EMI to Release Tunes from Deceased Christian Artist

A Christian singer/songwriter is about to have a comeback despite having passed away 25 years ago.

Keith Green, a Gospel Music Association (GMA) Hall-of-Famer whose life on earth ended tragically in a plane wreck, will have some unheard tracks released through EMI/Sparrow Record in the coming months.

Christians from around the industry are excited about the announcement, expressing the deep impact that Green had in the past.

"I think he was one of the best songwriters of the modern era of Christian music," explained John Styll, president of the GMA, to the Associated Press. "It was vulnerable and transparent and absolutely not contrived."

Noted for his uncompromising attitude, Green became a visionary leader in his days. Besides his calling as a Christian musician, he devoted his time to ministry work and reaching out to people.

He was also critical of the Christian music industry, and the direction that it was going. He felt that ministry should not cost money and even made arrangements to try to sell his vinyl records for what people could afford, even giving many away for free.

During his lifetime, he sold between 560,000 and 1 million records, according to estimates.

His work was cut short on July 28, 1982, however, while giving an aerial tour in a Cessna plane of his Last Days Ministries in East Texas. The accident claimed the life of all twelve passengers including Green, one daughter, his only son, the pilot, and two missionaries and their six children.

"I feel that through this many others will catch the vision and burden of Keith's work," said Melody Green, his then pregnant wife, to reporters days after the crash. "People can't look to Keith now because he's gone. So if they ask who's going to do the work, they'll see that they will."

Melody has kept every musical piece that Keith created while still alive. Because of new technologies that have come out, she felt that it was the right time to release the tunes.

EMI/Sparrow Records producers are planning to release some music that has never been heard by the public. This includes an iTunes release set to come out in August and more material in the next year, according to Bryan Ward, director of artist development with EMI Christian Music Group (CMG).

Melody hopes that the music will have a positive impact towards culture and society. She feels that there is a need for his compositions today.

"I keep having people tell me how no one has really taken that place. Everyone thought, 'Well, God will raise someone else up to be similar and do something like that.' I thought that," added the former wife to the Associated Press. "He was just a unique person with amazing talent and with an amazing heart for God."

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