Word Records recently signed American Idol finalist George Huff and Gospel legend Karen Clark-Sheard to recording contracts. George Landis, President of Word Records, says that the move will help the label, founded in 1952, reclaim status as the forerunners of the Gospel genre:
"In the past, Word Records represented the greatest names in Gospel music and the signing of George Huff and Karen Clark Sheard sends the message that we want that valued position back again. I want my legacy at Word to be identified as a time where Word Records reclaimed its status as the industry leader in Gospel."
Huff was a favorite on the American Idol program, constantly returning to the competition even after being voted off. The former omelet chef from New Orleans, who cited his favorite style of music as gospel, was up front about his faith while in the competition, asserting his love for his church and his position as an evangelist. Huff is quoted as saying that his goal in life is, “[t]o make a difference in the world.”
Karen Clark-Sheard, formerly of the Clark Sisters, has been a recording artist since 1973, and has been featured on such hits as You Brought The Sunshine, My Redeemer Liveth, and, from her more recent solo career, Nothing Without You, and We Acknowledge You. Her signature vocal style has influenced many of today’s top artists such as Mariah Carey and Faith Evans.
Desmond Pringle, Word’s director of Urban A&R, comments on both artists, “Karen Clark-Sheard is exactly the caliber of artist Word is ecstatic about partnering with as a catalyst for Word's new era of gospel legacy. George Huff is an example of the new and unique talent we're going to present to America."