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Crossover Artist Spotlight from CCM Magazine: Aaron Neville

Andrew Greer
Sunday, January 09, 2011

Crossover Spotlight | CCM Magazine
Andrew Greer

Since breaking onto the music scene in 1966 with his smash single, “Tell It Like It Is,” Aaron Neville has become an immortal pop legend.  With his infamous soul tremble and a roster of hits with music VIPs as varied as Linda Ronstadt, Trisha Yearwood and his own family band, The Neville Brothers, the four-time Grammy winner talks about his new CD—a gospel record, I Know I’ve Been Changed (EMI Gospel).

CCM: What inspired you to record a gospel record?
It was already in progress. This is the third gospel album I've done and I have a few more in me that I want to do.

CCM: How would you describe the sound of I Know I’ve Been Changed?
It is a very bare bones kind of sound. Having such a great rhythm section and going off of them gave me a little more room to showcase these beautiful songs.

CCM: How did your New Orleans heritage influence the themes and sounds of the record?
Having Allen [Touissant] play on the record really helped.  It was like a homecoming. He plays piano on the whole record and keeps the New Orleans influence very strong.
CCM: How has Allen’s musical friendship impacted your career?
Allen and I have a long history together. The first time I ever went into a studio was with him in 1960. A big part of our relationship has come from founding the New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness (NOAAHH) together in 1985. Today the NOAAHH has become a successful non-profit organization that puts on annual concerts and galas to raise funds to help fight hunger and homelessness in the metro New Orleans area.

CCM: How have your perspectives changed, evolved, or stayed the same after fifty years in the business?
I don't think my perspective has changed too much. I try to communicate the same message of peace and love that I always have.

Crossover Highlights Sidebar

The Act: Jordin Sparks
The Site:
The Sound: Pop/R&B
The Buzz: The American Idol alum shares stories about her mentor, Michael W. Smith, in this LUNCHABLES “My Mentor” video
The Act: Sanctus Real
The Site:
The Sound: Pop/rock
The Buzz: ABC World News with Diane Sawyer recently covered lead singer, Matt Hammitt’s journey with his son, Bowen, who was born with a rare heart defect last September. View the story here:

The Act: Switchfoot
The Site:
The Sound: Rock 
The Buzz: The platinum rock posse stopped by The Tonight Show to catch up with Leno and perform “Your Love is a Song,” from Hello Hurricane.  Go behind-the-scenes here:

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