Blacksmoke Music Worldwide CEO, Kerry Douglas, has done it “one more time” like he’s been doing it for over a decade now. Back in 2000 he gave Evelyn Turrentine Agee her biggest hit ever with “God Did It” – the most played gospel radio hit of that year. Then, he made quartet cool with Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson’s hits like “Let Go, Let God.” Douglas then bested himself when he took an unknown group, James Fortune & FIYA, to #1 for 29 weeks with their signature hit, “I Trust You.” That group has enjoyed other Top Ten hits such as “I Wouldn’t Know You” and the #1 “I Believe” because of Douglas’ grassroots marketing skills. If that wasn’t enough, Douglas took veteran crooner, Earnest Pugh, and gave him back-to-back #1 smashes with “Rain on I Need Your Glory “and” Us.”
So, now Douglas presents Zacardi Cortez whom he has groomed over the last few years by pairing him on duets with major artists and giving him a platform to display his dynamic vocal gifts. It’s all paid off with Cortez’ much-anticipated debut CD, “Zacardi Cortez: The Introduction.” The new CD has debuted at #2 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart and #71 on the Top 200 Pop Albums chart. Meanwhile, Cortez’ radio single, “One More Time”, moves up to #4 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart while his new radio single, “God Held Me Together, “ heads to the Top 40.
The 13-track CD features Cortez singing solo and alongside musical heavyweights such as Lalah Hathaway, Isaac Carree, Kierra Sheard, John P. Kee and James Fortune. “Zacardi’s roll-out was part of a strategic plan,” says Douglas. “We used the same free marketing tools such as social media, church partnerships and aggressive radio promotions that we used to break James Fortune and Earnest Pugh. On top of that, I was able to get Zacardi a featured slot on comedian Rickey Smiley’s Laugh & Shout Experience tour that has helped build Zacardi’s brand for people who don’t even go to church.”
“Zacardi is the best singer in America today,” Douglas continues. “However, it’s not the singing alone that has made him successful. It’s first having God at the center of everything we do. Then, it’s the combination of the right songs and the right team of people to work it. That’s the recipe for this success that we’ve been able to give to Zacardi. My New Deal promotional plans have set him up for a long term career just as they’ve done for James Fortune and Earnest Pugh.” For more information, please visit www.mrkerrydouglas.com or www.zacardicortez.com.