Avery Stafford
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Avery Stafford

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The best kept secret in music


"Gospel City's Undignified Album Review"


Review By Peggy Oliver

From leading his first song in church at age two (with prayer and guidance from his mother) Avery Stafford eventually wanted people to see Jesus personified. For his latest CD, the self-released Undignified, the California native meshes classic and contemporary urban stylings.

Despite an obvious vocal talent, the current worship pastor for Valley Church in Cupertino, California pursued extensive education from Abilene Christian University, and Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, Oregon. Though his voice echoes Luther Vandross, Stafford’s musical inspirations run from Tonex to Stevie Wonder. One of several accomplishments in his career was receiving the MP3.com’s Top Gospel Artist in 2003. Both radio and the internet have embraced Stafford’s latest effort, especially the music video, How Sweet It Is (2b Loved By You).

The aforementioned song, the huge Motown hit How Sweet It Is (2b Loved By You), covered by Marvin Gaye and James Taylor amongst others, receives a synthesized, funky 80s treatment. Stafford adds jazzmatazz phrasing, while Jared Duba (aka Jesus Disciple) delivers a spicy rap breakdown, followed by a thunderous “Thank You Lord” for the final punctuation.

Switching from full throbbing to a romantic love type ballad, Everything I Own accounts the ultimate sacrifices our Lord has made on our behalf: “The total bid came from a man named Jesus as tender and kind.” All the angels and creation bow down to the great I Am, including “the peaks of Kilimanjaro.” Lending vocal adoration is The Undignified Choir (consisting of friends from Portland, Oregon).

Get My Praise On kicks in high gear, reminding us in the process, patience equals dividends: “They say that good will come to those who wait on it”. For those who learn to wait, then we Hold On as loneliness is dispelled and self becomes futile: “I will never deny Your power.” The backing harmonies give a massive power surge.

Stafford works his musical savvy with a smooth-jazz interpretation of Listen To Our Hearts, a Geoff Moore/Steven Curtis Chapman composition originally recorded by Moore and Chapman in the nineties.

When deciding to join the body of Christ, we should look forward to a reunion in heaven that can’t be beat. On Family, it feels like Santana brought his guitar to jam for this auspicious occasion. If everyone could observe life through the Eyes Of A Child, we can fully appreciate children in all their innocence, dreaming their dreams, where “Every moment’s like a holiday.” The unadulterated voices of the Valley Church Kids chime in about the Lord’s holiness.

In honoring Stafford’s own parents, Father And Mother expresses gratitude for everything they’ve done. Tears Of The Lamb mends broken hearts along the way. Soft flutes and strings set the mostly solemn mood, though Stafford momentarily extols the King for restoring his soul. In closing, One asks the essential question about sincere unity with the brothers and sisters in the extended family of God.

Many of Stafford’s songs come from observing his children at play, no wonder with the outpouring of some material dealing with family themes. Musicians with diverse experience from Ron Kenoly to Frank Zappa assist Stafford, who provides most of the delectable harmony plus utilizing warm and powerful soulful pipes just like Vandross.

Whether praising the Almighty or pouring out his heart for mankind, Stafford maintains his music will always go where God goes. For listeners looking for hope in all the right places outside the gospel music norm, Undignified is a one-hundred percent dignified pick.

This CD is released by Stafford’s website, www.averystafford.com.

- Gospel City

"Gospel Xone's Undignified Album Review"


Review by Gregory Q Lee

Singing since the age of two, Avery Stafford has had a strong calling to minister to the masses. Through Stafford’s music, that testimony can be witnessed.

Possessing a smooth voice, Stafford ministers with a keen awareness of Jesus Christ on the soft-ballad, “Everything I Own.” The lush guitar sounds and percussion give the song a soothing edge. “Get My Praise On” is praise and worship at work.

You can’t miss the album’s hit, “How Sweet It Is (2B Loved By You).” This contemporary jam can also be seen on video. With guest rap vocals from Jared Duba, the song is given an edge to grab all listeners even closer.

Other hits include: “Eyes Of A Child,” “Tears Of The Lamb,” and “One.”

Stafford has already created a huge buzz in the Gospel industry, more shall come soon.

- Gospel Xone

"Silicon Valley Produces Grammy Entries"

Some have called Silicon Valley "The Center of the Universe." It is primarily renown for technological innovation. Yet one musical artist may soon change all of that. Here is what reviewers in our universe are saying about the album UNDIGNIFIED by Avery Stafford:

Mit „Undignified" beweist Avery Stafford, dass aus dem Herzen des Silicon Valley nicht nur Innovationen aus der Computer- und Softwareindustrie kommen, sondern frische, undogmatische Gospelmusik, die eingängig ist, ohne kommerziell zu sein. (Oliver Springer, DJ for JAM FM in Berlin, Germany - http://www.rap2soul.de/rap2soul/soul/soul_cd.php?musik_ID=527)

Here is the English translation by Judy Liegmann:

With "Undignified," Avery Stafford proves that developments in computers and software are not the only type of innovations coming from Silicon Valley. His fresh, undogmatic style of Gospel is appealing without resorting to commercialism.

Stafford’s contemporary Gospel album UNDIGNIFIED marries the best of R&B’s past with his own modern day style and unique perspective. Gospel City reviewed his voice as one that "… echoes Luther Vandross," (Peggy Oliver, Gospel City - http://www.gospelcity.com/dynamic/music-articles/reviews/337). Bottom line? Avery’s music is different. It pours forth passion and conviction. Independently produced, it has been critically reviewed all over the world as being exceptional. Gospel City further states: "For listeners looking for hope in all the right places outside the Gospel music norm, Undignified is a one-hundred percent dignified pick" (Peggy Oliver).

UNDIGNIFIED by Avery Stafford has received 12 entries for the 48th Annual Grammy Awards. It is one of 26 albums being considered for BEST CONTEMPORARY SOUL GOSPEL ALBUM. For more information, visit the Web at http://www.averystafford.com/grammy_consideration.

- Music Industry News Network

"SoGospel's Undignified Album Review"


Reviewed by Charles Brady

One of the most moving, smoothest & soulful voices in Gospel Music I have ever had the chance to hear!

Avery Stafford in his latest album “Undignified” is an incredible mixture of everything from Sweetest Soul to R&B to Urban Contemporary to just plain ole explosive worshipful praise! This could well be the best album I have heard all year long. This makes an east coast man want to move west!

With expressive & powerful lyrics & some incredible music production and a voice that is just heavenly, “Undignified” will ring the bell of your heart and lead you into the very presence of the Lord. Every time I listen to the song “I Am” I find myself in tears and in worship. This is one of the greatest praise songs I have heard in a long time.

With so many great songs it is really hard to single one or two songs but my top picks for this album would be “I Am, Hold On, Family & Everything I Own.” I also loved “Got My Praise On” especially the way this song begins with some great preaching and then kicks into high gear and leads you “Get Your Praise On!”

I encourage our readers to learn more about Avery Stafford! His web site is www.averystafford.com and while your there be sure and pick up a copy of “Undignified!” - SoGospel

"Avery Stafford Signs Distribution Deal With Bookworld Music"

Charles Brady of SoGospel describes contemporary Gospel artist Avery Stafford as "One of the most moving, smoothest & soulful voices in Gospel Music I have ever had the chance to hear!"

Undignified is the latest album by Avery Stafford, Praise and Worship Pastor from San Jose, CA. It has received incredible reviews from Gospel City, Soul Mag, Gospel Xone, Gospel Cribs, Rap2Soul, Indie-Music, Rikks Revues, and others. Roy Gray of XRadioGospel recently described Stafford in a live interview as "One of the greatest independent Gospel artists in the world today." Yet this anointed vocalist continues to be relatively unknown to the majority of the Gospel industry, UNTIL NOW!

In late November 2005, Bookworld Music, Inc. of Sarasota, FL signed Avery's independent record label ASM Records to a major retail distribution deal. Undignified will be ASM's first distributed project. Bookworld services the top 100 biggest retailers in the nation PLUS 2900 independent and specialized customers. These retailers include WalMart, Target, Costco, Media Play, and many others. Bookworld Music currently distributes Gospel artists including Shekinah Glory Ministry with great success.

So what makes this particular album unique? Is it the incredible Bay Area artists who collaborated with Avery? Is it the beautiful songs and arrangements on the album? What about the powerful message of Christ's saving grace proclaimed in the music? And what about the critically acclaimed music video featuring his Gospel remake of Marvin Gaye's How Sweet It Is (2b loved by You!)? Though all of these qualities are present with Undignified, there is still something even more unique. Oliver Springer, DJ for JAM FM in Berlin, Germany writes: "Stafford has successfully melded Gospel with a goodly portion of R&B, creating a harmonious mixture that will appeal to a broad public. He avoids the pitfalls of other artists who maintain only one level of praise, a turn-off for non-fans of Gospel." JAM FM added Undignified to its weekly rotation in February 2005! Something else unique about this album is that Gospel Radio DJs who add Undignified to their rotation often add it to their personal collection. DJs in North Carolina, California, Texas, Illinois, and even Berlin, Germany have said they listen to Avery's music as they drive to and from work. WOW! It is one thing to play an album on the radio. It's another thing to also play it for your personal, spiritual edification!

The 2006 Undignified Tour is currently booking ministry events. ASM, in partnership with Bookworld Music, plans to immediately increase Gospel Radio promotion, bookstore appearances, and live events throughout the United States. We cordially invite Churches, Pastors, Gospel Radio Personalities, Ministry Event Coordinators, Conference Directors, etc. to discover this gifted Worship Leader and Contemporary Gospel vocalist. Gospel City says, "his voice echoes Luther Vandross." Find out why Gospel Cribs writes, "With a voice so vibrant and strong that it sets his listeners off on an exhilarating spiritual journey, the release of UNDIGNIFIED marks the commencement of a new and exciting chapter in the gospel music scene." For BOOKING, contact Minister Therian Smith at (408) 823-1337 OR Booking@AveryStafford.com.

Some of the Gospel Radio Stations that have added Undignified to their rotation are:
WJLB 97.9 FM in Detroit, MI
WJYD Joy 106.3 FM in Columbus, OH
WSHA 88.9 FM at Shaw University in Raleigh, NC
WMPR 90.1 FM in Jackson, MS
WJLD 1400 AM in Birmingham, AL
WODI 1230 AM in Virginia Beach, VA
KYOK 1140 AM in Conroe, TX
Spiritco1.com in Oxon Hill, MD
Simply Gospel Show on XRadioGospel.biz in Ontario, CA
KJFJFM.com in Inglewood, CA
The Gospel Train on KUVO 89.3 FM in Denver, CO
WMBM 1490 AM in North Miami, FL
Independent Online Gospel Radio
The Sunny Sunday Show on JAM FM in Berlin, Germany
VIBE FM 91.9 in Accra, Ghana

For RADIO SERVICING, contact ASM at http://www.averystafford.com/radio_promotion OR info@averystafford.com.

Perhaps you have never heard of Avery Stafford and the Undignified album. Well that is about to change, in a big way! - Urban Gospel Alliance

"West Coast Praze Show Reviewed"

"What can I say about Avery Stafford and his band... AWESOME!! ANOINTED!! and just plain old Great People!. West Coast Praze was definitely blessed to sit under the exciting music ministry of this wonderful group. I think however what I liked best about them is their heart for God which was evident in the way they sang, played and acted. Avery ...we expect even greater things from you in the near future!"

West Coast Praze Show on November 14, 2004
Gener8tion Studios, Hollywood, CA
Avery headlined with Lisa Houston
- Donna McAfee-Founder, West Coast Praze

"Grammy Consideration For Contemporary Gospel Artist"

Smokie Norful, Ben Harper & Blind Boys of Alabama, Randy Travis, Steven Curtis Chapman, Third Day, Gladys Knight & the legendary Ray Charles… what do they all have in common? The 47th Annual GRAMMY Awards in 2004 honored each of them with recognition for their contributions in the Gospel category. Their reputations and music earned them all a place in musical history. No surprises or huge upsets. Each artist rightfully deserved. After all, no one in their right mind would consider voting for someone without international notoriety and the resources of a major record label. Unless of course, if the music in question was simply remarkable. What if the best contemporary Gospel album of 2005 wasn’t recorded by a familiar name in Gospel music or recorded in Nashville? What if the album’s music is played over Gospel and Urban radio stations all over the world, in spite of being an Independently released project? What if the Gospel music world was turned upside down because the best artist for 2005 lived in … for God’s sake … CALIFORNIA?

Kenny G. Hayes of Gospel Crib declares "One of the hottest rising stars in the Oakland Bay Area… Avery Stafford. Hailed as "a delicious lesson in vocal harmony" with a voice so vibrant and strong that it sets his listeners off on an exhilarating spiritual journey, the release of UNDIGNIFIED marks the commencement of a new and exciting chapter in the gospel music scene (http://www.gospelcrib.8m.com)." Charles Brady, chief editor of SoGospel, makes it plain: "One of the most moving, smoothest & soulful voices in Gospel Music I have ever had the chance to hear! Avery Stafford in his latest album "Undignified" is an incredible mixture of everything from Sweetest Soul to R&B to Urban Contemporary to just plain ole explosive worshipful praise! This could well be the best album I have heard all year long (http://www.sogospel.com/more.php?id=599_0_1_0_M)." Independently released, UNDIGNIFIED by Avery Stafford shatters all the rules of traditional and contemporary Gospel music. In an age where vocalists come and are forgotten in a matter of months, every serious examination of this album has led to the same conclusion – Exceptionally Brilliant. Musicianship? Stafford brings to the studio artists with world class credentials, having worked with the likes of Rose Royce, Ohio Player, Chocolate Watch Band, Andre Crouch, Ron Kenoly, and a host of others. Production? Patrick Collins, co-producer of UNDIGNIFIED, has mastering credits that boggle the mind, including Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mack, Quincy Jones, Billy Preston, Steely Dan, The Isley Brothers, and many more.

Entered into 14 categories for GRAMMY Award consideration, UNDIGNIFIED by Avery Stafford is guaranteed to make quite an impact worldwide. The 48th Annual GRAMMY Awards will overall be an interesting year for Gospel music, especially with the new category of BEST GOSPEL SONG. Take the advice of those who have heard this musical work of art – listen to what could be "the best Gospel album of the year." Check out http://www.averystafford.com/grammy_consideration and judge for yourself. Can 2005’s best Gospel artist be from … for God’s sake … CALIFORNIA? Oh yes indeed!!!

"Stir Caused By Independent Album By Avery Stafford"

American artists such as Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix, Backstreet Boys, and Tina Turner are considered musical icons all over the world. Yet their artistry was perfected in the United Kingdom prior to having success in the United States. Major record labels pour millions of dollars into their signed artists, while independent artists often struggle due to a lack of available resources. Without these resources, it is virtually impossible to make significant waves in the music industry. And then there is Avery Stafford.

DESTINATION: Europe … first stop: STOKE-ON-TRENT. “Stir Caused By Independent Album By Avery Stafford” is a direct quote from the Internet music Zine Cross Rhythms. [http://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/articles/Undignified_Avery/15184/p1/]. They continue on to say that Avery “is creating considerable interest with his new independent album 'Undignified'. The project is produced by Stafford and Patrick Collins, who has mastered albums for Stevie Wonder and Fleetwood Mac. It features such musicians as Mark Kenoly (Rose Royce, Promise Keepers), Tim Abbott (Ron Kenoly) and Tony Bolivar (Andrae Crouch).”

Second stop: BERLIN. Stafford’s UNDIGNIFIED album has received airplay almost every week since February 6, 2005 on JAM FM Black Music [http://www.jamfm.de]. Torsten Williamson-Fuchs, radio disc jockey plays Stafford’s album consistently on his show Sunny Sunday. The more frequent spins include “Get My Praise On,” “Hold On,” and a remake of Marvin Gaye’s classic “How Sweet It Is (2b loved by You!).”

Third stop: AMSTERDAM. Blastro debuted Avery’s music video “How Sweet It Is” in their R&B category. Fiesta Info Media in Holland began streaming it on their website, further showing Avery’s worldwide appeal [http://www.fiestainfo.nl/media.php]. This Gospel/R&B crossover video was just selected by Internet Video Magazine as one of their BEST INTERNET VIDEOS OF THE WEEK [http://www.internetvideomag.com/BestVideosoftheWeek.htm].

Final stop: LONDON. “How Sweet It Is, the music video” is currently featured by Video-C as one of their “Urban Hot Picks” and “Independent Hot Picks” [http://www.video-c.co.uk/urban/showvids.asp?vidref=aver001].

For more information on the album UNDIGNIFIED by Avery Stafford, visit his website at http://www.averystafford.com. Music, radio, and video industry execs can receive promotional material by contacting ASM at info@averystafford.com.

"Blackmon Enterprises August 2004 Press Release"

Advertising Promotions
Entertainment Marketing

For Immediate Release

6125 Clybourn Ave. Ste # 47
N. Hollywood, CA 91606
Contact: LaMarr Blackmon
(818) 766.0087
www.gospelhitbreakers.com ilblackk@aol.com


Los Angeles, CA – August 2004 Blackmon
Enterprises introduces you to a dynamic vocalist, one
of the hottest rising stars in the Oakland Bay Area…
Avery Stafford.

Hailed as “a delicious lesson in vocal harmony” With a voice so vibrant and strong that it sets his listeners off on an exhilarating spiritual journey, the release of UNDIGNIFIED marks the commencement of a new and exciting chapter in the gospel music scene.

A native of Los Angeles, California but now resides in San Jose, CA. Avery, is also on staff as a Worship Pastor for Valley Church in Cupertino, CA. has a lovely wife Nina and the proud father of three, Marlea, Stephan and Kerrington and Stafford.

Avery has independently releases four previous solo albums titled “GOOD INSIDE”, “LIFT UP YOUR VOICE”, “COME BLESS DA LORD” and “BRIDGES”.

Introducing the future of Gospel music Luminaries has been no problem for Blackmon Enterprises, producers of Gospel Insider a Nationally syndicated Radio Show (140 + US Markets), the Hollywood Gospel Insider Music Awards, Gospel Hit-Breakers Independent Showcases and the official syndicated network of Historically Black Colleges/University Radio “BURN”. “You have to have a unyielding and clear vision on talent and Marketing”. God has a way of reminding us that our steps are ordered by Him and that it is only by His grace and in His strength that we are able to do what we do says LaMarr Blackmon Sr. VP of Marketing B.E. Advertising, Promotions & Special Events.

UNDIGNIFIED has recently been reviewed as being “the most innovative vocal performance since Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On record”. It also has been seasoned with R&B, Gospel and Contemporary Urban flavors. Producers who have lent a hand to this project have worked with legends such as Stevie Wonder, Little Richard, Rolls Royce and Ron Kenoly.

The album “Undignified” is showing a very good impact on California and Las Vegas markets.

For more information or to request to be included on the mailing list for service of the single or CD UNDIGNIFIED, contact Avery Stafford at 408.667.2153 or www.averystafford.com. To listen to Avery Stafford and other National hit-breakers log on to www.gospelhitbreakers.com “Where the next hot upcoming Gospel Stars will be launched”. Log on to dbbgospel.com to hear Gospel Insider Encore and to view the Hollywood Gospel Insider Music Awards an all in one new, exciting gala and show.
- Blackmon Enterprises

""UNDIGNIFIED" Is Smokin Hot!!!"


CONTACT: LaMarr Blackmon 818.766.0087
January 15, 2005


Hollywood, CA – Avery Stafford’s artistic light on this new release “UNDIGNIFIED” is so bright it could illuminate a room. A true musical talent, from the heart of the world-renowned Silicon Valley, hailed as a “ delicious lesson in vocal harmony”. Avery earned a Bachelors Degree in Christian Ministry from Abilene Christian University and Masters Degree in Pastoral Studies from Multnomah Biblical Seminary before embarking on his vast musical journey.

His current independent album project, “UNDIGNIFIED”, has recently been reviewed as being “the most innovative vocal performance since Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’ record.” It is seasoned with R&B, Gospel, and Contemporary Urban flavors. Producers and musicians who worked on this hot project, and have played with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, Little Richard, Ambrosia, Rolls Royce and the Ohio Players, agree that the new album is outstanding and a great piece of work.

“UNDIGNIFIED,” was released during the Christmas holidays and has 11 astonishing tracks with “How Sweet It Is”, “Get My Praise On” and “Hold On” being guaranteed hits. The record has been added to several key BDS reporting stations and adding weekly, including KMEL-FM - San Francisco, CA; WOOW - Greenville, NC; WQFX - Biloxi, MS. Look for Avery Stafford’s National Promotion coming soon on Gospel Insider National Network with 125 + commercial radio affiliates! Please visit www.dbbgospel.com for Gospel Insider Encore.

To hear snippets of the album or to purchase this incredible new ministry, “UNDIGNIFIED” visit the web at http://www.averystafford.com. For more information on Avery Stafford, radio servicing, booking or contact info call 408.739.4642 ext. 137 or email him at avery@valleychurch.org.


Gospel Insider has the longest-running, urban, syndicated radio show in network radio history for 17 + years. Log on to www.dbbgospel.com to hear Gospel Insider national radio show.
- The Gospel Insider


Good Inside - The Enlighteners, 1987
Lift Up Your Voice, 1995
Come Bless Da Lord, 1996
Bridges, 1999
Undignified, 2005
features instrumentalists Mark Kenoly, Tim Abbott, Tony Bolivar and vocalists Steve Maxwell (Acappella) and Tim Storms (world's lowest bass voice)

For more info, goto http://www.averystafford.com/press_and_media


Feeling a bit camera shy


Stafford, a native Californian, is an accomplished vocalist, lyricist, and worship leader. He has been singing and leading worship since childhood and songwriting since his teens. His experiences eventually led to his first album with The Enlighteners called Good Inside in 1987. His next two projects, Lift Up Your Voice and Come Bless Da Lord, were solo albums with INDIE label Worship Him Music. All three albums are acappella projects. Like the composers of the 17th century, Avery hears vast harmonies in his head. He has a gift for taking the instrument that God gave us [the human voice] and making incredible music. He writes and arranges vocal bass and rhythm lines that you can dance to. His last project Bridges is instrumental, seasoned with R&B, gospel, and contemporary Christian flavors. Avery said, ”The title Bridges is about bringing people together. The easy thing to do is to divide; it is more difficult to unite and become one in heart, in mind, and spirit. Someone has to put their life on the line for Jesus’ prayer to become a reality. ‘...That they all be one...’ I figure, if not me, then who? So I am out building bridges.”

In early 2001, Avery was selected as one of the MP3.coms top Gospel artists. The title song Bridges peaked at number 11 on the MP3.com Christian Pop charts and number 15 on the Spiritual Pop charts. In addition, he created a Christian concert series in the South Bay Area. What resulted were opportunities for him to open for Anointed, Bryan Duncan, Out of the Grey, and Jon Gibson. Avery 's current album is Undignified. Producers and musicians for this project have worked with many artists including Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, Little Richard, Ambrosia, Rolls Royce, Frank Zappa, Ron Kenoly, and John Fischer just to name a few. With over 3000 albums sold from his first few independent projects, Stafford fans eagerly anticipate the release of the grooving soulful sounds of this new recording. This will be the album that will allow Avery to go to the world and proclaim that Jesus Christ is alive.

Avery has a Bachelors degree in Christian Ministry from Abilene Christian University. He also has a Masters degree in Pastoral Studies from Multnomah Biblical Seminary. He currently serves on staff as the Worship Pastor for Valley Church in Cupertino, CA. “Every time I sign my name, I tag it with Joshua 24:15: ‘…As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord…’ I have written many songs while watching my children play in the park and at the beach.” Their names are Marlea, Stephan, and Kerrington. He has been married to Nina for 15 years.

Radio Airplay History:
“Get My Praise On” is currently receiving airplay on KMEL – 106.1 FM in San Francisco, KCEP – 88.1 FM in Las Vegas, KTIE – 590 AM in San Bernardino, KPFK – 90.7 FM in North Hollywood, and KALI – 900 AM in Pasadena.

“How Sweet It Is (2b loved by You!)” is currently receiving airplay on KMEL – 106.1 FM in San Francisco and KTYM – 1460 AM in Inglewood.

"Family," which is from the Bridges album, received local airplay in San Diego on KPRZ 1210 AM. In early 2001, Avery was selected as one of the MP3.coms top Gospel artists. The title song Bridges peaked at number 11 on the MP3.com Christian Pop charts and number 15 on the Spiritual Pop charts.

Avery is currently a featured artist at http://www.gospelcity.com.