The other evening, I was writing a note to one of my former students from Georgia who now lives in New York and is becoming a star in her own right. She had sent me the following article from "Billboard":
 
BILLBOARD, Jan 5th issue
 
BEST BETS ‘08
 
Faces to Watch: Who’s Hot And Rising For The Year Ahead
 
Any new album worth your attention arrives during the packed fourth-quarter holiday season, right? Not quite. The earlier months of the year are an ideal time for rising acts to grab their share of attention and, they hope, sales. That’s true for upcoming releases and new promotional boosts for sets already on hand.
 
Here are 10 hot faces to watch from genres including pop, rock, country, R&B, hip-hop, Christian, jazz and dance that have caught the attention of Billboard’s discerning writers and editors.
 
TINATIN
 
While most children were mastering the art of finger painting, 6-year-old Tinatin had wrapped her arms around a full spectrum of the arts: painting, writing, learning to speak six languages – and singing.
 
The native of the Republic of Georgia (then part of the Soviet Union) came to it naturally; her father was an architect and painter, her mother a classical pianist.
 
The family moved to Russia, where she studied classical voice. Then, as a young adult, she journeyed to London, where she aligned with producer Christopher Neil (Celine Dion, Mike & the Mechanics, Rod Stewart), who encouraged her to write songs and helped line up live gigs.
 
Today, at 23, the raven-haired, blue-eyed Tinatin (now a New Yorker) has released a CD independently on PureMix Records and gained interest from two major labels.
 
Her rallying first single, “We the Peoples,” is based on the 1945 founding of the United Nations charter, another natural alliance stemming from her gig as a U.N. correspondent for the Russian media.
 
Tinatin continues to work with Neil, along with producers Eliot Kennedy, Arnie Roman, Ayhan Sahin and Marc Russell & Dave Scheuer, with the goal of mainstream attention in 2008.
 
“I’m in my true element when I sing,” Tinatin says. “I have already exceeded my wildest dreams. Now I’m looking for the ultimate adventure.”
 
 – Chuck Taylor
 
While writing to Tina to congratulate her, I wrote the following poem for her. She gave me permission to share it with you in my blog.
 
                                   
Candles Burning
 
Candles burning- you and I.
We only have one chance to light up the sky.  
For the dark world needs someone to show them the way.
There is not time to tarry nor count the cost we might pay.
  
He's not looking for perfection to sparkle and shine
But willing hearts that heard His voice say, "You're Mine!"
So let's pick up our torches that He gives every day.
And say to the world, "Follow the Light, it's this way!
  
We'll point all to Jesus for He is our Light.
And it's in the darkness that His beauty shines bright. 
Though pain, doubt or fear tries to put out our flame.
We'll keep trusting in Him and lift up His glorious Name!
 
"For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

(2 Corinthians 4:8)