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Earnest Pugh

Earnest Pugh

Chart-topping gospel psalmist, vocalist, songwriter, philanthropist, and EPM Label Group founder Earnest Pugh possesses a five-octave vocal range that boasts a crystalline delivery and the phrasing of a jazz singer. His third long-player, 2009's Rain On Us, spent 76 weeks on the charts --peaking at number two -- and delivered three number one singles. The outing signaled his arrival as one of the genre's top tier of performing and recording artists. 2011's Earnestly Yours ran to the top of the charts and stayed there for ten weeks thanks in no small part to his producer's decision to have him cover the James Fortune classic "I Need Your Glory." Pugh's career as a beloved singer and performer has led to his placement of no less than four albums in the Top 200. 2017's Survive marked a stylistic shift as Pugh delivered slickly produced R&B as contemporary gospel with its hit singles such as "I Need You to Breathe" and the electro-worship anthem "More of You" (featuring Kierra Sheard and Sarge). A year later, he challenged industry standards again with the release of Unsung Hits, Vol. 1, comprised of songs that were live crowd pleasers, but had never received airplay. It jumped out of the gate in the upper half of the Gospel Top Ten upon release.

A Memphis, Tennessee native, Pugh showed tremendous singing talent even as a child, and by his teens he was singing with O'Landa Draper as a backing vocalist, a tenure that ended when Pugh entered the military. Following his discharge, he continued to pursue his musical goals, and even dabbled in acting, appearing in several stage plays. Eventually he began appearing on various gospel-oriented television shows on the BET network and elsewhere. His first album, Earnest Pugh Live: A Worshipper's Perspective, appeared in 2006, followed by Seasons Change a year later in 2007. Live: Rain on Us arrived in 2009, with a fourth album, Earnestly Yours, hitting in 2011. A holiday album, Christmas with Earnest Pugh, arrived in 2012 -- the year he relocated to Houston, Texas and signed an EPM distribution deal with eOne Entertainment -- followed by The W.I.N. (Worship in Nassau) Experience, which was recorded in the Bahamas during Radio One's Love Cruise in 2013. The EP Just Worship (2014) and the compilation Hidden Treasures & Collaborations (2015) became Pugh's fifth and sixth releases to reach the Top Ten of Billboard's Top Gospel Albums chart. In September 2017, Pugh released "Survive," the title track single from his next project, which arrived in October. "I Need You to Breathe" charted at number two on the praise & worship charts and placed at radio, while "More of You" (featuring Kierra Sheard and Sarge) wed contemporary gospel with dance club production. The following year, Pugh issued Unsung Hits, Vol. 1. The ten-song set comprised livelier versions of songs that had either never relieved radio airplay or were not released as singles. It debuted at number five on the gospel charts. The following year, Pugh returned to Nassau and re-recorded -- in front of a sold-out concert crowd -- his 2013 album The W-I-N (Worship In Nassau) Experience, track for track. It entered the chart at number five. 2020 saw the issue of a live show entitled The Outpour Experience that included appearances from guest soloists Amber Bullock on "The Sound" and Betty Keller on "The Glory of God." ~ Steve Leggett

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