Following four back-to-back GRAMMY Award-winning albums, Israel Houghton returns with New Breed to land his fifth consecutive Billboard Top 200-selling album. The first live recording in five years from Israel & New Breed, Jesus At The Center on Integrity Music / RGM-New Breed, not only hit No. 32 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, but also logged a 346% gain at digital retail over the debut of Israel’s 2010 GRAMMY Award winning album, Love God. Love People.. Jesus At The Center further launched this week to No. 1 on the overall Christian/Gospel Current Digital Albums and Contemporary Christian Overall Billboard retail charts.
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” and watchgmctv.com says, “Jesus at the Center is fresh, relevant and masterful.” CCM calls the music “soulful gospel, crossed with contemporary worship, Latino zest and shaken up with a rockin’ funk” whilegospelflava.com says, “New Breed delivers excellence in production (with both Houghton and Aaron Lindsey at the helm)…Quick and swift melodies, catchy phrases, and superb arrangements will live in your heart.”
Featured this morning on WGN TV (Chicago) and this weekend on The Tavis Smiley Show (www.tavissmileyradio.com), and with multiple major print and broadcast network appearances and features leading up to the release of the album, including ABC’s “The View,” Israel & New Breed is also gathering significant radio airplay across the nation. Jesus At The Center has sparked the No. 11 and climbing Gospel Monitor hit single, “It’s Not Over (When God Is In It),” and the Christian AC single, “Your Presence Is Heaven.”
In addition to the singles and the Jesus At The Center two-disc album, a companion DVD recorded live in high-definition featuring all 18 songs along with behind the scenes footage, story behind the song vignettes and other bonus material, is available at retail now. An exclusive iTunes® LP is also available and includes not only the new music, but also video Work Tapes, a Photo Montage, chord charts and the “Jesus At The Center” video tutorial. A buy link for the album is http://jatc.tv/LP/.
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.”
Guest vocalists on Jesus At The Center include Aaron W. Lindsey, Michael Gungor, T-Bone, Jason Nelson, James Fortune, Bishop Michael Pitts, Jeremiah Woods, Daniel Johnson, Charlin Moore, Adam Ranney, Tina Baker, Onaje Jefferson, Krystle Harper and Israel’s daughter, Mariah Houghton.
Taking the message and music on the road, Israel Houghton will share the stage for the very first time with peers Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp and Donnie McClurkin on The King’s Men tour. The 15-city major market US tour begins Sept. 16 at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix and travels coast-to-coast through Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, Washington, DC and more before culminating in Brooklyn, NY at Barclays Center Oct. 14. For all the tour dates and ticket information, see www.livenation.com.
Prior to The King’s Men tour, Israel & New Breed presents their annual Deeper Conference 2012, which will be held Aug. 29 through Sept. 1 at Lakewood Church and Grace Church of Humble, TX. Hosted by Israel, the worship conference features guest speakers Jentezen Franklin, Steven Furtick, Darlene Zschech, John Gray and Jason Nelson. For all the details and registration information, go to http://deeperconferences.com/speakers.
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.
About Integrity Music:
Kingsway and Integrity Music compose the music division of David C Cook, a nonprofit global resource provider serving the Church with life-transforming materials. Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Kingsway and Integrity Music’s resources are distributed in more than 160 countries and sold worldwide. Additional information can be found at http://kingswayworship.com andwww.integritymusic.com.