Grammy Award winning producer, composer and recording artist Donald Lawrence and his dynamic support ensemble, Co., return to retail shelves with a new CD entitled, YRM: Your Righteous Mind (Verity Gospel Music Group/ Quiet Water), on August 9, 2011. Over the past two decades, Lawrence has dazzled audiences as the front man for the now retired Tri-City Singers, while carrying on a solo career that has produced radio hits such as the #1 smash “Back II Eden” and “Healed.” On YRM, Lawrence blends the classicism of traditional gospel music and retro soul grooves with uplifting, messages of self-affirmation and practical exercises of faith. “Spiritual,” a bass heavy old school soul-styled groove is currently #17 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart. Among the collection’s highlights are the upbeat mantra “YRM (Your Righteous Mind)” featuring Dorinda Clark Cole; the smooth “We Agree” with Israel Houghton; The “I Am” Factor sermonette by Zimbabwe’s charismatic Bishop Tudor Bismark; siblings Tobbi White Darks and Tommi White’s rousing makeover of Chaka Khan’s 1984 hit “Through the Fire”; and a spirited update of Lawrence’s mentor – the late Bishop Walter Hawkins’ 1984 gem “When the Battle is Over.” YRM is a continuum of what he’s been preaching for years. “This project really doesn’t differ from my past ones,” he says in a news release. “I want to continue to teach, through song, spiritual principles and laws based on scriptures.” Lawrence and Co. are doing in-store appearances such as J&R in New York City on Friday, Aug. 12 and a Dallas performance at Bishop T.D. Jakes’ Manpower conference on the Aug. 13. They will be joined by special guest artists for a full concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14 on the main stage during Central Park’s Summer Stage concert series. Lawrence will also appear on BET’s flagship gospel television program, “Bobby Jones Gospel” and a special episode of TV One’s “One on One with Cathy Hughes.” There’s also a Sirius XM Satellite Radio in-studio concert in the works for the Praise Channel 64.The Chicago-based Lawrence began his career as a music director for R&B legend Stephanie Mills and vocal coach for En Vogue. In the mid 1990s, he made headlines as the leader of the Grammy-nominated Tri-City Singers choir that enjoyed a dozen radio hits such as “The Blessing of Abraham,”“The Best is Yet to Come” and “Encourage Yourself.” In 2004, Lawrence launched a solo career that has included signature songs such as “Back II Eden” and “Healed.” Since 2007, Lawrence has served as spokesman for Verizon Wireless’ “How Sweet The Sound” national gospel choir talent competition.
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