Franklin, Tenn. (August 9, 2011) - Legendary recording artist and Gospel Music Hall of Famer John Schlitt, best known as the lead singer for award-winning Christian band Petra during the era when the band won four Grammy Awards and 10 Dove Awards, is celebrating with his fans. Donations made to fund Schlitt's new music project through Kickstarter, a popular "crowd-funding" platform, exceeded $45,000 when the deadline came at noon ET August 8.
The new CD, titled The Greater Cause, joins the list of successful Kickstarter initiatives that have met or exceeded their financial goals. Donors to the project, dubbed the TGC Crew (The Greater Cause Crew) in honor of the CD title, will receive rewards and special thank-you messages from the musician. They will also have access to a restricted website with a behind the scenes look at the recording of The Greater Cause, including photos, videos and a blog.
"Team, we did it! Congratulations and thank you so much," Schlitt says about the news. "The Kickstarter process went way past my expectations and I feel so blessed that I have a group of friends who have chosen to work with me."
Members of the TGC Crew donated $45,160 through Schlitt's personal Kickstarter site (kickstarter.com or thegreatercause.com), surpassing Schlitt's initial goal of $35,000, which was met July 29, 10 days ahead of schedule. The funds raised during Phase 2 will go toward the necessary expenses of packaging, manufacturing and promoting the new CD.
Throughout the Kickstarter process to meet the funding goal, Schlitt has captured the attention of his fans through a series of updates and early rewards, including a free demo download of one of the first Christian songs that Schlitt ever recorded, as well as personal thank-you messages to each donor via Twitter and other social networking sites.
"The Greater Cause will be a 'back to the roots' rock album, which is what my supporters have been asking for," Schlitt says. "It is intended to be a fresh and powerful tool to accomplish what God has been doing through me for many years: connecting and encouraging people through my music. We need to use common sense in this world and awaken to the fact that Jesus is Lord, no matter what those around us may say — or do. This is my goal with The Greater Cause."
For a limited time, fans can still join the TGC Crew and donate to The Greater Cause at johnwschlitt.com.
Hundreds of individuals have raised capital through the Kickstarter business model, including Christian musician Shaun Groves, who, earlier in 2011, raised the funds for the CD he is currently recording. The film adaptation of Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz, slated for a Fall release, received $345,992 (276% of its original goal) from more than 4,495 donors through Kickstarter to make it the largest crowd-funded film in history, according to Paste Magazine and Kickstarter's website. Pledges are taken through each individual project's personal Kickstarter site and powered by Amazon, enabling backers' credit cards to be charged via a secure website.
During more than three decades in the music business, Schlitt has earned multiple Gold Records, Grammys and Dove Awards. As a solo artist, member of Petra and former lead singer for popular '70s mainstream rock band Head East, Schlitt has toured all over the world. He was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame as the lead singer of Petra, one of the most successful Christian rock bands of all time. Schlitt was recently named the best rock singer in Christian music history by GospelMusicChannel.com, and according to the website, Schlitt "remains one of the most distinctive and impactful men to ever stand behind a microphone." Schlitt was also named "Best Male Vocalist" in About.com's 2011 Reader's Choice Awards.
Schlitt's most recent album, The Grafting, is available on 4K Records and is distributed by New Day Christian Distributors in the U.S. and internationally by Go Global Entertainment. For more information on Schlitt and The Grafting, visit www.johnwschlitt.com.