Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI

He may not be a rock star but a soon to be released album by the pontiff is expected to fly off the shelves once it’s rereleased ahead of this year’s Christmas season. And to show how much interest it has generated, one day after its reports were out in the media, there has been over three million searches on the internet for information about it.
The album of lauretan litanies (a form of prayer composed of short phrases in honor of saints or the Virgin Mary) and prayers with musical accompaniment, is produced and distributed by Geffen Records, who have produced artists like rapper Snoop Dogg, Sir Elton John, rock groups Guns N’ Roses and Aerosmith and new pop sensation Lady Gaga. The producers predict listeners will be stunned by the 82-year-old’s incredible voice.
The recording is the result of a multi-faith effort that goes beyond the traditional Roman Catholic fold.
A Muslim, a catholic and an agnostic composer have contributed music to the album, which is due for release next month. the Pope

The producer Vincent Messina said his choice of Nour Eddine, Stefano Mainetti and Simon Boswel –who describes himself as undeclared –reflect s their aim of producing an album that has universal appeal to all those who love beautiful music.
The eight track album, Alma Mater, will feature the pope singing a Marian prayer and speaking Lauretan litanies in five different languages, accompanied by eight original pieces of classical music. It will be releases in November 30, giving shoppers time to add it to their Christmas shopping list.
The project came about after the producer learnt earlier this year that Benedict XVI had been working on an album with the choir of the Philharmonic Academy of Rome
Despite the hype surrounding Benedicts debut album, it will not be the first time a pope has released one. In 1982, John Paul II reached number 71 in the charts with an album titled The Pilgrim Pope, and in 1994, his recording of The Rosary peaked at number 50 on the Billboard charts.
In 1999, Pope John Paul released another album, time of classical music (Abba Pater) through the Sony music company. Because of the sheer star power of the Geffen stable, it is expected the album will fare even better.
Pope Benedict, who assumed the papacy on 19, April 2005 following the death of Pope John Paul II, is said to be a long- time fan of classical music. He is a classically trained pianist and keeps a grand piano in the papal quarters.
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