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Words: joe538.com

Imagine that you are a new Gospel recording artist whose major-label debut project was released just 16 short months ago. Since that time, your name is on the lips of every Gospel Music fan. You are hand picked by none other than Kirk Franklin to join him on tour. Your first single becomes the biggest song the year at Gospel radio while also making its presence felt on Urban radio. Your peers name you the Best New Artist and Male Vocalist of the Year at the Stellar Awards and to top it all off, after 14 months of release, your debut CD enjoys a five-week run at #1 on the Billboard Gospel Chart. As surreal as it may seem, this is a reality for Smokie Norful.

A relative newcomer to the Gospel industry nearly two years ago when EMI Gospel first introduced him at the Gospel Music Workshop of America in Minneapolis, today you would now be hard-pressed to find a Gospel Music fan that doesn’t know who Smokie Norful is. It has indeed been a whirlwind experience for Norful, whose debut release, I Need You Now has broken through the four walls of the church and burst onto the national scene, winning him accolades at every turn.

As both record sales and demands on his time increase, Smokie wanted to find a way to reach out and extend his gratitude to all those who have supported him, encouraged him and of course, purchased his music. The result is Smokie Norful LIMITED EDITION, an 8-track EP that bridges his best-selling debut, I Need You Now, with his forthcoming full-length sophomore project, due out in 2004. “To everyone that has supported my ministry and has been a blessing to my family,” says Smokie, “I say ‘thank you’ with this special project.”

Consisting primarily of new live recordings of some of his most popular songs as well as a few added surprises, Smokie Norful LIMITED EDITION is a “next level” project that brings to the forefront Smokie’s undeniable ability to captivate and engage any audience. Live arrangements of favorites such as “Still Say Thank You”, “Praise Him” and “It’s All About You” explode with a newfound energy.

Also included is a newly recorded, breathtaking rendition of the Christmas classic, “O Holy Night”. As an added bonus, the LIMITED EDITION CD features enhanced content whereby fans can view the “I Need You Now” music video on their computer. True to its name, Smokie Norful LIMITED EDITION will only be available from now until the release of Smokie’s next studio album, making it an instant collector’s item.

With the inclusion of a new live rendition of “He’s All I Need” (written by Smokie and originally recorded by Chicago’s Thompson Community Singers) and a new extended, live version of the hit song “I Need You Now” (recorded at T.D. Jakes’ Manpower 2003 Conference in Atlanta), Smokie Norful LIMITED EDITION brings the musical virtuoso full circle as he simultaneously embodies where Gospel Music has been and where it is going.


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