Kansas City’s pride and joy, Chrystal Rucker, has been singing professionally for over two decades. The Missouri songbird became known within the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) denomination (where her father the late Bishop C.N. Rucker was a prominent pastor) for her own spine-tingling renditions of Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow” and Tramaine Hawkins’ “Changed.” She’s even fought her way back to good health after suffering a stroke in 2007 at the age of 35. Now, she’s accomplished another life-altering feat: her first Top Ten hit.
Rucker’s first national CD release, “You Deserve” (EPM Music Group), has debuted at #10 on next week’s Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart. “We salute Chrystal on this her first national release as this is a testament that God rewards faithfulness and consistency,” says EPM CEO, Earnest Pugh. The 11-track album features the soul-stirring title song that has cracked the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart while earning Rucker kudos as one of gospel’s new treasures. “To say that Chrystal Rucker is a power vocalist is an understatement,” a GospelFlava.com reviewer Gregory Gay writes in a recent commentary. “To her credit, she can preach in the middle of the song and close with a run that will leave the listener in awe, asking, `Now, how did she do that?’”
Even though she’s a church girl, Rucker shows she has a flair for urban pop on mid-tempo charmers such as “I Am So Grateful,” the jazzy “Nothing Less” and the infectious hand-clapper, “Make Me Wanna.” She creates a contagious joy on the heart-thumping “Come Bless His Name” while channeling the most poised and refined performance of the album on the soaring gem, “You Will Be My God” that has received the most acclaim from music critics. “It is one of the most beautiful anthems I’ve heard all year,” writes Bob Marovich of The Black Gospel Blog in a recent review. “The singer’s soaring high notes and breathtaking vocal lines are nothing short of perfection.” For more information on Chrystal Rucker and other EPM Music Group artists, visit www.epmmusicgroup.com or www.chrystalrucker.net.