One Church International Hosts Concert for Motown Gospel; New Label Venture Between Motown Records and EMI Gospel

Standing Room-Only Crowd Offered Sneek Peak of New Music From Tye Tribbett, Smokie Norful, Kierra Sheard and Tasha Cobbs

Grammy-winning producer Harmony Samuels, BOE Global; Bill Hearns, President & CEO of Capitol Christian Music Group; Ethiopia, Motown Records SVP and EVP/Head of Urban Music at Universal Music Publishing Group; and Pastor Toure’ Roberts celebrate the launch of Motown Gospel during a showcase at One Church International. (Photo Credit: Oronde Jenkins/ATPR)

LOS ANGELES (April 3, 2013)  – Pastor Touré Roberts and One Church International opened their doors Tuesday night to host the new launch of Motown Gospel, the joint venture partnership between Motown Records and EMI Gospel.

“It’s awesome to get two big music entertainment companies who are taking their Gospel divisions and bringing them together,” said Roberts. “First of all, that’s huge! It communicates that the powers that be are aware of the vitality of Gospel music and of course, it’s profitability. We are seeing with a gathering such as this one that good, Godly things are happening within Hollywood. This should be an encouragement to the body of Christ!”

The announcement was made by Barry Weiss, Chairman & CEO, UMG East Coast Label Group and Bill Hearn, President & CEO, Capitol Christian Music Group.

“UMG’s acquisition of EMI music offered the ideal opportunity to merge the EMI Gospel label with the strength of the newly revitalized Motown Records,” said Weiss.  “The new Motown Gospel label will offer broader Urban AC crossover potential and further opportunities and synergy between Motown Gospel artists and the Motown and Island Def Jam urban roster.”


Motown Gospel was officially launched with a gala press reception and artist showcase at the ARC Theater in Los Angeles. Motown Gospel’s strong 2013 release schedule was showcased at the event with Tasha Cobbs performing her hit single “Break Every Chain” from her current Top 5 charting album Grace. Tye Tribbett introduced his new album and label debut,  Greater Than which is set for June 4 release and performed his first single “If He Did It Before…Same God” which debuted Top 20 on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs Chart in March. Kierra Sheard also debuted her new Rodney Jerkins produced song “Trumpets Blow” which will lead her new Karew Records release later this summer.  And Gold selling, Grammy winning Smokie Norful debuted songs from his long awaited new album set for fall 2013 release.


The structure of Motown Gospel will include Ken Pennell, Larry Blackwell and the executive leadership of EMI Gospel, based in Nashville, coupled with new hires, particularly in the A&R areas.  As such, the first appointment of Motown Gospel is VP of A&R, songwriter and producer extraordinaire Aaron Lindsey.  Lindsey, one of the most respected talents in gospel music today, has four Grammy awards and multiple Stellar and Dove awards. His songwriting credits include “Again I Say Rejoice,” My Testimony” and “He Saw the Best in Me” and he has produced such bestselling artists as Israel Houghton, Byron Cage, and Marvin Sapp’s “Never Would Have Made It” from the platinum-selling album Thirsty.


“I’ve been a huge fan of Barry Weiss for years” said Hearn. “Through his leadership of the Verity Label in the past, he’s been responsible for much of the growth and artist development in Gospel Music today.  I can’t wait to partner with Barry, Motown through A&R collaboration, and promotion and marketing support from Steve Bartels and the amazing IDJ team.  I’m confident Motown Gospel will now be even more effective at connecting our artists with their fans and growing their fan base.”


In addition to the artists who performed at the showcase, the Motown Gospel roster includes multiple Stellar Award winning artists VaShawn Mitchell, Pastor Charles Jenkins and Fellowship Chicago and Grammy nominee Anita Wilson, among others. Platinum seller and multi-Grammy winning CeCe Winans has also announced her intention to be the first new signing to the Motown Gospel label. The Gospel superstar’s first all new recording in more than five years is planned for an early 2014 release.


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About One Church International:

One Church International is a progressive spiritual community and network founded in 2004 by Touré Roberts that has grown to over 3,000 participants locally. The church has multiplied its reach to tens of thousands in more than 150 nations by taking the ministry viral and capturing a committed online following at

One Church International hosts services at the ARC Theater in West Hollywood, California (614 N. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036) with Sunday service times at 9 am, 11 am and 1 pm; and Wednesday at 8 pm. For more information on the community and its ministries, visit

Ken Penell, Ethiopia, Barry Weiss, Kierra Sheard, Bill Hearn, Aaron Lindsey
Ken Penell, President of EMI Gospel; Ethiopia, SVP of Motown Records; Barry Weiss, Chairman & CEO of UMG East Coast Label Group; Gospel Artist Kierra Sheard; Bill Hearn, President & CEO of Capitol Christian Music Group; and Aaron Lindsey, Producer/Songwritter and new Motown Gospel VP of A&R. (Photo Credit: Oronde Jenkins/ATPR)
Kierra Sheard Performs
Kierra Sheard debuts the new Rodney Jerkins-produced single, “Trumpets Blow” which will lead her new Karew Records release later this summber. (Photo credit: Oronde Jenkins/ATPR)
Tasha Cobbs and Aaron LIndsey
Gospel artist Tasha Cobbs performs with accompaniment from new Motown Gospel VP of A&R Aaron Lindsey. (Photo credit: Oronde Jenkins/ATPR)
Tye Tribbett and Tasha cobbs
Gospel Artists Tye Tribbett and Tasha Cobbs celebrate the new launch of Motown Gospel at One Church International. (Photo Credit: Oronde Jenkins/ATPR)
Smokie Norful
Smokie Norful stirs the crowd with a powerful rendition of “I Need You Now” during the Motown Gospel launch celebration. (Photo Credit: Oronde Jenkins/ATPR)