REGINA BELL E

It’s not without some measure of fear and trepidation that gospel music puts checks and balances on reverse crossover artists. After all, for every general-market hopeful with pure, Christ-honoring motives, there’s always a controversial artist–good-intentioned, but ultimately far from the integrity, character, and value system required to represent Jesus to the church and to the world. Four-time GRAMMY-winning R&B/Pop songstress Regina Belle is a different story. Even as the New Jersey native rode high in the urban charts throughout the ’80s and ’90s with such urban classics as “Baby Come to Me,” “Make It Like It Was” and “What Goes Around,” faith, churchgoing, and gospel music remained at the very core of her life in the spotlight. It’s not without some measure of fear and trepidation that gospel music puts checks and balances on reverse crossover artists. After all, for every general-market hopeful with pure, Christ-honoring motives, there’s always a controversial artist–good-intentioned, but ultimately far from the integrity, character, and value system required to represent Jesus to the church and to the world. Four-time GRAMMY-winning R&B/Pop songstress Regina Belle is a different story. Even as the New Jersey native rode high in the urban charts throughout the ’80s and ’90s with such urban classics as “Baby Come to Me,” “Make It Like It Was” and “What Goes Around,” faith, churchgoing, and gospel music remained at the very core of her life in the spotlight. Today, Belle is a pastor’s wife and minister of music at New Shield of Faith Ministries in Atlanta, where her husband, John S. Battle III, is senior pastor. “I still went to church,” says Belle, whose LOVE FOREVER SHINES, her lifetime-in-the-making gospel debut, is set to make a splash via Ruben Rodriguez’ Pendulum Records with Walker Davis Entertainment and distributed by Fontana. “I carried it with me. I wasn’t necessarily in a church because I traveled from city to city. But God is not something that you can box in a building. You have to take him with you. Even though I didn’t have the understanding that I have now, He was still covering me even at that stage of the game.” LOVE FOREVER SHINES is a triumphant homage to God’s faithfulness through it all, a testament to how His goodness and mercy followed the vocalist all the days of her life, from the cradle all the way through her decorated music career. Most importantly, the album is a tribute to the singer’s gospel music heritage–14 songs that speak to the bedrock of Belle’s faith, never more evident in the disc’s stunning centerpiece, the stirring traditional first single, “God Is Good.” A precocious singer since a young age, Belle launched her music career with a bang when, as

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