Pope Benedict XVI has a shot at the Christmas number one spot after he signed a record deal to release an album of him singing chants in the Vatican.
It will feature the Pope singing litanies and chants in honour of the Virgin Mary, as well as reciting passages and prayers in Latin, Italian, Portuguese, French and German.
The recordings were made in St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, with the Pope accompanied by The Choir of the Philharmonic Academy of Rome.
The CD will be released on November 30 on Universal’s Geffen label, the same label that released material by Nirvana and Guns N’Roses, however Colin Barlow, the president of the record company is “sceptical” about the Pope’s musical appeal.
“It’s a beautiful a piece of music as the soundtrack to the film The Mission.
“The Pope has got almost a lullaby tone to the way he sings,” he said.
He thought the album would make “a great Christmas present”.
One aspect of the album will be reassuringly traditional – it will not be sold as a digital download.
“I think this is going to be something that you would like to own,” explained Mr Barlow. “To break up a beautiful album digitally would be wrong.”
He hoped it would sell in large numbers globally, noting: “There’s quite a huge Catholic fan base out there.”
A percentage of the profits will go to a charity that provides musical education for poor children around the world and the rest will be split between the Vatican and Universal.
Let’s hope it’s a big success and raises lots of money for the children!
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