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BIOGRAPHY - James Fortune

From James Fortune & FIYA's latest album "Identity" on Light Records, comes their power-filled first single "Still Able" currently at #5 on the Gospel radio charts. Featuring guest artists Monica, Fred Hammond, Nikki Ross and Kim Burrell.

James Fortune is the choir director at Higher Dimension Church in Houston, TX. Higher Dimension church was organized on January 23, 1999 at Judy Bush Elementary School. Under the leadership of Pastor Terrance Johnson, Higher D has grown from 29 members in 1999 to more than 12,000 with 10 operative lead ministries and a host of sub-ministries that cater the needs of kids, youth, men, women, couples and singles. James Fortune & FIYA’s debut CD titled “You Survived” was released in 2005. He was honored at the 19th annual ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Music Awards for his hit single "You Survived" off the same album. “You Survived” also peaked as the #2 most played Gospel song in the country and remained in the Top 7 for 3 years. The radio single, “God Can” featured Micah Stampley and gospel artist Zacardi Cortez. James Fortune received his ASCAP Writers Award alongside some of music’s finest, like L.L. Cool J., Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin and J. Moss. FIYA was nominated four years in a row for the Texas Gospel Youth & Young Adult Choir of the year. They have been featured on Eric Carrington’s album, “Soar”. FIYA was blessed to open up for various artists such as, John P. Kee, Kim Burrell, Stevie Wonder, Mary Mary, Donald Lawrence, Albertina Walker, Fred Hammond, Tye Tribbett & G.A. and many others. FIYA made their mark in the gospel arena when they participated in the “One Church Tour” with some other gospel greats such as Kurt Carr and the Kurt Carr Singers, RiZen, Smokie Norful, and Vickie Yohe.

James Fortune and F.I.Y.A.’s sophomore project on Black Smoke Music World Wide (formerly World Wide), “The Transformation”, was released January 22, 2008. James's next album, "I Trust You" was released in May of 2009. Named the Gospel Song of The Year at the 22nd Annual American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Awards, the album topped Billboard's Hot Gospel Songs chart for a historic 29 weeks, and claimed the title of the longest running #1 Gospel single. Because of its crossover appeal, “I Trust You” reached #30 on Urban AC charts and #1 at WBLS in New York City, Urban AC’s # 1 station in the U.S. Fortune constantly writes ballads and Sunday morning worship songs, collaborates with stellar producers and songwriters, and creates music complete with life transforming principles. James recognizes his success is only as comparable to his obedience and yielding to God’s will. Fortune continued amassing accolades with his meteoric rise and subsequent success in 2010 of the soaring single "I Believe," which earned him a second ASCAP Writer's Award in 2011. Additionally "I Believe" received a 2011 Soul Train nomination for "Best Gospel Performance".

James Fortune launched his new imprint, F.I.Y.A. World Music, on Light Records with the release of his new album "IDENTITY" that hits stores January 17, 2012. Identity is a powerful collection of soul-stirring songs of encouragement, hope and healing that speaks into the hearts of the religious and agnostic alike. A dynamic songwriter, producer and arranger, Fortune delivers a timeless message that is realized within mere moments of listening to this rapturous body of work. Fortune's knack for pairing the right vocalist for the right songs is evident with a collective set of notable guest artists such as famed R&B songbird Monica and Fred Hammond on "Hold On," a beautiful rhythmic flavored groove; Nikki Ross on the upbeat "Make A Sound," and the phenomenal "With You," featuring the dynamic vocal aerobics of Kim Burrell. In keeping with his previous chart topping success with "I Trust You" and "I Believe," Fortune continues to build on those elements that attributed to him fast becoming a beloved gospel sensation. Compelling songs such as "The Curse Is Broken" and "Still Able" strike the right chord speaking life and healing into dreary and dismal challenges of life. "Still Able" the power-filled first single has had an immediate impact at radio and is currently at number 5 on the Gospel radio chart. James shows his dexterity with "It Could Be Worse," which features the talents of Leandria Johnson & Zacardi Cortez, as it speaks to the traditionalist while ushering in the atmosphere of worship with the powerful line 'praise now, it could be worse.' The album also includes the radio-friendly and follow up single "Never Again," a high-powered rhythmic track. Fortune will bolster the new single with an upcoming performance on this year's Stellar Awards. Also on IDENTITY is the introspective ballad "What If," led by Cheryl Fortune; and the album's title track "Identity" a thoughtful and sincere composition that highlights the ultimate Christian goal to be more like Him. James say's "I think my music is a ministry of edification to lift people up and let them know that no matter how bad it looks on the outside, they can make it through." James concludes, "God can lift them up out of any situation".

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