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“Once she gets the mic, you'll never forget her light but powerful soprano voice.”
Stellar Award winning artist, Jonathan Nelson
“Chrystal Rucker is one of the world’s most quietly kept secrets.”
Grammy Award nominated choir leader, Ricky Dillard
“Unique and flawless.”
Stellar Award Nominated Singer, Ted Winn
Within the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) denomination, Chrystal Rucker is a household name. Over the last decade and a half, she’s made her own spine-tingling renditions of Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow,” Tramaine Hawkins’ “Changed” and Lecresia Campbell’s “Safety” fan favorites at concerts and convocations within the church. However, the EPM Music Group is about to take her national with her debut CD release,” You Deserve” (EPM Music Group), hitting retail and online stores everywhere on June 26, 2012.
As America prepares to meet Chrystal Rucker, the country is also about to learn about the power of faith to heal. In spring 2007, Rucker suffered a series of strokes that almost killed her and could have ended her singing career. She had just picked up her niece and nephew from school and was driving them home. “My arm just went numb,” she recalls as she was driving. “I looked in the rearview mirror. I was talking but my mouth on the left side wasn’t moving.” She made it home and was planning to lie down when her mother insisted that she go to the hospital immediately.
Rucker as examined at the hospital where the doctor said that the CT exam showed no abnormality. Her mother didn’t believe the report so she took Rucker to another hospital where she was administered an MRI that showed that she’d experienced a stroke. “The doctor said I should have sued the first hospital,” she recalls. She was put on blood thinners and scheduled for therapy when she had another stroke while at the hospital. She was in intensive care for a week. “I taught myself how to drag my leg until I got to where I needed to be,” she remembers. “I got some strength from somewhere and I looked at my daughter and I knew she needed me so I fought so that I could be here to help her grow up. When you have someone you have to live for it makes all the difference in the world in your healing process.”
That healing took place over two long years where Rucker had to re-learn how to walk and do things for herself. She had no other income but music so she pushed herself back out onto the concert circuit, often dragging her leg to get around and then she says that she was miraculously healed during the annual Rhema conference at Pastor David Martin’s Gospel Tabernacle Church in Dallas, TX. “A lady turned around and started to pray for me,” Rucker recalls. “She didn’t even know what I had been through nor that I was sick because I hid that from people. The Holy Ghost came in that night and it was amazing. The whole church was on its knees before night was over and that’s when my healing came.” That personal trial taught Rucker a valuable lesson. “Everything that happens in life is not designed to take you out,” she confesses. “There are things that God has to do to make us better so he broke me down only to help me so that I could help somebody else.”
Rucker’s enlightened thinking stems from the teaching she learned as a child in Kansas City, MO. The youngest of six children, her father was the late Bishop C.N. Rucker of Greater Holy Temple COGIC and her mother, Yvonne Rucker, is an evangelist. She sang her first solo at a church banquet when she was two years old and has been singing ever since that time. In spite of her singing ability, she planned to make teaching her career. She enrolled at the University of Missouri at Kansas City with a double major in English and Music. However, at the age of twenty-one, she became pregnant and says, “that changed a lot of things for me.”
She eventually left school and got a job as a clerk in the accounting department at an electronics store while continuing to sing on the weekends. The singing led to solos on CD recordings by Edwin Hawkins, Jerome Greene & the Voices of Triumph and Myron Williams. These songs led to more concert dates where Rucker began sharing her testimony of having a baby out of wedlock and how God helped her pull her life back together as a young mother. “My schedule had picked up so much that I couldn’t keep a job,” she laughs, looking back at that turning point in her life. “Dorinda gave me major, major exposure within the COGIC,” Rucker says of the legendary Clark Sisters alto, Dorinda Clark Cole,” who is an executive officer within the COGIC music department.
So, it’s this great favor that led the union of Rucker with EPM Music Group. EPM Group founder, Earnest Pugh, first saw Rucker sing at Grammy Award winning choirmaster O’Landa Draper’s funeral in the summer of 1998. “That’s when I became a fan,” he says. When he launched his label in 2012, one of the first names he thought of signing was that of Chrystal Rucker. The set is going to feature studio versions of Rucker’s now classic concert showstoppers “Changed” and “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” However, the inaugural radio single will be the soul stirring praise and worship ballad, “You Deserve.”
Rucker is excited about the future and the expansion of her musical ministry. “People are going to be blessed by the CD,” Rucker adds. “I believe lives are going to be changed and people are going to be delivered from the project alone. It’s not because of my ability or anything I can do personally but God is going to get the glory from this project because it’s going to reach people who are hurting. I’ve been doing this a long time and I know God is about to do some awesome things.”
Release date: Jul 14, 2012