When he was 22 years old, the day after his college graduation Charles Billingsley packed up his red two-door Ford Explorer, attached a little trailer behind it and headed to a church in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to perform his first professional concert. Almost twenty years later, after 24 records, 17 years of marriage, two children, and 3,000 concerts, Charles has just released his 25th album. Never Forsaken, which hit stores on March 6th, is a collection of songs ranging from recreations such as “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Another Day in Paradise” to intimate autobiographical tracks like “Baby I Blinked,” as well as the impassioned truth-telling like “God So Loved the World” and the title track.
With Never Forsaken, Charles is certainly not holding back on delivering an album that contains a variety of music styles. “It’s time to do a record for my generation,” he says. With a more distinct pop edge, he notes such artists as John Mayer and Phil Collins as influences, yet the listener will no doubt still hear Billingsley’s classic artistry.
Eight years since his last solo artist album, Charles is excited to share Never Forsaken with the world, and its catchy tunes are served with a powerful message: “It’s a plea to the church,” he explains. “Look beyond the four walls of our buildings and get out there and love the world. It’s just a reminder to us all–God actually loves them as much as he loves me.”
Elaborating on that message is the album’s catalyst song, “God So Loved the World.” Written by Billingsley along with Keith Smith, Adam Lancaster and Tony Wood, the song serves as a wake-up call to the church: “Every preacher in the pulpit/Every cynic on the street/Every poet/Every pauper/Every soldier/Every lawyer…God so loved the world.”
Watch the official music video for “God So Loved The World” here
Charles, with his wife Shae and their two boys, recently took an eye-opening trip to Guatemala along with the humanitarian organization Causelife. During their visit, as they journeyed through numerous villages in dire need of fresh water, Billingsley’s inspiration deepened to help build wells across third world countries. This trip also grew the inspiration for his new project, especially for its title track.
“The song ‘Never Forsaken’ is for those people in the world who are hungry, lost, afraid, malnourished, thirsty, who cry out every day for something called hope. They won’t hear this album. This record is for the people who will hear it to do something about it. Give away today, whatever that means. Your love, time, money, talents, whatever it takes, let God use you.” – Charles Billingsley
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