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14 November 2007

Curb recording artist and GMA’s reigning Female Vocalist of the Year, Natalie Grant, is preparing to headline her third annual Christmas Tour this season. With “American Idol’s” Mandisa and GMA’s current Male Vocalist and New Artist of the Year, Aaron Shust, as special guests, the “Natalie Grant – A Christmas To Believe In” Tour is slated to hit 14 cities in December. The Tour will also introduce Centricity recording artist Daniel Kirkley.

Sponsored by the Gospel Music Channel, the Tour will stop in Los Angeles; San Francisco; Cincinnati; Phoenix; Memphis, Tennessee; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Murfreesboro, Tennessee; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, among other cities, before concluding December 22.

Grant will perform selections from her acclaimed Christmas recording, Believe, as well as her highly-anticipated forthcoming release, Relentless. Her seventh album and first studio recording in nearly three years, Relentless is slated to bow February 12. The project’s debut single, "In Better Hands," is currently #1 on R&R’s Inspo National Airplay chart for the second week in a row, and is also #5 on R&R’s Christian AC National Airplay chart, according to the publication’s November 9 issue.

Currently a speaker and performer on Women of Faith’s national "The Revolve Tour" for teen girls, Grant will also be featured on the Gospel Music Channel’s upcoming original special, "Christmas At Union Station.”

Grant was Christian music’s top-selling Adult Contemporary female solo artist in 2005 and 2006. Named the Gospel Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year in both 2006 and 2007, she co-hosted this year’s 38th Annual GMA Dove Awards telecast along with Brian Littrell and Donnie McClurkin.

Throughout the year Grant has continued her groundbreaking campaign to raise awareness about international human trafficking. Educating audiences on the plight of children around the world who have been forced into the sex trade, one of Grant’s most significant career accomplishments is her HOME Foundation, which raises funds for various human trafficking-related relief efforts.

Mandisa shot to instant fame when she sang her way into the final rounds of “American Idol’s” fifth season. Her highly successful Sparrow debut, True Beauty, released earlier this year and entered SoundScan’s Christian/Gospel and itunes Christian/Gospel charts at #1. Mandisa is the only female solo artist to land at No. 1 on the Top Christian Albums chart with a debut album in the 27 years since Billboard began tracking Christian album sales. “Only the World,” the project’s first single, spent five consecutive weeks on Billboard’s Top Singles Sales chart. Mandisa has appeared on “The Today Show”; “Live! With Regis & Kelly”; and “The Tom Joyner Show,” among numerous other outlets. Her Christmas Joy EP will be in stores nationwide November 20 and features four tracks now available digitally.

Aaron Shust was the recipient of five Dove Awards this year, including Song of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, New Artist of the Year, Worship Song of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year. His hit “My Savior My God” ended 2006 as the year’s most played song at Christian radio on multiple formats. Shust was featured on the cover of January’s CCM Magazine, where he was selected as “Best New Artist” in the publication’s “Reader’s Choice Awards.” Other media appearances have included “The CBS Evening News”; “NBC Nightly News”; ESPN’s “Outside The Lines”; and TBS’s “Storyline.” In June, Shust released Whispered and Shouted to critical praise and commercial success. The CD has garnered Shust his fourth consecutive Top 5 radio single with “Give Me Words to Speak.”

Classical/pop artist Daniel Kirkley is already making his mark in the Christian music industry with his Centricity Records debut, Let Love Win, which has received critical acclaim from such outlets as Billboard, ChristianMusicToday.com, CBN.com, CMCentral.com, and Christian Retailing. Kirkley has appeared on the Gospel Music Channel; Crystal Cathedral; DayStar’s “Celebration”; “Life Today with James Robison”; and LeSea Broadcasting’s “The Harvest Show,” to name a few. Recently, Kirkley was named one of the 25 Most Beautiful People by Nashville Lifestyles magazine.

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