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Israel Houghton

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Israel Houghton


Israel Houghton, aka Israel and New Breed or "just Israel," got his two biggest nods headlining music awards shows. In 2007, he appeared on the Video Music Awards with Alicia Keys performing George Michael's "Freedom '90" and in 2008, he headlined the 50th Annual Grammy Awards' gospel segment with fellow nominees Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige and the Clark Sisters. He took home his second Grammy that night to add to a list of Doves, Stellars and a Soul Train Award. Houghton's New Breed Music presents itself as crossing all boundaries, "cultural, generational and denominational." That's evident in the diversity of the group's sound, which lays jazz, hip-hop and RnB on a spirited contemporary gospel foundation. Because New Breed's energy and nature are most appreciated in a live environment, most albums are live projects bouncing from Africa to Australia and spots in between. Denoting his "heart for the nations," such recording events aren't confined to the music: Houghton and crew combine singing with serving global communities, championing "change and social justice" among forgotten peoples such as AIDS orphans in Africa. With past affiliations with Promise Keepers and Champions for Christ, and an artist-collaboration list too long to list, Houghton still maintains his day job as the worship leader at Lakewood Church in Austin, Tex., pastored by best-selling author Joel Osteen.
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