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BellaOnline's Gospel and Christian Music Editor


Christmas came early this year for producer, songwriter and Cul De Sac label head Billy Smiley, courtesy of Clay Aiken and RCA Records. “Merry Christmas With Love”, a song penned by Smiley and Greg Davis, is the title track for the new Clay Aiken holiday CD which hits recently.

We all know Clay Aiken as the season two runner up of the Fox Television hit American Idol. Despite failing to win the competition, Aiken was quickly signed to RCA Records in 2003 and his debut CD Measure of a Man has sold over two million copies. His follow-up release, Merry Christmas With Love, is currently ranked #2 at Amazon.com.

Billy Smiley started his career with the Bill Gaither organization, producing the first four Gaither Vocal Band albums, which sold more than 1 million units. Shortly after, Smiley stepped out from behind the soundboard and in 1982 formed the Grammy-nominated rock group White Heart with Mark Gersmehl and Dann Huff (producer for Faith Hill, Lonestar and more). White Heart recorded and toured worldwide through 1998, selling over 2.5 million records, while collecting 17 #1 singles, 2 Grammy Award nominations, and 23 Dove Award nominations.

And as an independent producer, Smiley has produced more than 40 albums, and 27 #1 songs. Throughout his career, Smiley has helped discover, develop, produce, and write for such artists as The Newsboys, The Insyderz, White Heart, Susan Ashton, Petra, Steven Curtis Chapman, Margaret Becker, BeBe & CeCe Winans, and many more.

In addition to independent production and artist development, Smiley owns and operates the successful Christian music label Cul De Sac Records. Cul De Sac Records and Devotion Music are distributed by New Day, Spring Arbor, Central South, and MPI International Distribution. More information is available online at www.culdesacrecords.com and www.devotionmusic.com

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