Nashville: Black Smoke Music Announces Partnership With Motown Gospel And Capitol

October 25, 2022

Today, successful independent label Black Smoke Music Worldwide announces its distribution and label partnership with Motown Gospel and Capitol CMG’s Re:Think.

Led by Founder & CEO Kerry Douglas, Black Smoke Music Worldwide is already making way for the release of new music from 11-time Stellar Award winner Pastor Mike, Jr. with the infectious new radio anthem, “Impossible” featuring James Fortune.

“I am elated to be an architect in bringing forth the ‘new deal’ in Gospel music,” says Kerry Douglas. “The music industry is ever-changing; it’s no longer business as usual. This alliance with Capitol CMG—the world’s largest Christian music company—and Motown Gospel—a name synonymous with legendary hitmakers—affords us the opportunity to give wings to our vision, propelling it to the next level and beyond.”

In addition to his label group, Douglas is also an in-demand promotions consultant who has also muscled countless hit songs to the top of the Billboard Gospel Airplay charts, including recent Maverick City Music’s “Jireh” and BeBe Winans’ “He Promised Me.”

“Black Smoke Worldwide has ascended to become one of the most influential independent labels in Gospel music,” shares Phil Thornton, SVP, Capitol CMG. “Kerry Douglas has built an inspiring brand over the last two decades. We’re excited to partner with Black Smoke Worldwide for Pastor Mike Jr’s forthcoming release and explore new business verticals together.”

The historic partnership is also the first formal collaboration between the Motown Gospel and RE:Think divisions of Capitol CMG, demonstrating the significant potential that the faith-based market leader sees in its new partner.

EJ Gaines and Monica Coates, Co-Executive Directors of Motown Gospel, share, “For decades, Kerry Douglas has led the charge on some of the biggest songs in gospel music. We believe that the iconic Motown Gospel label and our best-in-class team at Re:Think are perfectly suited to serve the needs of Black Smoke and Pastor Mike, Jr. in this next chapter.”

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 Black Smoke Music Worldwide

Over the past three decades, Black Smoke Music Worldwide has proven to be one of the most impactful independent labels in gospel music. The vision of Kerry Douglas, a former car salesman, the label has been home to some of the biggest names in gospel music, including GRAMMY®-nominated James Fortune, Earnest Pugh, Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson, Zacardi Cortez and, most recently, Pastor Mike, Jr., who recently won Stellar Award Artist of the Year for a second consecutive year.


Re:Think is the innovative distribution and label services arm of Capitol CMG/Universal Music Group. Structured to serve artists that inspire and impact, the division has quickly made its mark in the music community.

Motown Gospel

Motown Gospel is one of the most prominent gospel music companies in the world, boasting over two decades of chart-topping and award-winning artists, albums, and songs. A division of Capitol CMG/Universal Music Group, the world’s leading Christian music company and market leader in recorded music, distribution, and music publishing, Motown Gospel’s artist roster has included Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Smokie Norful, Tye Tribbett, Brian Courtney Wilson, Kierra Sheard, The Clark Sisters and more.

Photo credit: L-R: Phil Thornton, Monica Coates, Pastor Mike Jr., Kerry Douglas, and EJ Gaines. By Tony Minifield.

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