collaborator, drawing out the best performances from all those around him.  Having written or co-written 11 CCLI (Christian Copyright Licensing International) Top 500 favorites, creating a canon of songs that have become standards in houses of faith around the globe, Love God. Love People. follows Israel’s acclaimed GRAMMY Award winning and Billboard Top 200 hit, The Power Of One, and promises to be an inspiration to all who listen.

“Love God. Love People. is a return to a simple, foundational Gospel command: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself,” says Israel.  “Virtually every song touches on this profound simplicity. It all comes down to ‘Love God, love people.’ Period.”

The album features the musically masterful energy that has become synonymous with Israel Houghton recordings, and includes special guest appearances by Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond and Take 6’s Claude V. McKnight, III, Mark Kibble and Joey Kibble, as well as song co-writes with Meleasa Houghton, Aaron Lindsey, Tommy Sims and Michael Gungor.  Love God. Love People. blends the musical genres of worship, rock, pop, Gospel and R&B and was recorded and engineered at Abbey Road Studios.

Writing or co-writing all but one of the songs on Love God. Love People., Israel creates music that breaks down barriers and defies categorization.  Israel uses his own multi-cultural upbringing as a reference point with a desire to draw people of all races, ages and cultures together. Israel laughingly describes himself as “black kid who grew up in a white family in a Hispanic neighborhood.”

Active as worship leader in his local church, Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church, Houston, Israel has served as worship leader at Hillsong conferences, Franklin Graham crusades, and is a featured CompassionArt songwriter and artist.  Israel also ministers through concerts in the U.S. and around the world, has accompanied Alicia Keys at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards for a performance of George Michael's “Freedom '90,” and has performed at the 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards, taking part in a segment saluting Gospel music alongside the likes of Aretha Franklin and BeBe Winans.

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 has been featured on FOX, CBS, ABC, BET, CNN, TBN and CBN, and has amassed a legion of fans that cross generational and cultural lines. While blasting down barriers, he has been fittingly graced with 2 Gold-selling albums, 3 GRAMMY Awards, 6 Dove Awards, 2 Stellar Awards and a Soul Train Award.

Israel Houghton is signed to Integrity Music, distributed to Christian retail by Provident-Integrity Distribution and to the general market by Columbia Records/Sony Music Distribution.  For more information, go to www.israelhoughton.net, www.integritymusic.com.

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