Billboard’s #1 Indie Gospel CEO Kerry Douglas (Black Smoke Music Worldwide) Scores First #1 iTunes CD Debut with “Earnestly Yours” By Dynamic Vocalist Earnest Pugh

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Independent Houston Record Label Is Competing with the Big Boys By Locking Down Its First #1 iTunes CD Debut.

Earnest Pugh "Earnestly Yours" CD cover

“Earnest is gospel music’s new leading man. I can see him with the same platform of a Smokie Norful or Donnie McClurkin,” says Black Smoke CEO Kerry Douglas.

Houston’s gospel godfather Kerry Douglas’ Black Smoke Music Worldwide label (Billboard’s #1 indie gospel label for 2010) made personal history this week with the release of Washington, D.C.-based gospel star Earnest Pugh’s new CD “Earnestly Yours” debuting at #1 on iTunes Christian and Gospel digital album sales chart Tuesday – just above platinum-selling acts such as Casting Crowns and Kirk Franklin. “My staff and I have been working every angle for weeks,” says Douglas. “We have been working social media, street teams, pushing for radio airplay and doing everything we can think of to let the world know about Earnest Pugh’s new CD and the hard work has paid off.”

“This is our fastest selling digital CD ever,” says Black Smoke CEO Kerry Douglas. “Earnest is gospel music’s new leading man. I can see him with the same platform of a Smokie Norful or Donnie McClurkin.” A key to Pugh’s success has been Douglas’ implementation of his New Deal Entertainment University marketing strategies (utilizing aggressive social media networking, street teams and other guerilla tactics to create awareness of the artist and CD) that have helped him take acts such as James Fortune & FIYA and Keith “Wonder Boy” Johnson to the top of the charts.

A Memphis native now living in the Washington, D.C. area, Pugh was mentored by Grammy Award winning choir director O’Landa Draper of The Associates (known for recording “River of Dreams” with Billy Joel) back in the 1990s. After years of singing at churches and pastor conferences around the country, Pugh finally released his first solo CD in 2006. Since then, Pugh’s dynamic vocals have created classic radio hits such as “Wrapped Up, Tied Up, Tangled Up,” “Perfect Peace,” “The Great I Am” and the #1 smash “Rain On Us” while also making him gospel music’s new leading man. Visit or for more information.


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