Award season begins with the first Grammy nomination for Gospel Music’s favorite son, Zacardi Cortez. In addition to his Billboard Music Award nominations, the Stellar Award-winning artist was nominated for his electrifying performance on the Billboard and Mediabase chart-topping radio smash hit Lord Do It For Me, the second single from his Imprint (Live in Memphis) project (Zetroc/Blacksmoke Music Worldwide).

Blacksmoke Music Worldwide CEO (and song co-writer) Kerry Douglas contained his enthusiasm long enough to say “God did it for us! This song is special for me as its my testimony, what the enemy meant for evil, God blocked it and I am here today. God placed Zacardi in my life over 20 years ago, and through many challenges and changes, he has stuck with Blacksmoke. We have had some ups and downs, multiple number 1s on the radio charts and millions of steams. Nobody but God could do these things. I salute you, Zacardi, for your faithfulness. Zacardi is the people’s champ and choice. This couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person. God has used me to build the careers of a whole slew of artists, but this one is special to me. Even now, as the tears flow as I am writing this, I am grateful and Godly proud of the relationships we have built over the years/ As we segue unto animation via @hiphopboobly and full length feature films @lovemountain Zacardi Cortez is very much a part of our current and future endeavors. Thanks to the Recording Academy for this nod, and we will see you at the top because its awfully crowded at the bottom.”

Anyone remotely familiar with black gospel radio over the last decade has heard Cortez’ incomparable voice that combines the grit of classic soul men like Bobby Womack and Eddie Levert with the cathartic power of the pulpit. That fascinating combination has hung over Cortez’s clouds of Billboard No. 1 gospel radio hits such as the retro anthem “Oh How I Love You,” the `80s throwback groove “YDIA, “ and the acoustic calm of “1 on 1,” which reigned at the top of the charts for five weeks in 2014. Deep fans first heard his hair-raising vocals on James Fortune & FIYA’s hits such as “The Blood,” “Let Your Power Fall,” and “I Believe,” which spent nineteen weeks at the apex of the Billboard Gospel Airplay chart in 2011.

Imprint Live In Memphis is available on all digital outlets and streaming platforms, and the Grammy Awards take place in February 2024.