Magazine article Ebony

5 Questions for ... Regina Belle

Magazine article Ebony

5 Questions for ... Regina Belle

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Jazz and R&B diva Regina Belle is making her gospel debut with Love Forever Shines. She is no stranger to the music world with hits like "Show Me the Way," "Baby Come to Me" and "Make it Like it Was," and her duet with Peabo Bryson, "A Whole New World," from the Aladdin soundtrack reached No. 1 on the charts and won four Grammy Awards. Yet the artist never stopped singing in church. Belle recently chatted with EBONY about why this new gospel CD means so much to her.

EBONY: Your fans want to know first: Where have you been?

RB: A Sister's been working! I've done a lot of jazz festivals and been really busy raising the kids here at home, and my husband [John S. Battle III) is the new pastor of our church [New Shield of Faith Ministries in Atlanta]. The obligation of being the first lady and the minister of music is quite a task.

EBONY: Why a gospel CD and why now?.

RB: Last year I celebrated 20 years in the industry. So I'm just so indebted to God for His keeping power, even when there were some really dark times. So I talk about some things on this gospel album that people are not willing to talk about--like Almost Slipped. The transparency is needed. Every day is new mercy, and I'm a living testimony. The message is that there is nothing you can do that God won't be able to redeem you from.

EBONY: How did you write the songs?

RB: These songs are very personal. They come from my own life experiences. One day I was sitting in a hotel room in Detroit and I was feeling completely alone. …

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