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 News Pop / Rock 15/06/2005

Matthew West Makes 'History' June 21, 2005

NASHVILLE, TN. (Universal South) - Acclaimed Universal South singer/songwriter Matthew West is currently preparing for the June 21 release of History, the follow-up to his multiple GMA Music Award-nominated debut, Happy. Produced by Kenny Greenberg and Jason Houser and co-produced by West, the thematic project features 11 cuts, all of which were written or co-written by West.

In keeping with the album's concept, the debut single, "Next Thing You Know," is the story of West's salvation experience and conveys the message that Christ can make history of past sins. The song is currently No 22 on R&R's Christian CHR chart and enters the publication's Christian AC chart at No 24 for the week ending June 10. In addition, "Next Thing You Know" is a "Most Added" single on both charts and appears on the "Most Increased Plays" list in conjunction with the Christian AC chart. The single is No 25 and the "Highest Gainer" on CRW's CHR/Pop Hot 40 chart and is the highest debut at No 35 on CRW's Adult Contemporary Hot 40 chart for the week of June 13.

History also features "The Day Before You," a song West wrote for his wife, which was recorded by Rascal Flatts on the group's multi-platinum country release, Feels Like Today. Additional highlights of the project include the title-cut, "The Light of Eternity," "Only Grace," and "The Last Ones," among others.

"I'm excited about History because it carries this common theme throughout the whole album: Our lives are history in the making," said West. "And I hope the album will inspire listeners to look at life from a different perspective, an eternal perspective. Over the last couple years of my artist career, I've been reminded time and again that God has a specific plan for me, and it's not just to be successful in the eyes of the world, it's to be a history maker in the light of eternity."

"One of Matthew's strongest qualities is how well he relates to people, both personally and through his message," said Karin Cupit, director of national sales & marketing, Universal South Records. "The success of his first album is evidence of how well he connects with listeners. We are very proud to be working with such an amazing talent."

"Matthew knows how to write great songs and that is why he connects with people, why he sells records, and why he will have a long career," said Bryan M. Ward, artist development director, EMI CMG.
"He has a unique talent in that he can sing songs and tell stories that have you laughing one moment and thinking about the meaning of your life the next. We are honored to work with Matthew and look forward to this record resonating in people's lives."

This summer, West will make key appearances at several Christian music festivals, including Spirit West Coast and Lifefest, and he will also appear at Disney's Night of Joy in September.
Additionally, he is slated to perform at various minor league ballparks around the country as part of "faith nights" with the Fort Worth Cats, the Omaha Royals, the Tulsa Drillers, and the Jackson, Tennessee, Diamond Jaxx baseball clubs.

West's history-making 2003 debut single, "More," which he co-wrote with Jason Houser and Kenny Greenberg, spent nine consecutive weeks atop R&R's Christian AC chart, a feat no other new artist had accomplished with a debut single since R&R began reporting its Christian charts in April 2001. According to R&R, the single was also the most played Christian AC song of 2004.
"More" was honored with a 2005 ASCAP Christian Music Award for Song of the Year.

West received multiple nods at this year's 36th Annual GMA Music Awards, including nominations for New Artist of the Year; Song of the Year for "More"; Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year for Happy; and Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year for "More."
Happy also garnered the Dove Award for Recorded Music Packaging of the Year.

In addition to Rascal Flatts, West's songs have been recorded by such artists as Billy Ray Cyrus, Point of Grace, Natalie Grant, Joy Williams and Jump 5, among others.
History will be distributed by EMI CMG Distribution.

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