FRANCESCA BATTISTELLI SURPRISED ONSTAGE WITH GOLD RECORD FOR HER DEBUT ALBUM MY PAPER HEART
Tue, 11 Sep 2012 - 10:40 AM CST
Nashville, Tennessee--September 10, 2012--Fervent Records' artist and Dove Awards' "Artist of the Year," Francesca Battistelli, received a surprise onstage Friday night when Word Entertainment President and CEO, Rod Riley, presented her with a gold album for her debut release My Paper Heart. This marks the first debut album from a CCM artist in nearly a decade to receive RIAA-certified Gold status for sales in excess of 500,000 units. Casting Crowns' release in 2003 was the last debut album to receive RIAA Gold certification.
On Friday, September 7, just prior to her performance at Disney World's "Night of Joy" at the Magic Kingdom, Riley and Word Entertainment Senior VP of A&R, Josh Bailey, stepped onstage with a surprise gold record for the singer. "I was totally overcome with emotion," said Battistelli. "As soon as Josh walked onstage with the plaque, all this emotion hit me at once. This has been a dream of mine, and to be honored and surprised this way at Disney World in front of my wonderful fans, my family and my record label...it truly couldn't have been more special. I feel so incredibly blessed and will remember this night forever." The next day, the singer visited the Magic Kingdom once again with her family and record group to take an iconic photograph in front of Cinderella's castle.
Battistelli's 2008 debut album features the No. 1 single, "Free To Be Me," and Top 10 hits, "I'm Letting Go," "It's Your Life" and "Beautiful, Beautiful." The release topped Billboard's Christian Albums chart in August of 2010 and earned her a Grammy nod for "Best Gospel Performance." In 2011, she received the Dove Awards for "Artist of the Year," "Female Vocalist of the Year" and "Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year."
On October 16, the singer is set to release her first solo Christmas album, Christmas, which includes classics and newly-penned tunes. She also has songs showcased on two additional holiday albums due out the same day: Word Record's A Very Special Christmas: Bringing Peace on Earth and A Very Special Christmas 25th Anniversary benefitting the Special Olympics.
Connect with Francesca Battistelli online for more info.
Photo caption: L-R: Rod Riley (President & CEO, Word Entertainment), Francesca Battistelli and Josh Bailey (Sr. VP of A&R, Word Entertainment).