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July 26th, 2010
01:25 PM ET

Lady Gaga's new label mates: Cloistered nuns from an ancient order

Chart-topper Lady Gaga has some surprising new label-mates: a group of cloistered nuns.

After a worldwide search of 70 convents to find the best female singers  of Gregorian chant, Decca Records, Universal's classical music label, signed a group of French Benedictine nuns on Saturday.

The new chart hopefuls from the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de l'Annonciation–located near Avignon, France–are ordinarily cut off from the outside world.

The Benedictine sisters have taken a vow of isolation and intend to stay in their convent for the rest of their lives.

As part of an ancient order that dates to the sixth century, the nuns can only communicate to visitors, even family, through a grill, according to Decca.

The company's managing director, Dickon Stainer, was not able to enter the abbey for the nuns to sign their new record deal.

"I passed the contract through the grill, they signed it and passed it  back," he said in a statement. "Although the nuns do not leave the convent, the whole world will now hear the true beauty of their singing."

The nuns will continue to avoid intrusion by photographing their own album cover and filming their own TV commercial.

"We never sought this, it came looking for us," said the Reverend Mother Abbess in a statement. "At first we were worried it would affect our cloistered  life, so we asked St. Joseph in prayer. Our prayers were answered, and we thought that this album would be a good thing if it touches people's lives and  helps them find peace."

The album, to be titled, "Voices–Chant from Avignon'" will be released worldwide in November. It will feature the most ancient form of Gregorian chant, which the nuns sing eight times a day.

"When you hear the sound of nuns chanting, it's like an immediate escape from the challenges, stresses, noise and pace of modern living," Decca executive Tom Lewis said in a statement. "You're given a  glimpse of a secret world of peace and calm."

The group of traditionally self-sufficient nuns includes a plumber, an engineer, an electrician, a silk-weaver and a dental assistant.

CNN's Karen Smith contributed to this report.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Art • Catholic Church • France • Music

soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. hjs3

    Soul Sisters indeed...

    July 26, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  2. Hey Jude

    Take it from an old former nun . . . chill. It's all going the be fine.

    July 26, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
    • rachbell

      The Singing Nun of the 60s didn't fare so well with her fame. Left the convent, owed back US taxes and committed suicide.

      July 26, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  3. Lisa

    Can't wait to hear it bumpin' in my local gay club 🙂

    July 26, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  4. Pax Vobiscum

    This music is easy to find, but I support these nuns' singing! In the U.S., one can drop in...or attend regularly... any traditional (Latin Mass) Catholic churches and hear this type of music. Some of them even do it all a-cappella, as with St. Damien's in Oklahoma City... though their choir isn't comprised of nuns. Absolutely beautiful, and truly amazing sounds... it will make one feel like the angels are right in the chapel!

    July 26, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  5. jackdonkey

    This is so retarded. It's simply brainwashed people trying to influence a world they know nothing about and will never experience all because of their imaginary friend.

    July 26, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
    • bob

      wow... i really couldnt have said it any better myself

      July 26, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  6. Mr. Johnsmith

    I thought I was going to be reading something about my OH SO BEAUTIFUL Lady Gaga....but no...I did not...Misleading headline. I LOVE LADY GAGA!

    July 26, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
    • rachbell

      Gaga, unfortunately, has an ordinary voice and a penchant for making a spectacle of herself to draw attention to her ordinary voice. She's Madonna reincarnated, thought I have to admit that Madonna had/has more talent. Hearing cloistered nuns singing Gregorian chant is like hearing angels sing. You should try listening before commenting. You obviously must be very young if you don't know about this. Godo education in this country is really lacking.

      July 26, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
    • kmo

      "You should try listening before commenting. You obviously must be very young if you don't know about this."

      Right, because ignorance can only be correlated with youth. You sound very much the 'adult,' so I'm sure you didn't have any musical interests that your elders frowned upon growing up. Also, they're just saying they like Lady Gaga, and said didn't say anything about not knowing Gregorian Chanting...

      I don't know why, but that response made me irrationally angry. Must be my young out of control hormones again. Drat I hope those let up soon.

      July 29, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  7. Bill Z.

    I am so looking forward to hearing their music. I am thankful we're going to be able to experience it. Peace and grace.

    July 26, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  8. P. LeFleur

    i don't see how Lady Gaga is involved but the album itself sounds really cool. I'd love to hear more about the recording process. If no one's allowed in, how are sound engineers to do their jobs?

    July 26, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  9. windrider2

    ardy wrote: lady gaga is an illuminati new world order devil worshipping puppet. those nuns just signed a deal with the devil.
    =============
    ardy, you need more tin foil. Your hat is leaking.

    July 26, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  10. TJ

    Just curious what the recording process will be. Are they going to run mic cords through the grate?

    July 26, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  11. Pat

    SISTAHOOD...........I love it.

    July 26, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  12. Yahoo

    Decca (in)famously rejected the Beatles; they evidently are not letting anything get past them now.

    July 26, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  13. Reality

    Decca's lame attempt to compete with Gregorian, a German band, headed by Frank Peterson, which performs Gregorian chant-inspired versions of modern pop and rock songs. The band features both vocal harmony and instrumental accompaniment.

    July 26, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  14. Danika

    This is the sorriest excuse for a misleading, attention grabbing headline I have ever seen. This is tabloid quality at best. Please remove this garbage. It has NOTHING to do with Lady Gaga.

    July 26, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  15. dmsstore@stadtherr.com

    I CAN'T STAND LG!!!!

    July 26, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
    • yuck

      AMEN to that!! Lady gaga is nothing more than a fad. And she's no more a singer than she is a woman....she's gotta D!ck!

      July 26, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  16. ardy

    lady gaga is an illuminati new world order devil worshipping puppet. those nuns just signed a deal with the devil

    July 26, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
  17. gildagra

    LAME.

    July 26, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  18. Kyle

    Too cool!

    July 26, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  19. SeanNJ

    So this has absolutely zero to do with Lady Gaga then. Nice job.

    July 26, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
    • Kyle

      This will be under Lady Gaga's record label, so yes, it has alot to do with Lady Gaga.

      July 26, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
    • M Dub

      This will be in the same record company as Lady Gaga, so yes, it has nothing to do with her. I think reading Lady Gaga and cloistered nun together encourages people to click the link.

      July 26, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
    • Doug

      Um, not really.. it will be under Universal's label... of which Gaga is signed. The article could have Amy Winehouse in place of Lady Gaga and still been accurate...

      July 26, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • Lee

      You're right, absolutely nothing to do with Lady Gaga. How many other artists are on that lable? Losing more respect for CNN. Do they report the news or just their agenda? Not sure if it was just to make us click on the link or something else. Can't wait to hear the CD though.

      July 26, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
    • KashmirShahzad

      no kyle. they arent signing to lady gagas label. they are signing to the same label lady gaga is signed to. thats like writing an article about a new singer signing to sony records and naming the article "Michael Jacksons new labelmates: country singer billy bob thorton"

      July 26, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
    • FollyBaby

      Agreed. Stupid title.

      July 26, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • SWE4444

      Kyle, you are an idiot and a charlatan.

      July 26, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
    • Rob

      Painful isn't it? It's like saying I've now joined the ranks of Tom Cruise because we drive the same car. I thought this story (based on the title) had to do with Gaga having her own label (as pretentious as it would be for her to have one of her own), and personally having them signed to it. Universal is a HUGE label. It's like the Umbrella Corp.. lol.

      July 26, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  20. Joan Smith

    i hope Gaga breaks into the convent to bring us some sort of music video collaboration with the nuns.

    July 26, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.